Skip to content
Commercial Real Estate Investing

User Stats

256
Posts
141
Votes
Kristi Kandel
Pro Member
#1 Land & New Construction Contributor
  • Developer
  • Fort Myers Beach, FL
141
Votes |
256
Posts

Affordable Housing - Columbus, OH - Human Trafficking Survivors

Kristi Kandel
Pro Member
#1 Land & New Construction Contributor
  • Developer
  • Fort Myers Beach, FL
Posted Dec 4 2023, 07:29

An AWESOME project just finished in Columbus, OH. This is exactly the type of public/private partnership our team is working to build across the country. The efforts that projects of this nature take are massive but the results are more than worth it.

https://www.dispatch.com/story/news/2023/11/27/columbus-home-for-human-trafficking-survivors-harriets-hope-to-open/71625032007/

One-of-a-kind home for human trafficking survivors to open next month in Columbus

Danae King

Columbus Dispatch

On Friday, survivors of human trafficking will walk into their brand new home: a place where each fixture and detail was chosen especially for them by fellow survivors.

The home is Harriet’s Hope — named for abolitionist Harriet Tubman — a 52-unit housing community that can host multiple families and was designed specifically for human trafficking survivors.

The one-of-a-kind community comes out of a public-private partnership that brought together Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost; Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA); CVS Health and OhioRISE, the CVS/Aetna-owned Medicaid program; Beacon 360 Management and many others.

The Dec. 1 opening of Harriet's Hope, a community on Columbus' West Side whose exact location isn't being shared to protect survivor's safety, was announced at the Ohio Statehouse this morning.

A call to action

The project started a few years ago as a vision of Celia Kendall, the CEO of Beacon 360 Management, a nonprofit real estate developer and management firm based in Columbus with 28 communities across Ohio.

Kendall got the idea for Harriet's Hope after being unsettled by what she saw doing street outreach with women being trafficked six years ago.

"I could not just go back and return to life as normal," Kendall said. "Every night when I lay down, when all of us lay down, this whole world awakens where people have no choice but to participate in sex trafficking or labor trafficking."

She realized women are disproportionately affected and began to ask what the need was. By connecting with agencies who work with those who are trafficked, such as Salvation Army Central Ohio, she found out that the biggest need was housing: a safe place for survivors to go after being trafficked.

"Oftentimes that is the thing that allows trafficking to continue," Kendall found. "If your housing is held over your head by your trafficker, it's very difficult to get out of that if you don't have a place to lay your head. This should eliminate that fear."

Kendall set out to answer what she felt was a call to action and approached CMHA and others about the project.

Together they developed Harriet's Hope, believed to be the only affordable, permanent community specifically for human trafficking survivors in the nation.

The importance of housing for human trafficking survivors

Harriet's Hope is part of a larger initiative in the state to end human trafficking and fulfills a critical missing piece — safe, affordable and accessible housing for survivors — in its efforts, said Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, whose office has a human trafficking commission.

The lack of a safe place to go can make individuals very vulnerable when it comes to human trafficking, according to advocates. In a Polaris Project survey, 64% of trafficking survivors said they were homeless or had unstable housing when they were recruited. Traffickers often recruit directly from shelters, according to the Washington D.C.-based nonprofit organization that works to prevent human trafficking.

Yost's office is fighting to stem the demand for sex trafficking via law changes and other approaches, but places like Harriet's Hope "provide that highway of hope for a survivor to be able to exit the life," he said.

"One of the challenges survivors of human trafficking always face is they are dependent upon their trafficker," Yost said. "Where can they go? How are they going to get help? Where are they going to live? This is an alternative."

The project involved several agencies coming together, not only to fund it but to offer services to survivors, design the community, and more.

CVS Health provided $10.6 million in funding for the approximately $16 million project as part of its goal to address social determinants of health, like the lack of equitable access to housing. Other funders include the Affordable Housing Trust of Columbus, Franklin County, the city of Columbus, state funding and organizations like the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing.

A lack of housing or access to housing can negatively impact people's health, said Latasha Brown, CVS's first anti-human trafficking administrator.

That's part of the reason the health company, which also owns Ohio's Medicaid program, invested in Harriet's Hope and in other affordable housing projects in Ohio. It has invested nearly $80 million in affordable housing across Ohio since 2020, Brown said.

"A survivor cannot improve their overall well-being without stable access to quality housing," said Brown, who is elated about the opening of Harriet's Hope. "I hope this haven will allow them to focus on their healing journey and position them for their bright future."

