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Building Hope Newsletter, July 2018

By | Building Hope, In the News, News

Executive Director's Corner

Kristyn Burr, executive director of HomeAid Northern Virginia, at the annual Builders and Friends BBQ in June.

In this issue of Building Hope, you will learn that there are nearly 10,500 homeless men, women, and children in the DC area … people who spend every day wondering where they will sleep that night, who don’t have a consistent place to look for work or do their homework, who have no easy way to do their laundry or store their clothes, who are never sure where their next meal will come from. You’ll be reminded of how special a simple night out can be for those who rarely—if ever—get to enjoy time with family without the crushing stress of how much it can cost. And we’ll celebrate companies that consistently serve as Builder Captains, pouring their hearts and resources into renovating homes and shelters for our partners. In every case, I’m reminded why working in this community that HomeAid has created feels so special: Homelessness is, quite simply, every community’s challenge, and our partners don’t turn a blind eye.

It’s an important reality, because—as I’m reminded every time I have the opportunity to meet some of the clients we serve—no one decides to be homeless. No one chooses to have their children live in a shelter. No one wants to weigh whether it’s better to buy their baby a prescription medicine or a pack of diapers. But every day, people have to make those choices, most often through no fault of their own. Maybe they lost a job or a spouse, are going through a divorce, are survivors of domestic violence or sex trafficking, or suffer from unresolved mental illness or adverse childhood trauma. Combine these realities with other societal issues like a high cost of living and low wages, and it becomes abundantly clear how easy it can be to fall from a position of stability into a position of homelessness.

Sadly, many in our society ignore the homeless, look the other way, or dismiss them as being lazy or somehow deserving of their fate. Why is it that we readily accept “it takes a village to raise a child,” but so many in our society don’t offer that same help when it comes to helping an adult who needs a hand up? At HomeAid, that’s a question I never have to ask; everywhere I look, I see supporters who are willing to give it their all to make a difference, give back, and change a life. It’s an incredible place to be.

In Gratitude,

In the Spotlight

Annual Point-in-Time Count Reveals: Homelessness on a Decline in Metro DC

Volunteers gather locations and health information from the homeless population in Fairfax County. Source: Lorton Patch

According to a 2018 report by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG), there are 10,480 persons experiencing homelessness in the area—a 6 percent decrease (or 648 people) from 2017. The reportHomelessness in Metropolitan Washington, contains the results of the 18th annual census—carried out on January 24, 2018—of the region’s residents experiencing homelessness within nine area jurisdictions.

Of particular interest to HomeAid Northern Virginia was the fact that on the night of the count, 21,882 people in the region were residing in some form of permanent or permanent supportive housing and were no longer considered homeless. For the second year in a row, the number of families experiencing homelessness decreased, down 15 percent from 2017.

The District of Columbia experienced the largest decrease in the number of persons experiencing homelessness, counting 569 fewer individuals. Prince George’s County achieved the greatest percentage decrease at 10 percent of its homeless population (or 54 individuals). The largest increase in persons counted was in Fairfax County (23 individuals), while Frederick County experienced the largest percentage increase (19 percent).

“Permanent housing is the ultimate goal to reduce homelessness,” said Matt Letourneau, COG Board Chairman and Loudoun County Supervisor. “It is encouraging that we are continuing to make progress, but we clearly have more work to do as a region.”

“We have to figure out a way to work collectively to assist those homeless persons crossing through our jurisdictions,” added Robert White, COG Board Vice Chairman and District of Columbia Councilmember. “We need to be able to provide residents with services regardless of where they are in the region.”

For the five-year period of 2014-2018, the region reduced the number of individuals experiencing homelessness by 12 percent. Eight of nine jurisdictions reported a decline over this five-year period.

Several challenges remain for the region and its efforts to end homelessness. Despite downward trends in past years, the region recorded an 8 percent increase (33 individuals) in the number of veterans experiencing homelessness this year, mirroring the national trend. Similarly, the number of chronically homeless persons increased by 2 percent (or 38 persons). However, despite these one-year increases, the region overall has reduced the incidence of veteran homelessness by 25 percent and the number of chronically homeless persons by 9 percent since 2014.

According to the report, a lack of affordable, permanent housing opportunities and stagnating wages for less-educated workers remain the most significant and persistent obstacles to ending homelessness in the region. It calls on jurisdictions to continue efforts to reach out, assess, and house unsheltered homeless persons, increase its permanent supportive housing, rapid rehousing and other permanent housing inventory, and provide training opportunities to low-skilled and low-wage workers to “create ladders of opportunity” to higher-paying jobs. Affordable housing for all income levels must also be available across the region in order to realistically reduce and eliminate homelessness. The report was compiled by the COG Homeless Services Planning and Coordination Committee.

Participating jurisdictions are: The City of Alexandria; Arlington County; District of Columbia; Fairfax County, including data from the City of Falls Church and the City of Fairfax; Frederick City and County; Loudoun County; Montgomery County; Prince George’s County, including data from the City of Bowie; and Prince William County, including data from the City of Manassas and the City of Manassas Park.

In Your Neighborhood

HomeAid, Stanley Martin Homes Complete Renovation of NVFS Townhome

Representatives from Stanley Martin Homes, NVFS, and HomeAid Northern Virginia celebrate the completion of a total renovation of a NVFS-owned townhome.

HomeAid Northern Virginia, Builder Captain Stanley Martin Homes, and 25 trade partners have completed the total renovation of a townhome owned by Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS), a long-time partner that provides services to families and individuals in need so that they can achieve stability and self-sufficiency.

New paint, new flooring, and gleaming new appliances turn an outdated townhouse into a warm and welcoming home.

The $70,000 project—100 percent of which was donated by Stanley Martin and trade partners—included new flooring, windows, kitchen cabinets, counter tops and appliances, interior painting, lighting, mold remediation, bathroom renovations, and exterior landscaping and patio.

The townhome, part of NVFS’ affordable housing program, is demonstrative of NVFS’ philosophy that “shelter is a basic need for everyone, and it’s the foundation from which families and individuals can begin to build, or rebuild, their potential to live independently.”

The project is the ninth time that Stanley Martin Homes has served as a Builder Captain for HomeAid Northern Virginia; we look forward to our next project with you!

Thank you, Stanley Martin Homes and trade partners, for your work in giving a townhome in NVFS’ affordable housing program a total makeover!

84 Lumber
BRC Industries—Waste Disposal Services
Capital Mechanical, LLC
Century Tile, Inc.
East Coast Insulators, Inc.
Eastern Applicators, Inc.
Electrolux Home Products
Exceptional Choices, Inc.
Falcon Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.
Franklin Electric Company, Inc.
Heritage Contracting
John Darvish Construction Company
King Carpentry

L & L Carpet Company
Loudoun Stairs
McCormick Paints
MJ Exteriors
Premier Surfaces
R & F Metals, Inc.
Reyes General Cleaning
SmartCom Home Technologies, Inc.
Stadler Nurseries
T & A Contractors, Inc.
Timberlake Cabinets
Titan Erosion Control

In Your Community

Staged Interior Named HomeAid Trade Partner of the Year

Hundreds attend annual BBQ for friendship, food, and fun!

Trish and Young Kim, far right, and staff are recognized for their enormous contributions to HomeAid and our partners with 2018 Trade Partner of the Year honors.

HomeAid Northern Virginia’s 9th Annual Builders & Friends BBQ attracted hundreds of partners, supporters and guests for a beautiful night of friendship with colleagues, light-hearted games of cornhole, raffle prizes, and a delicious dinner of all-you-can eat BBQ.

