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Cilda Pretorius

New “Friends of Guest House” Property in Alexandria Will Assist 20 Women to Re-Enter Community, Job Train and Restart Their Lives After Incarceration

By | Announcements, In the News, News

200-year old former office building now provides secure housing & helps prevent the “revolving door” of prison and homelessness, following renovation by HomeAid Northern Virginia.

Following renovation by HomeAid Northern Virginia, the 200-year old former office building now provides secure housing and helps prevent the “revolving door” of prison and homelessness.

Oct. 10, 2019 – Alexandria, Va. – Twenty formerly incarcerated women moved into a renovated home in Old Town Alexandria this week to re-enter the community and re-start their lives at Friends of Guest House’s newly opened residential re-entry program. Guest House helps women to avoid the “revolving door” of prison and homelessness by providing secure housing, job training and other support services to women recently released from incarceration as part of its six month residential program.

Formerly incarcerated people are almost 10 times more likely to be homeless than the general public.

Women face unique challenges when leaving prison, as many do not have a safe place to return to. “The vast majority of our residents experienced domestic violence, parental abuse, or sexual assault before they ever went to prison,” said Friends of Guest House executive director Kari Galloway. “When they get released, they don’t want to return to those situations. They want to avoid that. But if they don’t have a home to return to, they can end up on the streets, and then back into the prison system. We offer a second chance and new beginning.”

Your past does not define your future: For people and for buildings

When Guest House sought to expand its program by converting a historic (circa 1811) Old Town Alexandria office building into a transitional housing residence, it approached HomeAid Northern Virginia for assistance. HomeAid Northern Virginia builds and renovates homeless shelters and supportive housing facilities via the donated expertise, labor and resources of local homebuilders – enabling organizations such as Friends of Guest House to focus their budgets and resources on supportive programs and services rather than building expenses.

The new Friends of Guest House property includes case manager offices and work spaces for residents to learn new skills and apply new skills as they job train and job search.

Friends of Guest House’s mantra is “We believe your past does not define your future.” This same mantra was adopted by HANV and its project “builder captain” Craftmark Homes to reimagine and reinvent the property as a residential hub, while staying true to its historic nature. The HomeAid/Craftmark Homes teams converted office space into bedrooms, created a communal kitchen and dining room, retrofitted bathrooms, added laundry space and incorporated offices and workspaces for on-site staff and case managers. Between in-kind and financial donations from HomeAid, Craftmark, and trade partners, Friends of Guest House saved over 70% off the $480K retail value of the project. FOGH received a zero interest loan from the City of Alexandria Housing Trust Fund for the remaining costs.

Residents happily settle into their new bedrooms at the historic building in Alexandria that was renovated for Friends of Guest House to be a home supporting women re-entering community life after incarceration.

Move In Day

Residents moved in to the now-10 bedroom, 6 bathroom property in early October, launching a whole new future for themselves, and for the historic building.

“It is so special for the women in our program to move into a beautiful and newly upgraded residence like this. It helps them to feel, sometimes for the first time, that they themselves deserve to live in a beautiful space. It really reinforces to them that they are in the next chapter of their story. It reinforces to them their responsibilities to themselves and to the program. When you live in a space that is beautiful, you have to maintain it. You have to put in the work – both in this house and in their lives, inside and out. HomeAid and Craftmark truly created a beautiful space to serve as a launch pad for new beginnings,” said Guest House’s Kari Galloway.

Residents work together to keep their new home clean. Renovated and beautiful spaces like this new kitchen reinforces to the residents that they deserve to live in a beautiful space. “It really reinforces to them that they are in the next chapter of their story,” says Friends of Guest House.

Friends of Guest House has been helping women re-enter life after prison for 45 years and considers the Alexandria community to be incredibly encouraging and supportive of its mission. The original FOGH home still houses 10 women in Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood. Prior to the opening of the new residence in Old Town, FOGH also housed 16 women in four apartments. These women are moving into the new home, and with the expanded space, four new slots in the residential program have been added – a 15% growth in the number of women it can serve – a meaningful difference, and yet still not enough. With the rotation of women in and out of the 6 month residential program, FOGH serves approximately 60 women per year. For those 60 slots, the organization receives more than 400 applications.

“Homelessness among recently released individuals is a preventable problem – and a fixable problem – thanks to organizations like Friends of Guest House that provide both housing and wrap-around support in their local communities,” said Kristyn Burr, Executive Director of HomeAid Northern Virginia. “Individuals released from incarceration have a higher likelihood of becoming homeless and those who are homeless are more likely to be incarcerated – contributing to recidivism. Being proactive and supportive of women and men coming out of adult detention centers and/or prison is an important part of solutions to prevent homelessness, a shared goal of HANV and Guest House.”

