Running for Shelter is heading to the finish line in a final fundraising effort.

After more than 20 years, affordable housing industry leaders will lace up their running shoes and wrap up their Running for Shelter team fundraiser as part of the nearly 200-mile Hood to Coast relay in Oregon on Aug. 23.

The 2018 Running for Shelter team gather at the finish line.
Stacey Wainwright The 2018 Running for Shelter team gather at the finish line.

Having already raised nearly $1 million for affordable and homeless housing nonprofits since its first race in 1997, this year Running for Shelter is raising funds for CommonBond Communities in St. Paul, Minn. “Our goal this year is to raise at least $25,000 and finish the 199-mile, 12-person team relay race with few injuries and hopefully some smiles,” says Paul Cummings, senior vice president at the National Affordable Housing Trust (NAHT), who founded the team with Dan Mendelson and Bob Powers when they all worked at Enterprise Social Investment Corp., now known as Enterprise Housing Credit Investments.

The team, which has featured different members over the years, will likely hang up its shoes after this year’s race.

“This is expected to be the last relay effort of Running for Shelter. It’s been an honor to be part of this team over the years—a way to connect affordable housing investors to nonprofits through running—a unique fundraising structure for affordable housing,” says Cummings.

Stacey Wainwright

Dubbed as “The Mother of All Relays,” the race features about 1,000 teams running from Mt. Hood to the Oregon coast. Team members run in rotating legs during the race, which takes about 24 hours to complete.

The Running for Shelter team brings together people from different areas of the affordable housing industry.

In addition to Cummings, this year’s runners include Derek Madsen of CommonBond Communities, Chris Hite of Sugar Creek Capital, Dana Bourland of The JPB Foundation, Emily Van Loon of Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corp., and Molly Rogers of the city of Portland.

The housing connection extends to the team sponsors. Bocarsly Emden Cowan Esmail & Arndt, Cinnaire, Enterprise, Gallager Evelius & Jones, National Equity Fund, and Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing have donated to Running for Shelter every year.

Other major donors this year include Chase, Chesapeake Community Advisors, NAHT, Red Capital, Sabino Community Development Corp., and Sugar Creek Capital. For more information or to make a contribution, visit the team page.