It was also our opportunity to introduce our 2018 Trade Partner of the Year—Staged Interior. The company, led by Young and Trish Kim, has worked with us on three major projects since 2016, providing more than $200,000 worth of labor, furniture, and accessories in order to turn our renovation and new-build projects into warm, welcoming homes. The company and its staff will be more formally recognized at our 17th Annual Gala & Auction on November 10, but since the BBQ is one of our favorite ways to say thank you to the companies who have so generously contributed their time, resources, and expertise to HomeAid projects, we’ve made it our tradition to announce our selection for Trade Partner of the Year honors in June.

Executive Director Kristyn Burr also highlighted HomeAid Northern Virginia’s success at the event, noting HomeAid’s to-date completion of 123 projects, worth an investment of $15.7 million into the community, saving the shelter organizations $9 million.

Bryce Miller of Sponsor Company Wetland Studies and Solutions Inc. won the always-coveted wheelbarrow of beer!

“I know most – if not all of the builders here today have participated in our projects as a Builder Captain, and I thank each of you for stepping up to help us end homelessness in Northern Virginia,” added HomeAid Northern Virginia President Mike Sandkuhler. “As a builder myself, [along with] the builders on the HomeAid Board, we recognize that it is only with the generosity of our trade partners, suppliers, and manufacturers that we’re able to complete so many projects for those in need. This event is for you – to recognize and appreciate that every HomeAid trade partner has given so generously – sometimes more than once in a given year – to complete projects that help get people off the street and into safe stable housing. Thank you very much for all that you have done and continue to do to support our work.”

Many thanks also to our many sponsors, to One Loudoun for the beautiful space, to Doug Wall and the Liberty Street Band for providing live entertainment, and to the many volunteers and staff who made it all possible!

Couldn’t make it this year? Be sure to check out our online photo album of this year’s BBQ!

HomeAid’s Board of Directors turn out in force for the 2018 Builders & Friends BBQ.

Making It Count

Make a Family’s Day: Support HomeAid’s Night at the Ballpark!

A seven-year-old boy from a local shelter had the experience of a lifetime when he was selected to throw out the first pitch at HomeAid’s 2016 “Night at the Ballpark.”

In 2014, a mom attending HomeAid Northern Virginia’s Annual “Night at the Ballpark” told us, “This is the best day of their lives, and we haven’t even parked yet!”

In 2016, Charlyne Braxton of Community Lodgings reminded us that “homelessness is a condition—not an identity—but many of the kids we serve are from an underserved population and feel homeless, fatherless, and hopeless. So, any type of enjoyable experience like [the ball game] gives kids hope that their lives are not always going to be like this. They get to experience some of the fun activities that ‘normal’ kids do; they can forget for one night about a life of instability or domestic violence.”

And last year—when our Night at the Ballpark coincided with the baseball team’s “Bark in the Park” day, when dogs were welcome to attend the game with their families, Simajah Jackson of New Hope Housing, pointed out, “We were all captivated with the dogs in attendance – we know dogs and other pets also have therapeutic value.”

All are great reminders of why we do this baseball outing for the hundreds of families our partners serve: While our primary mission is building and renovating homes for the homeless, we also know that our focus must extend “beyond the bed.” So many of those we serve struggle with major life obstacles on a daily basis. Having the opportunity to spend quality time with your family—without having to worry about cost—can feel as life-giving as a warm home.

Please join us in our effort to give these families a fun summer’s night out at the ballpark! Here’s how you can help:

  • Sponsor a family! Your donation can help send families from local shelters to the baseball game—and you will receive complimentary tickets to the game, signage, recognition, and more, based on sponsorship levels.
  • Donate a backpack or coordinate a Backpack Drive! About a quarter of the homeless population that HomeAid’s non-profit partners serve are children. This summer, we will once again give a backpack to every child who attends our Night at the Ballpark, so backpacks can be collected all month; contact Cilda Pretorius to schedule a drop-off or pick-up.

Our guests will enjoy free concessions; will meet team mascot, Uncle Slam; and one lucky kid will get to throw out the first pitch! All kids are invited to run the bases between innings, and a post-game fireworks display will be put on by the Potomac Nationals.

Want to join in the fun? Then be sure to register for NVBIA’s pre-game Triple Play Tailgate, where guests receive tickets to the game, an exclusive baseball cap, 10% off at the Potomac Nats National Mall Team Store, and an all-you-can-eat buffet of burgers, hot dogs, and non-alcoholic beverages. The event kicks off at 5:30 p.m., just inside the stadium gates. Cost is $38 for adults and youth (ages 6-12); admission for children 5 and under is $16. Contact Alex Whitson for more information about NVBIA’s Triple Play Picnic.


Did
You
Know?

It’s not easy to take a family to a sports event: In 2016, it cost an average of $502.84 to take a family of four to an NFL game. That amount covers two adult tickets, two children’s tickets, two small beers, four small soft drinks, four hot dogs, two programs, two adult-size ball caps and parking. The same family outing to an NBA game totaled $339.02 in 2016. In Major League Baseball, the family-of-four average in 2016 was a veritable “bargain,” at $219.53 (up a whopping 176 percent from $79.41 in 1991).
Source: creditcards.com

Supporter Spotlight

Chip Devine of Brookfield Residential Believes Putting People First is Job One

Chip Devine, senior vice president and chief operating officer, Housing & Land Development for Brookfield Residential

There are some companies—and some people—who have been such an integral part of the industry and HomeAid’s story that it seems as though they’ve always been there. Chip Devine, senior vice president and chief operating officer, Housing & Land Development for Brookfield Residential, is one such person, and Brookfield Residential is one such company. A decades-long veteran of the industry, Chip and his colleagues at Brookfield have been quietly supporting HomeAid since 2008, both as a Builder Captain and a constant at our events, ranging from the Builders & Friends BBQ to golf tournaments to the Gala. The ultimate behind-the-scenes partner, Chip and Brookfield epitomize what it means to partner for the greater good. Read on to find out how Chip got his start in the industry and why HomeAid became part of the company’s giving circle.

Q: How did Brookfield make the initial connection with HomeAid, and why did the company choose to become involved?

A: We found out about HomeAid through our involvement with NVBIA. Choosing to get involved was easy. Giving back is so important, and it’s really part of our company philosophy to never forget that. We are all very lucky where we are in life, and it only makes good sense to give back and help out those who haven’t been as fortunate. One of our first projects was helping renovate a shelter in Prince William County for women and children who escaped domestic violence. It’s the kind of project that really sticks with you.

Q: What do you personally enjoy most about working with HomeAid?

A: As a builder creating communities all around the metropolitan D.C. area, we love having the opportunity to give back to those communities in which we build. The opportunity to leverage our connections in the building industry to provide the most value for HomeAid Northern Virginia’s projects is also very satisfying—I really enjoy interacting with some of the other industry veterans who have been involved with HomeAid for as long as we have. It’s also always fun to reconnect at projects or at events, and it makes staying involved in between projects an important reason for our ongoing support too.

Most recently, we partnered up with three other builders on a renovation of a small apartment building in Alexandria owned by Community Lodgings. This project was especially memorable because these other builders are usually the ones we’re bidding against or competing against generally in the industry, so the opportunity to put that aside and establish camaraderie for the greater good was an experience I won’t forget. It’s a really satisfying feeling.

Q: Why should a builder join HomeAid’s network?