Services for survivors

Harriet's Hope is open to any individual — no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation — who has experienced human trafficking or chronic homelessness, meets CMHA's income guidelines for a housing voucher and is ready to make a commitment to sobriety, Kendall said.

Most residents will be identified through the Salvation Army, but referrals can come from anyone, anywhere, she said.

What sets the community apart from others is that the services residents need are embedded within it, Kendall said.

Services include substance abuse disorder treatment by Alvis, case management through the Salvation Army, gender-affirming case management through Kaleidoscope Youth Center, a computer lab furnished by Dell, a food pantry, nutritional services, financial literacy classes, peer support, employment readiness programs, legal aid, health screenings, child care and more.

Residents will start out with a one-year lease before going month to month, Kendall said. Since the goal is that everyone is successfully housed, residents can stay in the community forever, if they want to, she said.

There are 47 fully furnished one-bedroom units and five two-bedroom units meant to provide a place where women can reunite with their children. It's an independent living recovery community and the building — the location of which is not being shared so residents can maintain their safety — will have a property manager, assistant property manager and security. Each resident pays 30% of their income for rent and utilities, meaning if they have no income, they pay nothing.

"I hope that people feel safe, I hope they feel a sense of autonomy, a sense of self, a sense of confidence," Kendall said. "I hope that they feel free. That is truly the spirit through which the project is named, I hope they feel free and all the power that comes from that."

If you suspect someone is a trafficking victim, call The National Human Trafficking 24-hour Hotline at 1(888) 373-7888 to access Central Ohio's local response network.

Danae King

User Stats

3,183
Posts
1,581
Votes
Michael Smythe
Property Manager
#3 Managing Your Property Contributor
  • Property Manager
  • Metro Detroit
1,581
Votes |
3,183
Posts
Michael Smythe
Property Manager
#3 Managing Your Property Contributor
  • Property Manager
  • Metro Detroit
Replied Dec 4 2023, 09:14

This needs more coverage to combat the stereotype that landlords are all greedy and need government regulation!

User Stats

26,776
Posts
18,067
Votes
James Wise#1 Classifieds Contributor
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Cleveland Dayton Cincinnati Toledo Columbus & Akron, OH
18,067
Votes |
26,776
Posts
James Wise#1 Classifieds Contributor
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Cleveland Dayton Cincinnati Toledo Columbus & Akron, OH
Replied Dec 4 2023, 10:00
Quote from @Michael Smythe:

This needs more coverage to combat the stereotype that landlords are all greedy and need government regulation!


 New don't roll that way. If it bleeds it leads.

BiggerPockets logo
BiggerPockets
|
Sponsored
Find an investor-friendly agent in your market TODAY Get matched with our network of trusted, local, investor friendly agents in under 2 minutes

User Stats

128
Posts
44
Votes
Kathy Utiss
  • Specialist
  • O'Fallon, MO
44
Votes |
128
Posts
Kathy Utiss
  • Specialist
  • O'Fallon, MO
Replied Dec 5 2023, 21:54

It is a great story. There are many humans who are good people. Who believe in good vs evil.  This story or thousands of similar ones like it is why I started my nonprofit. 

Our aim is to end homelessness in America. Each of us have had or have mentors in our lives. Mentors build us to be better humans in many cases. What does it take to lower crime? To make everyone understand we all matter alike? That we each only have one life to live? Housing,food, and quality jobs build people. 

So does making positive happen. So many do right to be treated wrong by so many. Then they wonder why so many just can't get along. Meeting that in between the great divide to unite as we say is totally different than we're told. At any rate we have some great things to bring about for those that believe in this one life to live.

I can offer double the down payment on properties for section 8 buyers. If someone is also buying section 8 we can also arrange a deferred payment mortgage. I can do either. I think the deferred payment mortgage is the most beneficial. The question is if it ends up costing you nothing to donate to benefit yourself and more alike would you? 

Many talk about adding value to this life. Our method insures one's down payment, and prevents default. Different investments help accomplish such like US Treasuries, and Life Insurance Policies. 

User Stats

857
Posts
731
Votes
Michael K Gallagher
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Columbus OH
731
Votes |
857
Posts
Michael K Gallagher
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Columbus OH
Replied Jan 11 2024, 09:07

Thanks for sharing this, I live and work in Cbus and literally had no idea this happened.  Cbus is a pretty large hub for human trafficking unfortunately.  Given the amount of logistics that go through here, its proximity to Canada, east and west major highways, and mostly the Arnold.  Glad to see work being done here to help in some capacity.

