Habitat for Humanity Greater Columbus dba Habitat for Humanity - MidOhio
The Columbus Foundation Award Recipient
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3140 Westerville Road
Columbus, OH 43224
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CEO/Executive Director
Mr. E.J. Thomas
Board Chair
Mr. Michael Fitzpatrick
Elford Development

To work in partnership with God and people to build affordable homes, empower families, and develop communities in Franklin and Licking counties.

Organization Overview

Impact Statement


  • We rehabilitated or rebuilt 16 vacant, foreclosed homes in partnership with the City of Columbus, Franklin County, and the national Neighborhood Stabilization Program, serving low-income areas hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis.

  • We worked in collaboration with the Weinland Park Community Civic Association (WPCCA) to engage neighborhood residents in structurally redesigning our houses to serve Weinland Park, and other older Columbus neighborhoods, with historically appropriate home designs. Habitat MidOhio and the WPCCA received the 2011 “Outstanding Group” Preservation Award from Columbus Landmarks Foundation in recognition.

  • We built our most energy-efficient home to date and received recognition as a leading 'green' affordable housing developer for the City of Columbus Neighborhood Stabilization Program, with new homes that meet Energy Star requirements and the City’s AWARE Green/Universal Design Standards, and are 15-30% more energy efficient than “standard” homes built to the International Residential Code. We ensure the long-term affordability of Habitat home-ownership by providing homes that are energy efficient, healthy to live in, and accommodate the needs of all family members, including older family members and those with physical disabilities, in addition to reducing the environmental impact of Habitat home construction.

  • We selected the Milo-Grogan neighborhood of Columbus to pilot our Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, with the goal of implementing new services that further address the need for safe, decent, and affordable housing. In the first year, we began a comprehensive, asset-based assessment of Milo-Grogan designed to inform new revitalization strategies.

  • We served 20 families in Franklin County who were able to realize their dream of home-ownership in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. More than 60 children moved out of poverty housing and into safe, decent, and affordable Habitat homes.


  • We will serve 25 families through home construction, home rehabilitation, and home repair, in current and new service areas. We will continue to redevelop foreclosed properties through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program in partnership with the City of Columbus and Franklin County, complete our 250th Habitat home in Franklin County, and expand our service area to include Licking County.

  • We will build upon our neighborhood assessment and community development work in Milo-Grogan and other Columbus neighborhoods to develop new programs through our Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, with the goal of addressing the housing needs of more low-income families through new services such as critical home repairs and accessibility renovations.

  • We will engage military veterans and their families through our new Habitat for Heroes veterans initiative, as one of only 11 Habitat affiliates nationwide selected to host a full-time AmeriCorps volunteer dedicated to engaging the veterans community. We will build our first Habitat for Heroes home, provide opportunities for local veterans to access affordable housing, and create opportunities to work alongside fellow veterans in service to others as Habitat construction volunteers.

  • We will expand our earned income potential by opening a second ReStore location. With two ReStore locations in Columbus, we will help more local businesses, contractors, and homeowners go green through reuse and recycling, and provide more local residents with affordable options for home maintenance and improvement. Increasing ReStore revenues ensures that contributions from our donors will fund direct program needs.

  • We will continue to grow and engage a diverse corps of volunteers to serve their community while learning new skills, developing relationships with others from all walks of life, and gaining the sense of accomplishment that comes from seeing the tangible impact of a day spent helping to build a Habitat home. We will implement new strategies to grow our partnerships with local corporations, campus groups, churches and congregations of diverse faiths, and men and women across central Ohio.

Background Statement

In 1987, in response to the growing number of working families without access to affordable housing, members of the local faith community established our local Habitat affiliate, now known as Habitat for Humanity - MidOhio. Habitat MidOhio builds and rehabilitates single-family homes in low-income neighborhoods throughout Franklin and Licking counties. Since 1987, we have enabled more than 250 local families to move out of substandard rental housing and into a simple, affordable home of their own. Our partner families are first-time homebuyers who earn 30-60% of area median income and currently live in rental housing that is dilapidated, overcrowded, or unaffordable. Every partner family invests 200-250 hours of “sweat equity,” which includes helping to build their own home and other Habitat houses, and every family repays a 0%-interest, no-profit mortgage, held by the local affiliate for the life of the loan, offering ongoing support to help ensure that our partner families succeed as homeowners. Habitat homes are built with the financial support of individuals and families, the business community, churches and faith groups, community organizations, and programs funded by state and local government agencies; the cost of construction is reduced through in-kind donations of materials and services and the labor provided by Habitat partner families and community volunteers. More than 5,500 individuals volunteered with us in 2011. Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian housing ministry with more than 2,000 independent affiliates working in communities throughout the United States and around the world. Habitat invites people of all backgrounds, races, and religions to build houses together in partnership with low-income families in need.

