Executive Director & CEO Corner

I heard on the news this morning that nearly three million American women have left the labor force over the past year, as the choice between working or caring for their kids became untenable as weeks turned into months and months turned into a year of shuttered daycares and school buildings. And while the pandemic will someday end, I fear it will take years – if ever – to regain what has been lost. Meanwhile, women make up the fastest-growing segment of the homeless Veteran population. One in three homeless individuals are women, and domestic violence is one of the primary causes of homelessness … again, for women. These are sobering statistics, particularly against the backdrop of International Women’s Month, when the contributions of women are so widely shared and celebrated. And when one looks – really looks – at the people behind the numbers, it feels pretty crushing. Yet, as a single mom running a nonprofit, it also makes me want to recognize, thank, and give tribute to the countless women I work with, turn to, lean on, learn from, and gain support and inspiration from as we together strive to advance HomeAid’s mission alongside our enormously generous male partners in the homebuilding industry. This year has been the hardest I’ve ever worked through, as I see the needs of our partners escalate and gaps widen while sharing the very real worries of how much extra it takes to pay for the support I need for my young daughter. But through it all, I look every day to the powerful women running companies, nonprofits, and foundations; tireless women volunteering and fundraising; and creative women finding new ways to support HomeAid and the individuals and families we support. I see you, I am grateful for you, and I applaud you. Yes, this is a hard year … but it would be an unimaginable level of hard without you.

“Here’s to strong women. May we know them, may we raise them. May we be them.”
~ Michelle Obama

With Gratitude,

In the Spotlight

Thank You, Builder Captains and Trade Partners!

In last month’s issue of Building Hope, we highlighted our recently completed, $140,000+ renovation and expansion project at a home owned by Operation Renewed Hope Foundation (ORHF), where Builder Captain Christopher Companies, KTGY Architecture + Planning, Staged Interior, and 25 trade partners gave new life to group housing for Veterans experiencing homelessness. And on March 9, we celebrated and thanked all who donated their time, expertise, and resources to make this labor of love a reality, with a drive-thru appreciation event that featured plaques, gift cards for lunch, and goody bags for all. We were even able to invite supporters in for socially distanced tours of the finished product, with all the furniture and home accessories donated and staged by Staged Interior and KTGY.

Be sure to check out more photos of the project and the appreciation event online. Thank you to everyone who participated on this important transformation!

Did You Know?

March is Womens History Month – a good month to reflect on the strength of women worldwide. And while women’s contributions are as varied as each of us are unique, it’s a good month to reflect on one truth: Homelessness can affect anyone. Did you know that before becoming a five-time Grammy winner, singer Shania Twain was homeless? As shared in Time, she grew up in an abusive household and lived for a year in a “shelter for battered women” with her mom and siblings. Mom got out of the car to use a payphone while we sat and waited in the car, returning a few minutes later with a piece of paper on which shed scribbled the address of a shelter.” Shania made it her mission to help other kids in dire circumstances, establishing Shania Kids Can in 2010. 

In Your Neighborhood

HomeAid Northern Virginia, Builder Captains Northfield Construction & Development and Trinity Group Construction Finalize Renovation of Senior Center

Permanent walls and doors – replacing temporary accordion dividers – are just a few of the important updates made at the St. Martin de Porres Senior Center, which will go a long way to reduce noise and encourage focus for seniors who rely on the center for daily programming.

HomeAid Northern Virginia, Builder Captains Northfield Construction & Development and TRINITY Group Construction, and several trade partners are working to finish a renovation project at Catholic Charities’ St. Martin de Porres Senior Center, which for the last 45 years has served Alexandria City’s underserved, elderly, and retired community. Daily programming at the center not only helps seniors combat isolation but also gives them access to instructor-led exercise, ESOL classes, social and entertainment activities, health presentations and field trips. While closed for COVID, the center served up to 55 people a day, including morning activities, a hot lunch, and an afternoon activity. And while the closure has been painful for those who need and miss such important daily socialization, it offered a great opportunity for the HomeAid team to reconfigure layout with permanent walls and doors, upgrade and modernize bathrooms, install storage and shelving, relocate office space for efficiencies, update the electrical, repaint, and replace lighting fixtures. Outside, workers will be updating storage sheds and are building a ramp for better access. 