A: It’s always good to give back to those in need. Joining Home Aid and participating in its projects is a relatively easy way to accomplish this goal. As builders, we are able to use our connections to suppliers and subcontractors to create the biggest benefit for HomeAid Northern Virginia, their partners, and the clients they serve. It’s also extremely rewarding to create or renovate physical structures that you know will go to good use from day one.

Q: How did you get into the homebuilding industry? What do you think you’ll be most proud of when you look back on that career?

A: I started in the industry at age 13, for Pulte, in Potomac, Maryland—its only project outside of Detroit, Michigan. My parents were the second family to move in, and I started mowing lawns for Pulte. I worked for them through college, where I majored in building construction and architecture, and continued working for them summers. When I got my license, I worked as a “gopher” deliverer, and then next took care of their model homes. They next asked me if I wanted to learn construction, and I soon found myself 35 feet below grade in a sewer that needed to be cleared, and I joked, ‘It’s a long way up from here.’

After college, I went into commercial real estate, and then into building custom homes with a partner for three years. I went out on my own next, building custom homes again, for three years, and although it was a great learning experience, it wasn’t right. So, I went to NVR for several years with Dwight Schar and Bill Moran, where I started as assistant superintendent and left eight years later as vice president of construction. And for the last 28 years, I’ve been with Brookfield, minus one sabbatical year with Pulte to help them with Stone Ridge by Pulte. Throughout my career, I’ve worked in suburban Maryland and D.C.

Unquestionably, when I look back on my career, I think of the people. Those relationships will be my legacy. This is a people business, and yes, the building and design and architecture is fun, but it’s the getting along with people, understanding them and their perspectives—that’s what really matters. We treat our trade partners incredibly well, and they treat us well in return. We don’t have labor issues as a result; we really foster that relationship. Working with people is a core philosophy that’s carried through my own career.


Did
You
Know?

HomeAid Northern Virginia has two active social media accounts—on Facebook and Twitter—where we post photos and news of our efforts in both renovating and building homes for the homeless as well as helping make memories and connections for the families we serve. We also post related news, give kudos to our many supporters, and provide inspiration for ways to get involved. Follow us today!

Announcements

A Fresh New (Online) Face

We have a new look and a new website! Thanks to Alexandria-based Grafik, who updated and refreshed HomeAid Northern Virginia’s website at a significant discount. The result is easier navigation, a more streamlined experience, and enhanced graphic design. This is a huge job that our small staff could not have tackled alone, and we are so grateful for Grafik’s generous contribution and continued support. Check out our new look today!

School Done Right

Thank you, NVBIA Custom Builders Council (CBC) for collecting over 30 backpacks for kids served by HomeAid partners at your summer mixer on June 7! We look forward to distributing them at our 8th Annual Night at the Ballpark, and we appreciate your members’ help in ensuring that kids have the supplies they need to start school on the right foot

Many thanks to NVBIA’s Women in Building Industry (WBI) as well, for setting up a backpack collection at your upcoming networking Brewery Bash at the Caboose Brewing Company on July 17 in Vienna, Va.!  We are grateful for your continued support and look forward to seeing you at the event!

Much gratitude to Van Metre Companies for their collection of backpacks at their annual picnic which was held on June 28. And a special thank you to Beau and Dea Van Metre, Rick and Sue Rabil and the Van Metre Family Foundation, courtesy of Alison Van Metre Paley, for their generous financial contributions to help us purchase more.

Natitude

Thank you, Washington Post and long-time HomeAid supporter Howard Bomstein, advertising manager for the Post, for again offering to co-host a Builder Captain recruitment and appreciation event with us, this year scheduled for August 1 at Nationals Park. We look forward to cheering on the Nats, sharing information about what it means to work with HomeAid Northern Virginia, and catching up with homebuilder colleagues!

Ribbon Cutting

We are eagerly awaiting July 17, when Builder Captain Winchester Homes, 17 trade partners, and HomeAid Northern Virginia’s Board of Directors will cut the ribbon for the long-awaited, $550,000 renovation of Final Salute’s residence in Northern Virginia. The project launched in 2015 and, after a series of setbacks that were met and surmounted by our team, will now feature 8,700 sq. ft. of living space for up to 10 residents – all female veterans and their children. For more information, contact Kristyn Burr and check next month’s Building Hope for photos and details!

Thank You

A round of applause to 11 local Wal-Mart stores for your generous $7,500 in grant donations; all of the funds will go toward supporting our mission of building homes—and new lives—for Northern Virginia’s homeless men, women, and children.

Save the Date

Final Salute Ribbon Cutting – July 17, 2018, Final Salute’s “Karen’s Home”
NVBIA Women in Building Industry Brewery Bash – July 17, 2018, Caboose Brewing Company – Bring a new backpack to support HANV’s backpack drive!
8th Annual Night at the Ballpark – August 3, 2018, Potomac Nationals Pfitzner Stadium. For families and individuals served by our nonprofit and shelter partners.
NVBIA Crab FeastAugust 16, 2018, The Farm Brewery at Broad Run
4th Annual Golf Tournament – September 21, 2018, Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club
NVBIA Oyster Roast – September 27, 2018, Potomac Shores
Great American Living Awards – October 4, 2018, Hilton McLean Tysons Corner
17th Annual HomeAid Northern Virginia Gala & Auction – November 10, 2018, Lansdowne Resort & Spa

Building Hope Newsletter, June 2018

By | Building Hope, In the News, News

Executive Director's Corner

HomeAid Northern Virginia Executive Director Kristyn Burr and her daughter hand out backpacks at the 2016 Night at the Ballpark.

HomeAid Northern Virginia Executive Director Kristyn Burr and her daughter hand out backpacks at the 2017 Night at the Ballpark.

Our mission is “Building New Lives for Northern Virginia’s Homeless,” and while our priority will always be building and renovating homes and shelters for the homeless with our provider partners, I also think it’s important to go beyond providing a bed and a roof. For me, that mission also means focusing on supportive services that help make a person feel valued, that reduce stress and worry, or that provide the tools needed to regain independence. Maybe you’ve noticed a shift in some of our efforts. For example, our Night at the Ballpark is all about giving the gift of fun to families living in local shelters. Our Helping Hands program helps fill refrigerators and provide household essentials to make families’ move-in day feel more manageable.

In this issue of Building Hope, you’ll learn about additional ways we’re working to extend ourselves “beyond the bed.” Last month, Sight & Sound opened its doors to welcome kids and moms for lunch and a movie in their showroom theaters. This month, we’re launching another Backpack Drive to help ensure that kids start the school year out right in the fall. We’re also partnering with an after-school center to help them build out an entire floor of an Arlington Community Center, so that they can double the number of elementary-age kids they help with reading and other academic priorities. Data show that the ability to read plays a huge role in high school graduation rates—which of course has an impact on a person’s ability to support an independent life. And when we can mix in events that celebrate family, we’re constantly reinforcing that important priority too. It’s a holistic approach, and I’m so proud of our supporters and partners for helping us find new ways to make a difference. Another silver lining? We’re enhancing stakeholders’ connection with the projects, the partners, and the people we’re supporting, which in turn leads to greater giving. What’s not to love?

In Gratitude,

In the Spotlight

HomeAid’s 9th Annual Builders & Friends BBQ is in Two Weeks!

The Details

When: Thursday, June 21
4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Where: The Barn at One Loudoun

Because it’s not every day you get to roll out of a BBQ with a barrel of beer … register today for HomeAid’s 2018 Builders & Friends BBQ!

Because it’s not every day you get to roll out of a BBQ with a barrel of beer … register today for HomeAid’s 2018 Builders & Friends BBQ!

