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Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People (ESOP) creates organized leadership around issues that impact neighborhood life. Community members most affected by neighborhood issues are at the head of all ESOP organizing, as they are in the best position to create and implement effective solutions.
The East Side Organizing Project (ESOP) was founded in 1993 to create organized leadership around issues impacting neighborhood life in the Cleveland area. In the late 1990s the organization began to shift its focus toward predatory lending and foreclosures.
Initially much of our work focused on foreclosure prevention in Cuyahoga County. However beginning in 2008 ESOP expanded its efforts throughout the state of Ohio and changed its name to “Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People” to emphasize the new state-wide focus.
ESOP currently operates nine offices across Ohio committed to helping urban, suburban and rural homeowners. We are a non-profit HUD-approved housing counseling agency. We provide assistance to homeowners who are facing foreclosure, or struggling to make their monthly mortgage payments due to predatory lending or hardship situation.
ESOP continues to organize residents to fight back and move forward toward stronger communities. Our main focus is to stabilize and strengthen communities by developing local leaders and organizing area residents around important issues affecting their neighborhoods. This includes issues related to REO’s, vacant and abandoned properties, financial issues for seniors, and access to banking.
ESOP uses the practical experience gained from helping homeowners and organizing in neighborhoods and puts it to use in advocacy efforts. We urge local, state and national officials to implement common sense financial standards and regulations that give everyone fair access to credit, housing and financially stable communities.