“We are so pleased with our new look and can’t wait until we invite our seniors and guests back,” said Anne Coyne, program director for the senior center. “Not a day goes by that the seniors don’t ask about their friends and the center, and I can’t wait to welcome them back into this new, beautiful space. It’s been going so well, and we are so pleased; every worker has had such a great attitude, and they’re so approachable and willing to answer questions. It’s been an absolute pleasure, and the fresh paint; modernization of the space; and having actual rooms instead of just cordoned-off space will do wonders for reducing noise and offering privacy and even better programming. We’ve been operating in this space for 45 years, and this renovation is such a gift.”  

The project was the first with HomeAid for both Northfield Development and TRINITY Group Construction, but the two companies have partnered together, making it a smooth process for the whole team.  

“We’re a small building company, used to building residential, so this was a shift for us, working on a project with some commercial components,” said Greg O’Neill, director of construction for Northfield Development. “But we have a great relationship with TRINITY, and I’ve been a lifelong friend with HomeAid Northern Virginia 2020 President Jason McDonough, so it’s been fantastic. This has been an amazing partnership, and everything HomeAid does we stand for – their vision and mission is in line with our company philosophy – and the support and connections have been incredible. I have nothing but great things to say.” 

Nick Davisproject executive with TRINITY Group Construction, agrees that the collaboration and teamwork has been one of the biggest takeaways from the experience. “We love the community outreach, and this is such a great cause for the seniors who use this space … we had a solid game plan with a well thought-out scope of work, we see Anne every day, and we’ve been able to make the space work so much better for them. HomeAid is an awesome partner.” 

Thank you Northfield Construction Development, TRINITY Group Construction, and trade partners for partnering with us to transform the St. Martin de Porres Senior Center! 

Did You Know?

In the early 1970s, Kip Tiernan noticed that women were disguising themselves as men to get a meal at a men-only homeless shelter in Boston. She traveled to Chicago, Philadelphia and New York to see what those cities were doing for homeless women, and found there was nothing there either; so in 1974, she founded the nation’s first homeless shelter for women, called Rosie’s Place. It began as a place to hand out coffee and used clothing and to offer a place where a few women could spend the night, but its mission since that time has expanded enormously. 
Source: The New York Times 

Making It Count

20 Years. 20 Ways of Making a Difference.

March is Women’s History Month, commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of  women in American history. It’s also a prime time to celebrate and recognize the women – and oftentimes their children – who we support every day at HomeAid as we pursue our mission of building new lives for those experiencing homelessness in Northern Virginia and beyond. So many of the 150 projects we’ve completed directly serve women, and this month we wanted to take a look at just some of those projects. For each one, think about the women Veterans who have served our country. The single mothers juggling work, pursuing their education, and raising their kids. The girls escaping a life of pain for a future of hope. The women who risk everything to make the world a safer place for their families – even if it means giving up the only homes they’ve ever known. The formerly incarcerated who are digging deep to make their tomorrows better days. Everywhere we turn, we see women putting in the hard work. We’re honored to work with you, support you, and give each other a hand up. 

Did You Know?

No discussion of influential women in this space would be complete without inclusion of Betty Ford, former First Lady. After leaving Washington, D.C., her alcohol consumption increased—as did her use of prescription drugs. In 1978, the Ford family staged an intervention, and she entered Long Beach Naval Hospital for drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Realizing her power to create change and affect behavior – and recognizing that there was no recovery facility specifically established to help women battling drug and alcohol abuse, she helped establish the Betty Ford Center in 1982. The Center is dedicated to helping all people, but especially women, with chemical dependencies. 
Source: The History Channel 

Supporter Spotlight

A New Home – and All the Comforts of Home – with Staged Interior

Trish and Young Kim

Young and Trish Kim founded their professional home staging company, Staged Interior, in 2006 with the original intent of working with Realtors and builders to bring out the best in a home through furnishings and accessories, thereby encouraging its fast sale. They succeeded – and quickly grew beyond that plan. In the years since, they’ve become important partners with HomeAid Northern Virginia, helping us reach our mission of providing a safe and stable home for those who need it most: In 2016, Staged Interior completely furnished and accessorized a brand new home we built for Youth for Tomorrow; they later did the same for projects for Community Lodgings and Catholic Charities. And just three days ago, they furnished a project we completed for Operation Renewed Hope – and provided comfort, quality, and beauty for a home dedicated to serving our nation’s Veterans. Find out more about this dynamic and philanthropic couple and company!

Q: Youve been really involved with HomeAid since about 2016; what keeps you coming back? 

A: I would say relationships for sure. We were first introduced to HomeAid through our affiliation with NVBIA, which came from our relationship with Mr. Rosenberger of Madison Homes, Mr. Havenner of Christopher Companies, Mr. Cappellini of Evergreene Homes, and, of course, Mr. Schwartz. Our prayers are with Mrs. Schwartz and her family – we will miss him and his effervescent personality terribly! 