This spring has gotten off to a rocky start! First we froze. Then we were deluged by endless rain. Now summer is on our doorstep and we have one question for you: Are you as ready as we are for a fun summer outing? Then register today for our 9th Annual Builders & Friends BBQ! Your ticket will grant you access to one of the season’s best networking events, an all-you-can-eat BBQ, an open bar, cornhole games, and great raffle prizes. We promise this will also probably be your one and only opportunity all year to win a wheelbarrow full of beer!

The BBQ is one of our favorite ways to say thank you to the companies who have so generously contributed their time, resources, and expertise to HomeAid projects; as part of that celebration, we’ll also announce and honor our 2018 Trade Partner of the Year. Please join us!

All 2018 trade partners, suppliers, or subcontractors that have participated on a HomeAid project this year will receive TWO FREE BBQ registrations! Contact Cilda Pretorius for more information and to get registered!

In Your Neighborhood

HomeAid, HITT Construction Partner with Aspire! Afterschool Learning

HomeAid and partners will soon begin building out 9,400 square feet of classroom space for at-risk kids in Arlington County, on behalf of Aspire! Afterschool Learning.

HomeAid and partners will soon begin building out 9,400 square feet of classroom space for at-risk kids in Arlington County, on behalf of Aspire! Afterschool Learning.

HomeAid Northern Virginia and General Contractor HITT Construction have created a unique partnership with Aspire! Afterschool Learning and Arlington County to build out 9,400 square feet on the third floor of the Arlington Mill Community Center on Columbia Pike. Aspire! will use the dedicated space for after-school academic and summer enrichment programs, along with community dance and movement classes. Aspire! currently serves 40 upper elementary-age students each day at this site. The new space will allow them to double or even triple that capacity.

“Our program targets children who are at risk of falling into an achievement gap in Arlington,” said Courtney Reeve, executive director for Aspire! “Reading is a very strong component of our work, as research has shown that reading proficiency is strongly correlated with high school graduation. Last year in Arlington, nearly one in three economically disadvantaged fourth graders failed their reading proficiency tests. It’s a persistent pattern that we aim to change, along with providing social emotional learning and other educational support. In the last school year, our flagship program, ‘Learning ROCKS!,’ helped 92 percent of our students improve their reading ability and, more critically, 67 percent of English language learners made significant gains in their English proficiency. We know that kids who are being well served are four times more likely to graduate from high school.

“Until now,” she added, “we haven’t had any dedicated space. We’ve been operating across several sites, which really affects our ability to consistently provide services to the kids who need it. This project will of course not only give us the home and headquarters we’ve needed for so long, but it will show at-risk kids that they’re valued. We’re incredibly excited for this opportunity, and having HomeAid at the table will exponentially increase our ability to leverage different builder and trade relationships that will be so critical to the success of this project.”

Perkins + Will, an international design and architecture firm specializing in education and health spaces, designed the space pro bono. Plans include an option for multi-phased construction based on existing resources, but Aspire!’s goal is to build out the space and move in advance of the 2018-19 school year. It is expected that the total project cost will near $1 million, with seed money for the project being contributed by the Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, the Philip Graham Fund, the HDR Foundation, and the Washington Forrest Foundation, in addition to pledges and gifts totaling about $450,000. Aspire! seeks to raise an additional $200,000.

Did
You
Know?

In 2015, 43% of fourth grade public school students in Virginia performed at or above the proficient level in reading. In Arlington County, 89% of fourth grade public school students performed at or above proficiency. BUT, look more closely: Within the fail rate among fourth graders, 29% of economically disadvantaged students failed, compared to 5% of non-disadvantaged kids.
Sources: The Nation’s Report Card (Virginia state statistic) and Aspire! Afterschool Learning (Arlington County statistic)

In Your Community

Play Ball! Support HomeAid’s Annual Night at the Ballpark

The Details

When: Friday, August 3, 2018
Gates open: 6:00 p.m.
Game time: 7:05 p.m.
Where: Pfitzner Stadium

Volunteers work with eager “shoppers” as they pick out a brand-new backpack at the 2016 Night at the Ballpark

HomeAid’s Annual Night at the Ballpark is one of our most popular summer events. Over the past eight years, we’ve sent hundreds of families from local shelters to enjoy a Potomac Nationals baseball game on us. It’s a night dedicated to making memories for families who rarely enjoy a night out together, and we need your help to make this summer’s event a success!

Your sponsorship can help send families from local shelters to the baseball game—and you will receive complimentary tickets to the game, signage, recognition, and more, based on sponsorship levels.

Donate a backpack or coordinate a Backpack Drive! About a quarter of the homeless population that HomeAid’s non-profit partners serve are children. This summer, we will once again give a backpack to every child who attends our Night at the Ballpark. Here’s how you can help:

  • Contact HomeAid to let us know that your organization would like to participate in the Backpack Drive.
  • Share/print the Backpack Drive flyer and add your company details to help spark interest in participation at your organization. (Contact Cilda Pretorius at HomeAid if you would like an editable version of the flyer.)
  • Drop off your collected backpacks (or schedule a pick-up) during the last two weeks of July.

In addition to giving families tickets to the game and a backpack for each child, we offer parking and concessions vouchers; coordinate pictures with the Potomac National’s mascot, Uncle Slam; and one lucky guest will get to throw out the first pitch. All the kids will get to run the bases after the game, and families will enjoy a post-game fireworks show put on by the Potomac Nationals.

Attention Case Workers!

Would you love to see families from your organization take part in this year’s Night at the Ballpark? Please contact
Cilda Pretorius at HomeAid to let us know how many tickets you would like, and how many school-age children will likely attend the August 3 event. Thank you!

Making It Count

Sight & Sound Builds Hope through New Family Memories

We say it a lot: Finding a way to support HomeAid Northern Virginia is limited only by your imagination. On May 20, trade partner Sight & Sound Systems showed us once again that support can come in a wide variety of ways, when they invited a dozen children and their moms to their two beautiful showroom theaters for a movie, pizza, and priceless memories of a day out with family.

“Movies have, since their invention offered a respite for people – the chance to escape reality for a while,” said Kris Kaymanesh, president of Sight & Sound. “While we know that throwing an event like this doesn’t put money in anyone’s pockets, we figure it puts smiles on their faces, and that makes it worth it.”

The families, who are currently living at the Kate Hanley Family Shelter at Shelter House, had their choice of seeing “Guardians of the Galaxy” or “Peter Rabbit.” Kaymanesh plans to offer the movie outings again following this successful launch.

“Shelter House has been a proud partner of HomeAid of Northern Virginia for over 10 years, and HomeAid has provided so much more than bricks and mortar to our families experiencing homelessness and domestic violence,” said Laura Woody, LCSW, division director of Family Homeless Programs for Shelter House. “And now, through the leadership of Executive Director Kristyn Burr, they are providing even more. In May, [the movie day] at Sight and Sound Systems gave our families the chance to enjoy a pizza party along with a movie, and having such an outlet for these families is extremely important as they face the day-to-day stress of finding permanent homes. Thank you, HomeAid of Northern Virginia and Sight and Sound, for providing our families an experience they will not soon forget.”

“There are so many people right in our own backyards who need our help,” Kaymanesh added. “Homelessness has so many different tentacles that touch many lives, and I’m glad we could provide a fun day out for families who probably don’t get that opportunity very often. We are proud to help our community in this way.”

Sight & Sound Systems is a home automation and home theater company, founded in 1994 by Kris Kaymanesh and based in Loudoun County.

Did
You
Know?

