ESOP was founded in 1993 to address the issues and challenges facing neighborhoods in Cleveland, Ohio. Formerly East Side Organizing Project, ESOP changed in name in 2007 to reflect its broadened focus toward the entire state. Its core goal is to preserve homeownership by preventing foreclosures and curbing predatory lending practices. Through community organizing, ESOP maintains campaigns concerning payday loans, vacant properties, and local development. ESOP also offers housing counseling and can directly negotiate with lenders to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. In 2002, ESOP negotiated a 5-year Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) agreement with Charter One bank—the first CRA agreement between a bank and a community group in Cuyahoga County in over a decade.