I once heard someone say that if you have to choose, you should choose to be with good people in a bad business situation rather than with bad people in a good business situation. So, how can you beat being with great people in a great business situation, as we are with HomeAid? We believe in and trust HomeAids mission, causes, impact, and leadershipthats why we keep coming back.

Q: What are your favorite projects to work on, and what have been some of your most special with us?

A: Wow, thats a tough choice. From our first project with Youth for Tomorrow, then to Community Lodgings and Catholic Charities … whats great about these charity organizations is that they are not just providing shelter to the people who need it; they are providing homes in which people can regroup and rebuild their lives. Rather than giving them fish, these organizations are teaching them how to fish. We are blessed to have any part in this.

Q: Tell us about your work with Operation Renewed Hope.

A: Our relationship with Operation Renewed Hope started outside HomeAid, when we were one of the sponsors of their 2019 project. [President and CEO] Deborah Snyder is a sister of Joy Deevy of the Deevy Group, and Joy has been one of our most loyal Realtor clients going back to 2008. It’s all about relationships, right? Veterans have such a special place in our hearts; without their sacrifices and – oh my goodness! – the sacrifices of their families, we would not have the freedom and the opportunities with which we are privileged in this great nation. Our contribution is a tiny way to give back to Veterans for what they have done so selflessly. 

Q: What do you love most about your career? 

A: When Trish and I started Staged Interior, we did not imagine we would be where we are today. We actually did not plan to be at the size or scale of today – not good business planning, right? But we were just keeping up with the demand, and Trish loves the creative side of our company. She loves transforming a property into a welcoming home that buyers can envision living inwhether it is a resale or a fantastic spec home. She loves working with builders, Realtors, and sellers. This is her strength, and she is thriving in her sweet spot. I have transitioned well from my IT management career to this extremely fast-paced professional home staging company, overseeing all aspects of our operation. I am in my sweet spot as well. But our biggest kudos go to our dedicated and talented team members: To our clients, our job looks easy, but it’s our hard-working team members who make it look that way. And in the spirit of giving back to the community like HomeAid, we are giving back to our team in the form of group health insurance and retirement program … and I dont know of any other staging companies that do this. We are blessed. We are grateful. And we just want to say thank you for this opportunity to help.

Announcements

2020 Impact Report Now Online
We know that 2020 probably won’t go down in history as anyone’s favorite year, but it was a great year for HomeAid Northern Virginia! We served 10 non-profit organizations, completed six projects, celebrated our 150th project, worked with almost 100 Builder Captains and trade partners, and changed 1,313 lives. Read all about it in our just-published 2020 Impact Report, now available online!

Thank You
Big props to Stanley Martin Homes for taking on the Builder Captain role for our upcoming project at Shelter House, where we’ll renovate a four-bedroom condo that is utilized as part of Shelter House’s affordable housing program for formerly homeless families. Stanley Martin Homes and partners will repair significant water damage, update the kitchen and bathrooms, and then repaint and replace flooring throughout.  

Join the Hunt!
Don’t forget to register for SN Mortgage’s upcoming Treasure Quest Adventure Hunt on Saturday, April 17, 2021, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (rain date Saturday, May 8). You’ll hunt for a real hidden cash prize of $7,500 in Loudoun County, with proceeds from the event benefitting HomeAid Northern Virginia.

Save the Date

4th Annual GolfAid FundraiserTHIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELED UNTIL 2022

SN Mortgage Treasure Quest Adventure Hunt – Saturday, April 17, 2021 (All proceeds to benefit HomeAid Northern Virginia)

Women in the Building Industry Spring Mixer THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELED

CBC Summer Mixer – Thursday, June 3, 2021

12th Annual Builders & Friends BBQ – Thursday, June 17, 2021, The National Botanic Garden Foundation, South Riding, VA (Please note the new venue)

Toll Brothers 4 Charity Golf Event – Monday, June 21, 2021, Belmont Country Club, Ashburn, VA (Benefiting HomeAid Northern Virginia)

Women in the Building Industry Winery Event – Thursday, June 24, 2021

7th Annual HomeAid Golf Tournament – Friday, September 17, 2021, Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club, Leesburg, VA

20th Annual HomeAid Gala & Auction – Saturday, November 13, 2021, Lansdown Resort & Spa, Leesburg, VA

In-person events pending Virginia State COVID-safety guidelines.