Statement from Mr. E.J. Thomas, CEO

Imagine coming home after a hard day’s work only to face the choice between paying rent and buying groceries. Imagine sending your children to bed at night in a house where the roof leaks, cold air streams through broken windows, and rodents are regular visitors. Imagine being torn between taking your child to the doctor and paying for a place to stay. There are thousands of families living in substandard housing in our community, and many face choices like these each day. These heads-of-household work hard, often more than 40 hours each week, yet they are pushed to the financial edge due to the lack of affordable housing. Instead of offering a handout, Habitat provides the hand up these families need. We bring together donor dollars and thousands of dedicated volunteers, and then match these resources with a qualified partner family. Since 1987, we have enabled more than 250 families to realize a brighter future as proud owners of houses that are safe, decent, and affordable.

Statement from Mr. Michael Fitzpatrick , Elford Development

We take great pride in our mission to work in partnership with God and people to build affordable homes, empower families, and develop communities, and in everything we do to carry out our mission. Our work builds brighter futures, instills confidence, and supports families as they achieve home-ownership for the first time. We select partner families through a careful review process, and we support our families as they work to fulfill the program’s requirements and build their homes alongside our volunteers. We have more than 20 homes under construction each year and coordinate the activities of thousands of volunteers. We finance the 0% interest, no-profit mortgages that make our homes affordable for low-income families, and we operate two retail stores to help sustain our program. With your support, we can continue our work to eliminate poverty housing and help those in need. Habitat homes provide tangible evidence that your donations are making a difference in our community.



Mr. E.J. Thomas, CEO
Term Start 12 /2004 
Compensated Yes 
Biographical Statement

E.J. Thomas has served as CEO of Habitat MidOhio since December 2004. Mr. Thomas has a long history of public service, having served under Governor James A. Rhodes as a deputy assistant for legislation, as a state representative for eight terms, as a Colonel in the Ohio Air National Guard as director of operations, and as chair of the state’s Unemployment Compensation Review Commission. He is currently serving as a board member of Habitat for Humanity of Ohio and as a member of Habitat’s U.S. Council, serving as chair of the Veterans Initiative. Mr. Thomas is also a trustee of Capital University, and was the co-founder and former chair of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra’s “Picnic with the Pops” series. Mr. Thomas is committed to the creation and maintenance of a corporate culture that ensures the highest level of professionalism and stewardship.

Ms. Sue Melnyk, Resource Development Director
Biographical Statement

Sue Melnyk has been Habitat MidOhio’s resource development director since 2003. Ms. Melnyk is responsible for the overall strategic fundraising plan and its implementation, and provides leadership in establishing and maintaining relationships with individual, corporate, faith community, and foundation donors. Ms. Melnyk has over 20 years of nonprofit development experience in management and fundraising. She brings to Habitat a history of successful annual fund, major gift, and capital campaigns for a variety of programs and issues in the areas of health, social services, and the environment. Ms. Melnyk is devoted to working with funders to facilitate their goals in supporting those in need in our community.

Ms. Michelle Castrogiovanni, Program Director
Biographical Statement

Michelle Castrogiovanni is responsible for the coordination and management of all aspects of the Habitat home-building program, including property acquisition, home construction, family recruitment and support, volunteer services, and project financing. She also oversees the implementation of Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative. Ms. Castrogiovanni worked for 10 years as a Montessori teacher and administrator before joining Habitat MidOhio in 2004. She served as marketing and events manager and later as grants and communications manager before being promoted to program director in April 2007. She has earned the National Development Council’s certification as a Housing Development Financial Professional and has served on the Weinland Park Community Civic Association’s Housing Committee since 2009. Ms. Castrogiovanni leads the affiliate’s strategic planning process and guides the attainment of affiliate goals.

Mr. Michael J. Cosgrove, CPA, Chief Financial Officer
Biographical Statement

Mike Cosgrove has been a certified public accountant since 1988, and before joining Habitat, held the position of CFO at a large for-profit company. After serving with Habitat MidOhio in a support role for just under a year, Mr. Cosgrove was promoted to CFO in early 2008. His appointment as CFO coincided with the growing needs of the organization as Habitat MidOhio began to expand program services to serve more families each year. Mr. Cosgrove’s demonstrated ability to design and implement financial policies and procedures for the benefit of all stakeholders ensures that Habitat continues its effective stewardship of financial resources as the organization continues to increase capacity.