It costs, on average, $60 for a family of four to go to the movies, assuming standard seating, four separate drinks, and two orders of popcorn to share. Add in transportation costs, some extra snack bar purchases, or upgraded seating, and that number can easily double or triple.
Source: Peachtree Financial Solutions

Supporter Spotlight

Long-time Supporter Howard Bomstein Values HomeAid's Measurable Community Impact

Howard Bomstein, advertising manager for The Washington Post and long-time supporter of NVBIA and HomeAid Northern Virginia

Anyone who has worked in the Northern Virginia homebuilding industry over the last 40 years has probably crossed paths with Howard Bomstein—and while all may not have realized it, all have surely benefited from his work in helping advance and market the local real estate market. The native Washingtonian launched a career in marketing for a national homebuilder, co-founded what would become a buyer’s and seller’s bible for advertising properties, and now is one of our most consistent supporters. Howard’s long-time involvement with the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association (NVBIA) has helped us expand our network of Builder Captains. We are as grateful for his support as we are for the builder recruitment and appreciation event he co-hosts with us at Nationals Park every summer. Read on to find out how this DC-metro institution found us and why he remains one of our most tenured partners.

Q: You were one of HomeAid Northern Virginia’s earliest board members. What interested you about the then-new nonprofit?

A: I joined the HomeAid Board of Directors at the behest of my client, Don Knutson, when he was at Beazer Homes. For me, HomeAid represented the type of charity that had a measurable impact on our local community. The more new facilities that were built, the more families and individuals could be served when they most needed it—and we could easily know exactly how many people used the facilities and over what time period they used them. This was both meaningful and measurable, and it is what I find important and relevant for any charity effort.

Q: How does HomeAid today compare to the HomeAid then?

A: HomeAid in the early days, back in 2000/2001, was tiny. We completed one project over a six-month period with limited participation by the local homebuilding industry. In time, multiple projects were engaged, and industry-wide support from Builder Captains to suppliers ensued. Momentum continued to build, and today, HomeAid is integral to the mission of NVBIA.

Q: The Washington Post has been a long-time supporter; how has HomeAid’s mission fit with the Post’s philanthropic efforts?

A: The Washington Post reports the news and offers features that engage and enlighten readers. In the case of Real Estate, our weekly section is designed, written, and produced for those of our readers who follow trends in homebuilding; resales; and topics like mortgage rates, neighborhoods in which we live, and the latest in new home construction. Lastly, The Washington Post is a good corporate citizen in our community, so it behooves us to support charities that help our citizens lead better lives. We cannot support everything, but HomeAid in our opinion is deserving of that support.

Q: How did you get involved with NVBIA, the homebuilding industry, and the people who work in the industry?

A: I am a lifelong Washingtonian. My first real job after military service and graduate school was for U.S. Home (now Lennar) in marketing. I co-founded the New Homes Guide in 1975. I then spent 35 years in advertising for my own company, The Bomstein Agency, and we were NVBIA members for the company’s entire existence. We provided advertising and marketing communication services to nearly every major homebuilder in the market from 1977 until 2009.

When I joined The Washington Post in 2013, I renewed our support of NVBIA through my position as advertising category manager for real estate and property management. I am also an adjunct professor for the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, where I teach branding and design.

NVBIA, I firmly believe, serves its builder and associate members in ways too numerous to mention here, but it has without a doubt helped me and The Washington Post connect to builders, developers, and Realtors. I believed that way back in 1977, and I continue to do so today.

Announcements

NVBIA’s Triple Play Picnic

The pre-game party was enjoyed by many at the 2015 Night at the Ballpark.

In partnership with HomeAid’s Night at the Ballpark, which is on Friday, Aug. 3, NVBIA will again host the Triple Play Picnic, where guests receive tickets to the game, an exclusive baseball cap, 10% off at the Potomac Nats National Mall Team Store, and an all-you-can-eat buffet of burgers, hot dogs, and non-alcoholic beverages. The event is held just inside the stadium gates, starting at 5:30. The cost is $38 for adults and youth (ages 6-12); admission for children 5 and under is $16. Contact Alex Whitson for more information about NVBIA’s Triple Play Picnic.

The picnic is held in conjunction with HomeAid’s 8th Annual Night at the Ballpark, where 300 children and family members facing homelessness enjoy a night of baseball, food, and family fun, free-of-charge.

Thank You!

Executive Director Kristyn Burr welcomes and thanks representatives from Toll and trade partner companies who attended the luncheon.

Many thanks to Builder Captain Toll Brothers and 18 trade partners, who completed a $126,000 renovation on 12 individual apartments and a children’s activity center at Catholic Charities’ St. Margaret of Cortona Transitional Residences. During our appreciation luncheon on May 31, we thanked all of our contributors, as well as offered tours of the completed space. All of the families are referred to Catholic Charities from regional emergency shelters and domestic violence programs; the majority of residents are mothers with young children.

Thank You to the Following Trade Partners who Contributed to this Project:
  • American Disposal Services
  • Allied
  • Atlas Plumbing, LLC
  • B&K Distributors, Inc.
  • Buhl Electric Company, Inc.
  • Doug Construction, LLC
  • Falcon Heating & Air Conditioning
  • GE Appliances
  • Kohler
  • L & P Carpenter, LLC
  • Mid South Building Supply, Inc.
  • Poe Porcelain Repair
  • Precision Drywall Services
  • Premier Surfaces
  • Price Construction
  • Staged Interior
  • T.A.C. Ceramic Tile, Co.
  • Titan Erosion Control

Local Emerging Leaders Getting Recognized

Congratulations to Executive Director Kristyn Burr, for her nomination by Shelter House Executive Director and CEO Joe Meyer for the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Corporate Citizenship Award in the Emerging Influential Leader of the Year category! The awards honor individuals, businesses, and non-profits for above-and-beyond business leadership and corporate social responsibility and will be announced at the awards luncheon on June 13. More information and tickets to the luncheon are available from the Chamber of Commerce.

BBC Video Features HomeAid Director’s Commitment to Community

According to a report by BBC, two-thirds of released U.S. prisoners end up back in a cell within three years. But through the power of mindfulness and the benefits of practicing yoga, Seva Prison Yoga (the Virginia affiliate of Prison Yoga Project) hopes to change that. HomeAid Northern Virginia’s Executive Director Kristyn Burr—who founded Seva Prison Yoga and was recently featured on a BBC video report—teaches yoga at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center, where she works with incarcerated men and women to help them find peace, balance, and new hope. The program has quickly expanded to seven classes at two local facilities, including the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center, with four teachers donating their time and passion for yoga.

Welcome!

Danielle Emhof

Danielle Emhof and Nick DeSimone have joined our staff as event and communications coordinator interns, respectively.

Emhof, who just completed her freshman year at Penn State University, came to HomeAid due to her interest in nonprofit organizations and the impact that HomeAid has on the community. “The atmosphere during my interview made me feel it would be a great place to work,” she said. “I am interested in learning all aspects of the job and believe it will allow me to expand my knowledge and gain valuable experience that will be helpful in my future.”

Emhof plans to major in accounting and hopes to utilize the experience gained at HomeAid in a career with a nonprofit.

Nick DeSimone

Nick DeSimone, a rising senior at Virginia Tech who is pursuing a B.A. in public relations, chose to intern at HomeAid to get involved with a hometown-based organization and gain work experience in communications, marketing, and event planning.

