North Eastern Development Corp and North Eastern Group Realty Donates $50,000

North Eastern Development Corp and North Eastern Group Realty today presented Heart of the City Mission Foundation with a combined check of $50,000 to further its mission of breaking the cycle of generational poverty one life at a time. 

 “This year, both corporate entities, with the support of their respective teams, elected to forgo our much anticipated annual Christmas event which historically has been held to show appreciation to all of our clients and government officials that we deal with daily,” explained North Eastern Group founder Joe Zehr. “Instead, recognizing that the year 2020 has given rise to unusual needs and concerns for all Americans — especially those who rely on charitable organizations for support — it was decided to make a significant contribution to a local nonprofit whose mission we support and one that will have a direct impact within our community.”

North Eastern Development Corp and North Eastern Group Realty, the origin of which dates back to 1962, have a long history of philanthropy. Zehr attributes this to his following in the footsteps of his parents, Amos and Elizabeth Zehr, and their long-time commitment to the inner-city families of Fort Wayne. 

“Amos & Elizabeth Zehr were a quiet, humble, and unassuming couple, with hearts full of charity and goodwill toward their fellow man,” explained Timothy Stauffer, HOTC Board of Director Co-Chair and volunteer executive director. “The programs of HOTC were originally coordinated as part of the ministry of Mission Church, which Amos and Elizabeth founded inside the Fort Wayne Rescue Mission in 1948 to better serve the Mission patrons and the homeless community. “Eventually, HOTC began to build a community network of passionate volunteers and partners to serve inner-city families and low-income neighborhoods surrounding us,” he continued. “Our programs are small and targeted to have the greatest impact on individual lives.” HOTC programs include an on-site bicycle repair shop and earn-a-bike program, a food rescue and distribution program and food bank, a family counseling center, after-school tutoring opportunities, and an on-site free laundry room. Most act as a point of entry to meet basic needs: hunger, clothing, transportation, health and hygiene — then building on that relationship to address and impact both the economic and relational well-being of these marginalized families. 

“This is undeniably a huge help for Heart of the City!” Stauffer concluded. “We have seen our fundraising events for 2020-2021 cancelled by COVID-19, which makes this generous funding by the North Eastern Group corporations essential to our programs. This will keep our doors open to continue to work with under-resourced households in the central neighborhoods in Fort Wayne. We are so very thankful for the generosity of Mr. Zehr and his teams, and their willingness to support our efforts in the heart of our city.”

To learn more about HOTC or to tour the facility at 1651 Cass Street, please contact Timothy Stauffer at Visit HOTC online at 

For more information about The North Eastern Group, visit