HomeAid Northern Virginia brings together local non-profit service providers with the local homebuilder community to build/renovate homeless shelters, housing facilities and community spaces for programs serving the homeless. These collaborative partnerships enable homebuilders to do what they do best (build) and service providers to do what they do best (provide housing and wraparound services). HANV has completed 143 construction projects that together have served as a safe and stable space for more than 138,000 vulnerable individuals in our community.

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Contact:
Shelley Ducker, HomeAid Northern Virginia, 202.255.0561
Marisa Tordella, Friends of Guest House, 703.674.6921

Thanks to Craftmark Homes and to the trade partners who contributed labor and resources to the project:

Action Sheet Metal Co., Inc.
ABW Appliances
Area Walls Incorporated
Beltway Steel Supply Co., Inc.
B & K Distributors, Inc.
B F Behan, Inc.
Builders Fire Solutions, LLC
Burgess Lighting
Capital Mechanical, LLC
Carter Lumber of Virginia, Inc.
Consulting Engineers Corporation
Darvish Interiors
Delta Faucet Company
Dimond Adams Design Architecture
Doug Construction, LLC

FireAlarmService.Net
F M Rolloff and Construction Services, LLC
General Electric
G J World Carpentry, Inc.
HDS Drywall Service, Inc.
JHK Carpentry, Inc.
Kichler Lighting, LLC
M R Stone, LLC
New York Concrete Corporation
Southern Maryland Heating & Air, Inc.
Southland Insulators, Inc.
Stone Works, Inc.
Suburban Kitchens
TNT Services Group II, Inc.
UBH Construction (Umeres Better Homes, Inc.)

HomeAid in the News: Aspire! Afterschool

By | Announcements, In the News, News


HomeAid Northern Virginia had the pleasure of completing a 7,300 square-foot Aspire! Afterschool facility in Arlington, VA. Check out the local news coverage on the project below.

Inside NoVa Article Published May 30, 2019

Aspire educational program celebrates completion of capital campaign

Aspire! Afterschool is celebrating completion of a $1 million capital campaign, designed to outfit a 7,300-square-foot expansion to meet increasing demand for after-school and summer-school academic and enrichment programs for at-risk students.

The new facility is located in the Arlington Mill Community Center.  Summer camps for 120 children will open in early July, and the flagship “Learning Rocks!” after-school program will resume in the fall.

“Words can’t express how thrilled and grateful we are to achieve this amazing feat, thanks to the incredible generosity of our partners, donors and supporters,” said Aspire! board chair Steve Manlove, managing principal at HDR Architecture – also a major campaign sponsor. “This truly has been the most amazing public-private partnership.”

Full article.


Thank you, HITT Construction and the following trade partners, for providing and funding for this project:

Capitol Building Supply

Darvish Companies

GHT Limited

The Justin Company

MidSouth Building Supply

McCormick Paints

Perkins + Will

RCD, inc.

Homeless shelter in Old Town Alexandria undergoes massive renovation

By | Announcements, In the News, News

Built in 1810, Christ House challenged the renovation team to stay true to the property’s historic nature while upgrading it for today’s needs and uses.

The new lobby of Christ House in Alexandria, Va.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington’s (CCDA) “Christ House” in Old Town has undergone a massive renovation and upgrade, thanks to a partnership with HomeAid Northern Virginia (HANV), a non-profit that builds and renovates local housing and shelter facilities. Christ House provides transitional housing for 14 men, a food pantry, emergency assistance, and a nightly soup kitchen that has served dinner every night since 1974. The building dates to 1810.

Christ House challenged the renovation team to stay true to the property’s historic nature while upgrading it for today’s needs and uses.  The top-to-bottom, three-floor facelift included upgrades to the kitchen, dining room, lobby, apartments and bathrooms. Additionally, throughout the building, there’s now new flooring, vents, thermostats, electrical, and lighting. Staff offices, meeting rooms a chapel were also freshened with new paint, flooring, lighting, and window treatments. Not only were key historic elements of the building preserved, but the soup kitchen was able to serve its nightly dinner throughout the renovation process, uninterrupted.

“The renovation of Christ House is an enormous morale lifter for our staff and for the people we serve, as well as particularly for the 14 men living in our transitional housing program today – and those in the future –  as they work toward financial independence and self-sufficiency,” said John Croft, program director for Christ House. “Working with HomeAid helps us forward our mission of care and support and direct our resources to programs that are benefitting so many here in Arlington.”

HomeAid Northern Virginia builds and renovates homeless shelters and supportive housing facilities via the donated expertise, labor and resources of local homebuilders – enabling organizations such as Catholic Charities to focus their budgets and resources on supportive programs and services rather than building expenses. Under this partnership, HomeAid and covered 100% of the costs of the $83,000 renovation of Christ House, led by project “Builder Captain” K. Hovnanian Homes Virginia and 28 construction trade partners.