“Knowing that the work I do will simultaneously benefit the community and ultimately contribute to alleviating the very real homelessness issue we have in Northern Virginia is extremely attractive to me,” DeSimone said. “I hope to acquire valuable experience formulating news media and organizational writing, while also learning more about the marketing side of nonprofits.”

DeSimone hopes to eventually secure a communications position for a professional sports organization, or land a communications or marketing position at an amusement park.

Save the Date

9th Annual Builders and Friends BBQ – June 21, 2018, The Barn at One Loudoun
NVBIA 2018 Scramble Golf Tournament – June 25, 2018, River Creek Club
8th Annual Night at the Ballpark – August 3, 2018, Potomac Nationals Pfitzner Stadium, for families living in local shelters.
NVBIA Crab FeastAugust 23, 2018, The Farm Brewery at Broad Run
4th Annual Golf Tournament – September 21, 2018, Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club
17th Annual HomeAid Northern Virginia Gala & Auction – November 10, 2018, Lansdowne Resort & Spa

Building Hope Newsletter, May 2018

By | Building Hope, In the News, News

Executive Director's Corner

Friend Rhonda Wilson (left) and Joe Meyer, CEO of Shelter House (right), join Kristyn at the April yoga fundraiser for HomeAid Northern Virginia.

Our mission is building new lives for Northern Virginia’s homeless. More often than not that means building and renovating homes and shelters to ensure that Northern Virginia homeless residents have a safe, stable, beautiful space to call home. But it also means providing opportunities to the men, women and children we serve, through memory-making outings like our upcoming Night at the Ballpark this summer. Last month, thanks to donated tickets provided by Feld Entertainment, we sent a group of 50 parents and children from Shelter House and Catholic Charities to Disney on Ice.

I mention both not only because they are perfect examples of gifting our at-risk and homeless populations with a rare day out as a family, but also because they represent an enormously different way that our supporters can help us achieve our mission. As you’ll also read in this issue, a brand-new supporter of HomeAid just last month organized a benefit yoga class on our behalf, raising hundreds of dollars. As a passionate yogi myself, I was of course thrilled to hear from her – a benefit yoga class for HomeAid felt tailor-made for two of my top interests! But it also serves as such an important reminder that there are countless ways to support HomeAid. You don’t have to be a builder or tradesperson in the industry … you don’t even have to work in the industry. All that’s needed is creativity and the desire to give back to the community; we’ll work with you to find a way to make it happen.
I look forward to seeing many of you – especially now that spring finally seems to have arrived – at our upcoming Builders and Friends BBQ. We’ve already welcomed sponsorships from several brand-new supporters and long-time supporters, and we look forward to this important and fun event that is always a great way of saying thank you to all of our friends and supporters!

In Gratitude,

In the Spotlight

BBQ Season is Here! Join HomeAid to Celebrate!

Thursday, June 21
4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Location: The Barn at One Loudoun

Register Here!Be a Sponsor!

Spring has been slow to arrive, but if you’re itching to enjoy some delicious barbeque, celebrate friendships, and welcome the new season, be sure to join us at HomeAid Northern Virginia’s 9th Annual Builders and Friends BBQ! This event is always one of the best opportunities to connect with industry colleagues – including our region’s top homebuilder executives, decision makers, and trade partners. Each $40 registration includes a ticket to some great raffle prizes, all-you-can-eat BBQ, an open bar, and cornhole games.

It’s always a crowd at HomeAid’s Builders & Friends BBQ – we look forward to seeing you on June 21 for our 9th Annual!

We will also announce the 2018 Trade Partner of the Year, recognizing a trade partner that exemplifies what it means to be dedicated, driven, and committed to improve housing facilities for the homeless and at-risk populations in Northern Virginia.

“The Builders & Friends BBQ is our way to give thanks to companies that have continued to help us build safe, stable housing for the homeless in our community, year after year,” said HomeAid Northern Virginia President Mike Sandkuhler. “We are so grateful to every single one of our builders and trade partners who so generously contribute their time, resources, and expertise, and we look forward to celebrating them – and thanking them – at this always-popular event. I look forward to seeing many of our stakeholders and supporters, and I hope you’ll join me in congratulating our Trade Partner of the Year and toasting our future success.”

Register today! (All 2018 trade partners, suppliers, and subcontractors that have participated on a HomeAid project this year will receive TWO FREE BBQ registrations; contact Kristyn Burr to ensure you are on the list!)

Many thanks to our event sponsors!

Did
You
Know?

Since 2010, supporters have raised nearly $130,000 for HomeAid Northern Virginia through the Builders & Friends BBQ. The funds help support our mission of building and renovating homes for the homeless and help support educational and awareness programs for our partners.
Source: HomeAid Northern Virginia

In Your Neighborhood

HomeAid, Toll Brothers and Partners Complete Renovations on Catholic Charities’ 13-Unit Building

Toll Brothers renovated 13 apartment units owned by Catholic Charities. The renovations included updated and upgraded kitchens and bathrooms, drywall repair, and new flooring. The top photo shows construction in progress; the photo above shows a finished kitchen. Toll Brothers covered approximately 70% of the costs.

Toll Brothers renovated 13 apartment units owned by Catholic Charities. The renovations included updated and upgraded kitchens and bathrooms, drywall repair, and new flooring. The top photo shows construction in progress; the photo above shows a finished kitchen. Toll Brothers covered approximately 70% of the costs.

HomeAid Northern Virginia, Builder Captain Toll Brothers, and trade partners have completed a $96,000 renovation on 12 individual apartments and a children’s activity center at Catholic Charities’ St. Margaret of Cortona Transitional Residences, giving 12 families a completely refreshed and updated home in which to continue their journey toward independence. All of the families are referred to Catholic Charities from regional emergency shelters and domestic violence programs; the majority of residents are mothers with young children.

In order to minimize disruption, HomeAid and its partners worked on three units at a time, rotating families to local hotels until their units were completed before moving on to the next three in the schedule. While it meant a longer timeline for completion – and a more difficult project management process since each unit had differing levels of needed repairs – the team’s focus remained on the families’ comfort throughout the three-month renovation process.

“Our clients are thrilled. It’s hard to explain how excited they are by all of the overhauls these units got,” said Veronica Roth, program director for St. Margaret of Cortona Transitional Residences. “One family has a disabled child in a wheelchair, and she just can’t say enough about the new flooring; it’s so much easier to get her child around. The granite countertops and updated bathrooms are all so lovely – and such a luxury for people who haven’t had luxuryin their lives lately. We keep calling it St. Margaret’s Makeover! It’s really brought this building up to modern standards, and it will increase the longevity of the building’s ability to serve families.”

Some common repairs to all 13 units included drywall repair, interior paint, and new flooring, with most units also getting new kitchen and bathroom cabinetry, countertops, and electrical and plumbing work. Other common issues included HVAC repairs, upgraded lighting, new refrigerators, and upgraded door locks for security.

Scott Canan, division vice president for Toll Brothers, first started planning the project at the end of December 2017, with construction beginning the first week of February. “It’s been a non-stop schedule. We had only one day that we had to deviate from the schedule due to snow. All of the trade partners have been fantastic and really good to work with. Everyone has been equally focused on making sure we do this right. We thought the building was on a slab, for instance, but when we found out it had a crawl space, we went ahead and replaced the rotten subfloor. The condition of the building had really degraded over the years, and it feels so great to give these families a beautiful space to move back into. We’ve had a lot of happy people; it’s been a great experience.”

The housing program provides up to 24 months of temporary housing and support services, as well as an after-care program for those who need it. By accepting referrals from shelters located within the Diocese of Arlington, Catholic Charities reaches 21 counties in the D.C. metropolitan area.

