ESOP is a nonprofit HUD-approved housing and financial counseling agency.


Empowering and Strengthening Ohio's People (ESOP) was founded in 1993 by the late Inez Killingsworth, a community organizer and Purpose Prize honoree who realized that the solution to many neighborhood challenges could be found by engaging community members. In its early days as the East Side Organizing Project, ESOP used community activism to combat predatory lending and other disreputable financial practices in Cleveland neighborhoods.

As the organization evolved into Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People, ESOP shifted focus to provide individuals with the knowledge and tools they needed to ensure their financial wellness and housing stability. In its 27 year history, ESOP has helped more than 55,000 homeowners across Ohio save their homes from foreclosure.


In recent years, ESOP developed the Senior Financial Empowerment Initiative. The commitment to helping older adults achieve financial wellness and housing stability was enhanced in 2017, when ESOP became part of Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging (, a 112-year-old nonprofit organization advancing support for older adults and caregivers.


Our Mission


Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People (ESOP) helps adults in all stages of life achieve and maintain financial wellness and housing stability.


Our Vision


ESOP envisions a community in which everyone has economic opportunity, financial stability and a safe place to live.


Our Core Values


Cover of 2019 ESOP annual report

Annual Reports

The 2019 ESOP Annual Report is now available in our archived list.


click to view ESOP annual reports


2019 ESOP staff


Our Staff


Our team of financial counselors, coaches, and trainers are specially trained to help you reach your financial and housing goals.


link to ESOP Staff list


Our Board of Managers


Meet our dedicated volunteer board members.


link to list of Board members

Photo of Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging headquarters




Our offices are located in the headquarters of Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging


11890 Fairhill Road

Cleveland OH 44120


Phone: 216.361.0718

Stock photo of newspapers and a cup of coffee




Check out the latest updates and information from and about ESOP.


Link to news from and about ESOP


Diana Davis




Here's what some of our clients have to say about ESOP's programs and services.


Link to testimonials from ESOP clients