Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is today and has a lot of meaning for us at Columbia Property Management (CPM).
Running a property management company is all about commitment to serving people: our clients who own the rentals, the residents who live in rentals managed by us, and other stakeholders such as the vendors who work with us and of course our staff. As CPM heads into 2022, we count our charitable contributions as another way to express commitment – to those who can best benefit from our indirect service.
In 2019, we did a lot of introspection to find ways to contribute to charitable organizations. Finding missions that overlapped with our values and industry focus (housing) was important. The very identity of our company as a gay-owned and operated business, we felt it was important, natural, and authentic to focus on an area both related to our industry expertise and the lives we lead.
While we’ve been providing sponsorships and other donations to organizations in our community since CPM opened, we wanted to elevate that involvement. We decided to create a more specific and long-term initiative, providing support toward causes that are not only making an impact in our community, but also making an impact around and through the real estate industry. These are organizations that closely align with our vision and mission.
When we set out to choose the organizations we provide ongoing support to, we had a real interest in putting our focus on organizations that were working to address the housing crisis for youth in the LGBTQ community. Studies have shown that 40 to 50 percent of the homeless youth population identifies as LGBTQ, and even when people who identify as LGBTQ find housing, they can face extensive housing discrimination.
In 2021, CPM seized this opportunity to support organizations helping LGBTQ young people to get the housing and other support they need to get off the streets and into safe spaces. To cement CPM’s commitment, we’ve developed a three-pronged giving approach to support either local organizations or national organizations with local initiatives.
SMYAL meets the needs of LGBTQ youth in the Washington, D.C., metro area, and has done so since the 1980s. In addition to creating leadership opportunities for LGBTQ youth to build confidence, strengthen life skills, and engage effectively with their community, SMYAL also has a Youth Housing program that provides transitional living for LGBTQ young adults.
True Colors United addresses youth homelessness—specifically in the LGBTQ community. Not only do they advocate for funding and services for youth, but also they offer free training and resources for homeless shelters and support organizations to more effectively meet the unique needs of LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness. In addition, they assist those LGBTQ youth, who’ve experienced homelessness, become leaders and advocates, helping them to address head-on the issues they face.
The Salvation Army created a specific outreach program that focuses not only on homelessness in the LGBTQ community, but also on addressing many other struggles that homeless people face: food insecurity, mental health and substance abuse, suicide prevention, and job training.
If you are interested in learning more about these organizations and the work they’re doing, please visit their websites, learn more there, and consider contributing in whatever ways you are able.
Join CPM as we seek to create better outcomes for LGBTQ youth in our community.
Scott Bloom, Owner and Senior Property Manage
Columbia Property Management
Scott Bloom is Owner and Senior Property Manager at Columbia Property Management (CPM), which he founded in 2012. CPM’s goal is to provide a powerful, personal level of service to our clients. We focus on smaller landlords, professionally managing their assets, so they can succeed by investing in rental real estate. Scott is an active member in multiple professional organizations including the National Association of Residential Property Managers.