Thank you, Toll Brothers and the following trade partners, for giving 12 families recovering from domestic violence a safe, stable home!

American Disposal Services
Allied
Atlas Plumbing, LLC
B&K Distributors, Inc.
Buhl Electric Company, Inc.
Doug Construction, LLC
Falcon Heating & Air Conditioning
GE Appliances

Kohler
L & P Carpenter, LLC
Mid South Building Supply, Inc.
Poe Porcelain Repair
Premier Services
T.A.C. Ceramic Tile, Co.
Titan Erosion Control

Trade Partner Spotlight

While no project is ever truly straightforward, the renovation of an apartment building owned by Catholic Charities’ St. Margaret of Cortona Transitional Residences really tested the flexibility and project management expertise of Builder Captain Toll Brothers and the 15 trade partners who worked on the building. With 12 apartments and a children’s activity center to renovate on a rotating schedule, and a widely varying scope of work needed for each unit, the only constant for the project team was a long schedule of multiple trips. And one trade partners in particular, Atlas Plumbing, was in from the beginning.

“They were the first contractor in and had probably the largest responsibility of any,” said Scott Canan, division vice president for Toll Brothers. They started by unhooking all the appliances, including a gas range, dishwasher, kitchen sink, and bath vanity, as well as removing the toilets. They later returned in the final stages to re-hook up everything and run new lines, including refrigerator water lines and new water and waste lines to the kitchen and bath. And, they had to repeat it six times! There never once was a complaint, even when we made a scheduling error that resulted in a wasted trip for their crew. Chris Shirk was simply great to work with and did whatever was needed to make this project a success. He and his team were a pleasure to work with, start to finish.”

Atlas gives back to the community a lot, Shirk explained, but Catholic Charities was just his second project with HomeAid. “I’ve heard the stories and seen the struggles, and I’m glad to be able to help out this way. I’ve kept the same crew on both projects for continuity, and the communications with both projects has been great. The project went well, and it’s so good to hear that the families are happy. It’s such a great way to help make a difference for someone.”

Atlas Home Services, LLC, provides a full range of plumbing services to homeowners throughout the Northern Virginia area. AHS is led by master plumbers and staffed by highly trained, licensed plumbing professionals. Its sister company, Atlas Plumbing, LLC, has plumbed and provided plumbing services to major home builders and homeowners in Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Prince William County, Arlington County, the City of Alexandria, Stafford County and northern Spotsylvania County since 1981.

Staged Interior Partners with HomeAid for Third Project at Catholic Charities

Staged Interior furnished six apartments with donated and purchased furniture at Catholic Charities’ St. Margaret of Cortona Transitional Shelter.

In 2016, Staged Interior – a home-staging company based in Chantilly – completely furnished and accessorized a 5,000 square foot, seven-bedroom home that HomeAid Northern Virginia and Toll Brothers built for Youth For Tomorrow. In 2017, they did it again, outfitting seven apartments – including 15 to 20 bedrooms and seven living rooms, dining rooms, and kitchens – for Community Lodgings after HomeAid and a consortium of four homebuilders renovated the building top to bottom. And now, the company has teamed up with HomeAid again, furnishing and accessorizing six apartment units for families who have left domestic violence situations and emergency shelters and who will be moving into the recently renovated Catholic Charities apartment building.

“We’ve been so blessed by our connection with HomeAid, which started through our affiliation and membership with NVBIA,” said Young Kim, business manager for Staged Interior. “I completely trust both NVBIA and HomeAid, and we are confident that whatever they’re working on is a worthy project. We want to contribute as much as we can, but it’s always a challenge in the midst of the spring real estate market when our regular business of staging homes for sale is really hot. The fact that the schedule for this project is on a rotating basis, as the renovation crew works on three units at a time, has been a really good fit for us. It is working out so well to have some breathing room between each phase!”

Staged Interior also recently finished up another project for Homestretch – a frequent HomeAid partner as well – following their philosophy of giving back and contributing whenever they have the opportunity.

In Your Community

2018 Housing Forum Examines Complex Needs, Focused Solutions: Training and Support for Homeless Service Providers

An interactive format allowed for lively discussion between attendees and presenters throughout HomeAid Northern Virginia’s 2018 Housing Forum.

More than 100 housing and homeless service providers from 50 non-profit and governmental organizations filled the conference room at Brookfield Residential last week, turning out for what has become the region’s best networking and educational program for individuals and organizations serving the homeless – HomeAid Northern Virginia’s Housing Forum.

Keynote Speaker Norm Suchar, director of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Special Needs Assistance, kicked off the morning with an insightful, high-level overview of trends and policies affecting homelessness and an examination of what’s working and what’s not. He also shared with the group his hope for streamlining future services and programming, with a goal of reducing red tape and paperwork.

A panel discussion on the “State of our Union,” moderated by Joe Meyer, executive director of Shelter House, featured Dean Klein, director, Fairfax County Office to End and Prevent Homelessness; Jessica Lurz, director, City Of Alexandria’s Department of Community and Human Services; Tony Turnage, division chief, Homeless Services, Prince William County Government; Nicole Harmon, bureau chief, Housing Assistance, Arlington County Department of Human Services; and Jennifer Hope, coordinator, Loudoun County Continuum of Care, Department of Family Services. The panelists—through anecdotes and examples of their daily work—illustrated the diversity of our region and addressed concerns that are both unique to the different counties and common challenges for all.

Following the panel discussion, the Forum turned to a series of short training sessions, with Meredith McKeen, NVFS’s Youth Initiatives and Multicultural Center, addressing trauma-informed care; Kendall S. Cloeter, Virginia Department of Housing & Community Development, discussing how to implement low-barrier services; and Dr. Eleanor Vincent, Pathway Homes, Inc., and Libbie Rozofsky, Fannie Mae, making a joint presentation on removing barriers to permanent stable housing.

Overall, the Forum was overwhelmingly rated by attendees as valuable to very valuable, with attendees saying, “It was the best Forum I have attended that addresses the reality of the issues and the challenges we face” … “the presentation on removing barriers to permanent stable housing was FANTASTIC” … “interesting and eye opening” and “very valuable; the Forum gets better each year.”

A complete summary of the 2018 Housing Forum as well as photos from the event are available.

Thank you to Presenting Sponsor Bank of America and to Venue Sponsor Brookfield Residential!

Did
You
Know?

Since 2008, Fairfax County has achieved a 47% reduction in overall homelessness and a 50% reduction in the number of homeless families. Over the past seven years in Alexandria, homelessness has decreased by over 46%. In the past year, Prince William County has seen the number of homeless individuals drop by 7%. And in Arlington, homelessness has dropped by 54% in the 10 years since its Plan to End Homelessness initiative was launched.

Making It Count

Namaste for Charity

Sunni Ford raised hundreds of dollars for HomeAid Northern Virginia through a Karmic Giving yoga class in Woodbridge, Va., in April.

The ways you can give back to the community are limited only by your imagination, and lucky for us, Sonjia (Sunni) Ford is as creative in thought as she is in life. Sunni is working toward her certification in yoga and as part of that journey needed to select a charity and raise funds for it. Called “Karmic Giving,” the effort is just one aspect of yoga certification; she also must earn 200 hours of training!

“I originally chose the Boys and Girls Club because it was familiar to me,” Sunni said, “but I decided to go in a new direction … I quite randomly started searching for terms like ‘giving back’ and ‘Northern Virginia,’ and HomeAid popped up. I clicked through and learned more about its mission of helping the homeless, and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this is right in my backyard!’”