Additional Organization Information
Number of Full-Time Staff: 33 
Number of Part-Time Staff:
Number of Volunteers: 5500 
Staff Retention Rate: 76% 


Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Fundraising Plan No
Management Succession/Training Plan No
Organization Policies and Procedures Yes
Strategic Plan Yes
Years Plan Considers 3
Current Plan Adopted 5/2012
Additional Organization Information

City of Columbus Department of Development, Community Development for All People, Community Shares of Mid Ohio, Franklin County Economic Development and Planning Department, Franklinton Development Association, Greater Linden Development Corporation, Habitat for Humanity at The Ohio State University, Homes on the Hill, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, Ohio Housing Finance Agency, United Way of Central Ohio, Weinland Park Collaborative, and Weinland Park Community Civic Association.

National Accreditations Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance
National Affiliations Affiliate/Chapter of National Organization
Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance - Organization


Local Governing Board
Board Chair Mr. Michael Fitzpatrick, Elford Development
Board Chair Term 1/2012 -  12/2012  
Board Members
Ms. Charisma Acey, The Ohio State University, Knowlton School of Architecture  
Mr. Travis Eifert, EMH&T  
Mr. Rich Harrison, Business Consultant  
Ms. Donna Hunter, Retired, City of Columbus, Land Redevelopment Office  
Ms. Melanie Marshall, Operations Management Professional  
Mr. Scott Moore, American Electric Power  
Mr. James Petrie, Bricker & Eckler, LLP  
Mr. Tom Robertson, Smith Barney  
Mr. Kyle Sharp, The Ohio State University Medical Center  
Mr. Greg Smith, Retired, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company  
Mr. E.J. Thomas, Habitat for Humanity - MidOhio  
Ms. Wendy Weiler, Windale Farms  
Mr. Kevin Zeppernick, The Zeppernick Company  
Ms. Jamie Hurst , Habitat for Humanity at The Ohio State University Ex-Officio
Additional Organization Information
Board Meetings Annually
Board Meeting Attendance 61% 
Board Member Monetary Contributions 100%
Board Member In-kind Contributions 7%


Gender Female 33%
  Male 66%
Race African-American/Black 6%
  Asian-American/Pacific Islander 0%
  Caucasian 93%
  Hispanic/Latino 0%
  Native American/American Indian 0%
  Multi-Racial 0%
  Other 0%

Advisory Board

No members in the Advisory Board.


Habitat's Hand Up to Families

Habitat empowers families by providing economic opportunity, home-ownership education, long-term partnership, hands-on learning, and the dignity of a hand up, not a handout. Our family services staff and volunteers carefully review the qualifications of each applicant to our home-ownership program. Guidance and support provided by trained family advocates, one-on-one budget counseling, formal home-ownership training classes, and a series of home maintenance workshops prepare our families for success as homeowners. After the family closes on their new home, we continue to offer support that includes opportunities to increase financial literacy and money management skills, and additional training in home maintenance.

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Habitat Builds and ReBuilds

Our Habitat homes are simple and affordable, yet are designed and built to add value to the community. Our home rehabilitation program, called Habitat ReBuilds, was launched in 2010 to transform vacant, dilapidated single-family houses into like-new homes that meet the same high standards as our new Habitat homes. We serve the Weinland Park, Linden, and Hilltop neighborhoods in Columbus as well as the cities of Whitehall and Reynoldsburg, South-Western City Schools district, and Licking County. Many of our homes are sponsored by our six Adopt-a-House Partnerships based in Clintonville/Beechwold, Dublin, Hilliard, New Albany, Northwest Columbus, and Worthington. These partnerships include churches, faith groups, local businesses, and community organizations working together to provide financial sponsorship and volunteer support.

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Habitat's Women Build Program

As part of Habitat’s overall volunteer program, Women Build is a national initiative designed to recruit, train, and empower women to build Habitat homes. A Women Build construction site is like every other Habitat construction site, with one notable exception: all the construction volunteers and leaders are women. Habitat MidOhio launched the local Women Build program in 1998, and there are now eight Habitat homes in Columbus that were built entirely by women! Our Women Build program is made possible by a dedicated team of female volunteers who provide leadership and ongoing support, and by thousands of female construction volunteers from across our region. Women Build volunteers are encouraged and supported as they learn construction skills and develop their leadership potential. They leave at the end of each work shift with a powerful sense of accomplishment that they carry into their everyday lives.