User Stats

256
Posts
141
Votes
Kristi Kandel
Pro Member
#1 Land & New Construction Contributor
  • Developer
  • Fort Myers Beach, FL
141
Votes |
256
Posts
Kristi Kandel
Pro Member
#1 Land & New Construction Contributor
  • Developer
  • Fort Myers Beach, FL
Replied Jan 13 2024, 07:23
Quote from @Michael K Gallagher:

Thanks for sharing this, I live and work in Cbus and literally had no idea this happened.  Cbus is a pretty large hub for human trafficking unfortunately.  Given the amount of logistics that go through here, its proximity to Canada, east and west major highways, and mostly the Arnold.  Glad to see work being done here to help in some capacity.

 @Michael K Gallagher Agreed! I grew up in Fredericktown and half of my team still lives in the Columbus area. It's been so great diving into the various community initiatives, agencies, alliances, etc. and understanding how they are working together to collaborate and help provide solutions to our challenges. 

User Stats

10,935
Posts
12,352
Votes
Bruce Woodruff
Pro Member
#5 All Forums Contributor
  • Contractor/Investor/Consultant
  • West Valley Phoenix
12,352
Votes |
10,935
Posts
Bruce Woodruff
Pro Member
#5 All Forums Contributor
  • Contractor/Investor/Consultant
  • West Valley Phoenix
Replied Jan 13 2024, 07:26

A good news story! Awesome...

User Stats

32
Posts
11
Votes
Melody T.
  • Investor
  • California
11
Votes |
32
Posts
Melody T.
  • Investor
  • California
Replied Apr 10 2024, 09:06

That's amazing, @Kristi Kandel! This is one of the reasons I'm interested in investing in the OH market and accepting vouchers. Yes, I want to make good investments and make money, but I also have a strong altruistic drive in providing safe, comfortable housing for women (and their children) in need. 

User Stats

5
Posts
5
Votes
Andrea R.
5
Votes |
5
Posts
Andrea R.
Replied Apr 10 2024, 19:43

Love this and appreciate you sharing @Kristi Kandel!  I work with many investors that support low income housing, and are stand up landlords, I plan to pass this along!

  • Real Estate Agent

Red 1 Realty Logo

User Stats

256
Posts
141
Votes
Kristi Kandel
Pro Member
#1 Land & New Construction Contributor
  • Developer
  • Fort Myers Beach, FL
141
Votes |
256
Posts
Kristi Kandel
Pro Member
#1 Land & New Construction Contributor
  • Developer
  • Fort Myers Beach, FL
Replied Apr 12 2024, 07:31
Quote from @Melody T.:

That's amazing, @Kristi Kandel! This is one of the reasons I'm interested in investing in the OH market and accepting vouchers. Yes, I want to make good investments and make money, but I also have a strong altruistic drive in providing safe, comfortable housing for women (and their children) in need. 

 @Melody T. 100% We can run a profitable business AND complete projects with a purpose that solve today's challenges. It doesn't need to be one or the other! The more we can share ideas that we come across the more it will allow ourselves and others to creatively put deals together that solve systemic issues. Just imagine the positive impact those women and children can have now that they aren't worried about where they will sleep at night and if they will be safe. THAT is an impact worth fighting for and making happen. 

User Stats

256
Posts
141
Votes
Kristi Kandel
Pro Member
#1 Land & New Construction Contributor
  • Developer
  • Fort Myers Beach, FL
141
Votes |
256
Posts
Kristi Kandel
Pro Member
#1 Land & New Construction Contributor
  • Developer
  • Fort Myers Beach, FL
Replied Apr 12 2024, 07:36
Quote from @Andrea R.:

Love this and appreciate you sharing @Kristi Kandel!  I work with many investors that support low income housing, and are stand up landlords, I plan to pass this along!

 @Andrea R. Exactly. low income housing doesn't mean slum lord or disrespectful tenants. It simply means that there are various struggles and challenges out there and as investors, landlords, developers, etc. we are in a unique position to make a positive impact in someone's life. 

Growing up we were very poor financially with dad working 2 jobs and mom working nights and weekends. I remember times when people would leave food on our steps for us when we got home from church or times in the winter that someone was kind enough to make sure we had snow boots and warm jackets. It makes me tear up just thinking about their kindness and generosity to help another family out. 


I personally love random acts of kindness especially when I can do it on the DL. I was once given the greatest gift of all. HOPE. I want to regift HOPE to as many people as I can and I'm able to leverage real estate investing and development to provide me many many opportunities to give back.