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About Catholic Charities, Catholic Diocese of Arlington

Catholic Charities is the charitable arm of the Catholic Church in the 21 counties and seven cities of the Diocese of Arlington under the leadership of Bishop Michael F. Burbidge. Catholic Charities serves the poor and vulnerable who live in the Diocese, whether they are Catholic or not. Catholic Charities services include food for the hungry, a free medical clinic, transformational housing for men and families, individual and family counseling, emergency financial aid, immigration and refugee services, job training and workforce development, prison ministry and former prisoner re-entry program.

About HANV

HomeAid Northern Virginia brings together local non-profit service providers with the local homebuilder community to build/renovate homeless shelters, housing facilities and community spaces for programs serving the homeless. These collaborative partnerships enable homebuilders to do what they do best (build) and service providers to do what they do best (provide housing and wraparound services). HANV has completed 134 construction projects that together have served as a safe and stable space for more than 138,000 vulnerable individuals in our community.

Thanks to K. Hovnanian Homes Virginia and to the trade partners who contributed labor and resources to the project:

Annandale Millwork & Allied Systems
B&K Distributors, Inc.
Builders FirstSource
Bruce
Capital Mechanical, LLC
CC Carpentry
Construction Applicators
Daltile
Darvish Interiors
Dominion Electric Supply Co.
FM Construction
General Electric
Green Landscaping, Inc.
Interior Logic Group

Kohler/Sterling
LMO, Inc. Professional Carpentry
MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc.
McCormick Paints
McCrea Heating & AC
Moen, Inc.
My Maids, Inc.
Progress Lighting
Sight & Sound Systems, Inc.
Shaw Floors
Southern Electrical Service Company
Virginia Marble & Granite
Virginia Cleaning & Punchout
Washington Lanehart Electric Company

Leadership Fairfax Honors Community Leaders at 2018 Annual Northern Virginia Leadership Awards – Congressman Gerry Connolly Recognizes Honorees

By | In the News, News, Uncategorized

Fairfax, VA – Leadership Fairfax honored six community leaders for their visionary and innovative contributions to Fairfax County and the region at the Northern Virginia Leadership Awards (NVLAs) on Friday, December 7, 2018 at a luncheon attended by representatives from government, business and nonprofits at Waterford Receptions. Virginia Congressman Gerry Connolly addressed the crowd, stating “You’ve got to have passion. You’ve got to really mean it and you’ve got to exude it.”

The annual event highlights leaders who have made a significant impact in the area through a passionate commitment to community partnerships and volunteer service, furthering Leadership Fairfax’s mission to convene meaningful discussions and strategic thinkers to address community issues. The organization bestows awards in six categories. The 2018 winners are as follows. 

Educational Leadership Award: Dr. Mary Ann Panarelli, Director – Intervention and Prevention Services; Fairfax County Public Schools

Nonprofit Leadership Award for An Organization: HomeAid Northern Virginia

Nonprofit Leadership Award for An Individual: Kerrie Wilson, CEO; Cornerstones

Corporate Leadership Award: Custom Ink

Regional Leadership Award: Maggie Parker, Vice President – Communications; Comstock Companies

Trustee Leadership Award: Major Tyler Corey; Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office

The award winners were also recognized by United States Senator Mark Warner’s Outreach Representative in a letter written by the senator, acknowledging the honorees for their commitment to community and volunteer service. This message was continued by Karen Cleveland, CEO and President of Leadership Fairfax who stated, “Our honorees bring our community together and inspire others to be the change they want to see in the world.”

Leadership Fairfax is a nonprofit 501(c)3 that inspires, develops, engages and connects leaders across sectors and experience to impact issues facing Fairfax County and the Northern Virginia region. Through its three programs – Leadership Fairfax Institute. (LFI), Emerging Leaders Institute. (ELI), and Lifetime Leaders Program (LLP) – Leadership Fairfax has graduated over 1,800 community leaders who have logged over 300,000 community service hours serving nonprofits, county commissions and providing direct resource development and services. Leadership Fairfax is located at 8230 Old Courthouse Road, Suite 100, Vienna, VA 22182. For more information, visit leadershipfairfax.org or call (703) 752-7555.

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2018 Annual Northern VirginiaLeadership Award winners (from L-R): Kristyn Burr, HomeAid Northern Virginia(Nonprofit Leadership – Organization); Major Tyler Corey, Fairfax CountySheriff’s Office (Trustee Leadership Award); Maggie Parker, Comstock Companies(Regional Leadership Award); Grace Spalding, Custom Ink (Corporate Leadership);Dr. Mary Ann Panarelli, Fairfax County Public Schools (Educational Leadership);and Kerrie Wilson, Cornerstones (Nonprofit Leadership – Individual).