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Habitat's Volunteer Program

Habitat’s Volunteer Services department is our link to more than 5,000 volunteers each year who give their time and talents to help fulfill our mission. Each house is built by several hundred community volunteers working side by side with Habitat partner families. The construction labor donated by Habitat volunteers lowers the cost of construction and helps make our homes affordable for more low-income families. And Habitat volunteer work goes beyond construction--volunteers work in Habitat’s ReStore, serve on committees, provide administrative support, take photos at Habitat events, and much more. In return, Habitat volunteers receive the satisfaction of making a tangible and lasting contribution to improve the lives of parents and children in our community.

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Habitat's ReStores

Habitat MidOhio owns and operates two home improvement resale stores, called ReStores. We collect donations of good-quality used, new, and surplus building materials and home products, and then sell these items to the general public at discount prices. ReStore profits offset our management and general expenses, allowing a larger portion of every donation to go directly to the Habitat home program. Our ReStores also serve to divert thousands of tons of reusable goods from local landfills each year, and our discount prices make remodeling and home improvement projects affordable for more local residents. Our original store, ReStore East, is located at 3140 Westerville Road in northeast Columbus, in the same building as our offices. In early 2012, we opened our second store, ReStore West, on the city’s west side at 240 North Wilson Road.

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Data reflects three most recently completed fiscal years.

Current Fiscal Year 07/01/2012 - 06/30/2013
Projected Revenue $6,900,000
Projected Expense $6,259,000
Endowment Fund No
Current Capital Campaign? No
Anticipate a capital campaign in next 5 years? Yes

Revenues by Source

  2012   2011   2010  
Total Direct Support $924,987  $1,315,405  $2,010,585 
Direct Support Foundations
Direct Support Corporations
Direct Support Individuals
Direct Support Unspecified $924,987  $1,315,405  $2,010,585 
Government $854,693  $1,435,333 
Indirect Public Support $29,709  $54,400 
Earned Revenue $809,655  $1,302,180  $1,504,589 
Interest and Dividends -$35,749  $39,674 
Membership Dues
Special Events $38,412  $2,016 
In-kind $140,712  $206,316  $179,673 
Other $834,435  $1,565,407  $99,172 
TOTAL REVENUE $3,558,442  $5,957,127  $3,796,035 

Expense by Type

  2012   2011   2010  
Programs $2,670,735  $4,581,320  $2,249,015 
Administration $256,356  $517,171  $429,062 
Fundraising $191,425  $320,898  $341,872 
Payment to Affiliates
TOTAL EXPENSES $3,118,516  $5,419,389  $3,019,949 

Assets and Liabilities

  2012   2011   2010  
Total Assets $9,777,403  $9,328,312  $8,321,800 
Current Assets $7,578,806  $8,278,502  $3,107,768 
Total Liabilities $1,991,416  $2,012,866  $1,544,092 
Current Liabilities $762,978  $1,033,664  $990,560 
NET ASSETS $7,785,987  $7,315,446  $6,777,708 


TCF Staff:

Financial information for FY12 represents the six month period from 1/1/12 through 6/30/12 due to a transition to fiscal year beginning July 1 and ending June 30.

  Mr. Michael J. Cosgrove

Public support primarily includes contributions and grants from individuals, corporations, churches and faith groups, foundations, and government agencies. Earned revenue primarily includes revenue from our resale store, Habitat’s ReStore, and revenue recognized from the sale of completed homes to our Habitat partner families. Revenue from the sale of a home is recognized as the appraised value less any affordability subsidy (provided to fill the gap between the appraised value and the family’s ability to pay) and less the net present value discount of the family’s 0% interest Habitat mortgage. Mortgages to our partner families range in term from 15 to 30 years, and the related amortization is also included in the earned revenue total. Earned revenue offsets our management/general expenses and provides additional funding to support Habitat’s mission. Other revenue primarily includes the value of in-kind donations of construction materials and professional services.

Documents Form 990 2012 Form 990 2011 Form 990 2010

All portrait information is provided voluntarily by nonprofit organizations. An organization may decline to participate. At a minimum, information is updated annually--sometimes more frequently. Documents indicated as available by an organization are verified by Foundation staff. The financial section is completed by Foundation staff based on available documents for a three-year period.