Little did Sunni know when she emailed HomeAid Northern Virginia Executive Director Kristyn Burr that she would be reaching out to another yogi; Kristyn teaches multiple classes—including weekly classes every Wednesday for incarcerated men and women at the Fairfax Adult Detention Center.

“It’s like it was fate,” Sunni added. “The minute I heard back from Kristyn, my stress level went way down and I knew I was where I was supposed to be. HomeAid agreed to co-brand the promotional flyer I had created to encourage donors to attend my class. Kristyn even came to my class, along with Joe Meyer, CEO of Shelter House, and HomeAid supporter Rhonda Wilson. It was so inspiring to meet them and learn about what they do for HomeAid. I was so glad that Kristyn took the time to share some words with the class about what HomeAid is and what they do. It really made the whole event come to life for us.”

Best of all, Sunni raised $600 for HomeAid Northern Virginia, and she was reminded that fundraising doesn’t have to be intimidating or scary. It just means finding something meaningful to you and helping in any way you can, whether that’s through time, money or talent.

“You can be who you are, and you can connect in a way that works for you,” she said. “Yoga is my passion, and it connected me to HomeAid. I’m so grateful.”

Thank you to Sunni for organizing this benefit class; to My BodYoga in Woodbridge, Va., for hosting the event; and to Soul Cakes by Tanya for providing delicious post-class cupcakes! For more information about how YOU can give back to your community, please get in touch!

Supporter Spotlight

Scott Canan Helps Lead Toll Brothers’ Regional Philanthropy

Scott Canan, division vice president for Toll Brothers

Scott Canan, division vice president for Toll Brothers, is finishing up a renovation project with HomeAid Northern Virginia and already looking forward to the next opportunity to partner with the organization his company has long supported in a myriad of ways. Whether they’re buying a full table at our Annual Gala & Auction, attending the Builders & Friends BBQ, or leading a project—in 2016, they built a 5,000 square foot, $650,000 home for Youth For Tomorrow with HomeAid—Toll Brothers has been an important partner. Now, Scott serves on our Board of Directors and continues to advance Toll Brothers’ vision of being one of the most actively philanthropic companies in the region. Read on to find out how they chose HomeAid—and what Scott enjoys most about his role!

Q: How did you get involved initially with HomeAid, and what attracted you to serve and volunteer with the organization? 

A: Our group president at Toll Brothers was looking for volunteers, and I was familiar with HomeAid and what they stood for through our involvement with NVBIA and through homebuilder colleagues. I wanted to be a part of it, so I volunteered to represent Toll. What I’ve really enjoyed is that HomeAid has a much larger purpose than most charitable organizations; the donations go to the people who really need it. And, knowing the caliber of people who serve on the board or as partners of the organization really makes me want to volunteer. I’ve seen first-hand how everyone really go all out, and I am all in when it comes to giving back to society.

My philanthropic philosophy is very much in line with Toll’s. I have been given this leadership opportunity for a reason: to involve our company with community and national charities. We are giving back more now than ever before, and I am grateful for that. I pretty much have full autonomy, to a certain extent, to grow our charitable interaction as far as we can take it.

Q: Why did you decide to step up to a leadership position on the Board? 

A: Being on the board allows me to make more of an impact on the community. As vice president for Toll Brothers, my voice on the board is heard and recognized; Toll is a leader in the homebuilding industry, and people listen to our perspectives. The reverse is true too: Having a say in how Toll can give back and contribute toward assisting others is hugely appealing to me. Together we can make a huge impact in the community, not to mention enjoy the ecstatic satisfaction of giving back. I’ve also really enjoyed meeting and getting to know the other Board members, and it’s extremely rewarding to help others get back on their feet. Just knowing we’ve helped several families through the Catholic Charities project we just finished, for example, is an incredibly rewarding feeling.

Q: What would you tell other prospective Builder Captains about the process and payback of working on a HomeAid project?

A: For me personally, the process is easy, especially when you consider the cause. The payback is watching someone in need get back on their feet and knowing you made a positive impact in their life. For Toll as a company, the payback is similar—we feel the same satisfaction that we made a difference in someone’s life—but it goes beyond that too. There is so much good about being a Builder Captain; for my team, we are setting an example to others that life is not easy and people do get down on their luck … but there are people out there to assist them when they’re in need. This teaches them about team building and how to support others. Going through life without helping others is selfish, and I appreciate that our involvement with HomeAid sets such a good example for our team at Toll Brothers.

 

Announcements

Thank You!

Many thanks to M/I Homes for stepping up to lead a new HomeAid project with Pathway Homes, which provides non-time-limited housing and supportive services to adults with serious mental illness and co-occurring disabilities in Northern Virginia. This upcoming renovation project will help serve three men in Fairfax, Va.

Pictured above (from left to right): Maryam Kaymanesh, of Sight & Sound Systems; Kristyn Burr, executive director of HomeAid Northern Virginia; Jenn Keesling, of Van Metre Homes; Lauren Kaymanesh, of Sight & Sound Systems; and Soledad Portilla, of Stanley Martin Homes.

Work Hard, Play Hard

Planning the HomeAid Northern Virginia’s Annual Gala & Auction is no easy feat, and the hardworking Gala Committee decided to combine business and pleasure with an outing to Cirque du Soleil last week, where they picked up ideas for this year’s Gala and simply enjoyed each other’s company with a fun night out on the town!

More Services for More Women

Pictured (left to right) are Richard Clark, Van Metre Homes; Regis Arnold, Van Meter Homes; Mike Sandkuhler, HomeAid Northern Virginia president; Kristyn Burr, HomeAid Northern Virginia executive director; and Brian Davidson, Van Metre Homes.

HomeAid Northern Virginia celebrated Builder Captain Van Metre Homes and 19 trade partners for the completion of the ACTS Women’s Empowerment Center, with an Open House on April 10.The Center houses two programs for women: The “Empowering Women in Transition” residential program for women and families, and the ACTS Rapid Re-Housing Program focused on getting homeless individuals and families into permanent housing, as well as classrooms that will hold classes and trainings for the wider community.

Cold Ice, Warm Hearts

Thank you, Feld Entertainment, for providing 50 free tickets to Disney On Ice at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax. Children and grownups from local shelters are looking forward to a rare night out as they enjoy this year’s “Follow Your Heart” show together. We appreciate your generosity in always remembering that at least 25 percent of the population we serve are children.

Save the Date

NVBIA Parade of Homes – May 5-6, 2018
NVBIA Scramble Golf Tournament – May 21, 2018, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., River Creek Club, Leesburg, VA
9th Annual Builders and Friends BBQ – June 21, 2018, The Barn at One Loudoun
8th Annual Night at the Ballpark – August 3, 2018, Potomac Nationals Pfitzner Stadium, for families living in local shelters.
4th Annual Golf Tournament – September 21, 2018, Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club
17th Annual HomeAid Northern Virginia Gala & Auction – November 10, 2018, Lansdowne Resort & Spa

ACTS Enhances Facilities for Women and Families in Prince William Co. with Expansion of Women’s Empowerment Center

By | News

ACTS and HomeAid Northern Virginia collaboration to upgrade the Triangle, Va-based Center now enhances ability to provide services; support Rapid Re-Housing and “Empowering Women in Transition” Programs

Triangle, VA – April 10, 2018 – ACTS Women’s Empowerment Center can now serve a broader population of women and families in the Prince William County community, following a renovation completed in April by HomeAid Northern Virginia to expand living space and add classrooms, group meeting rooms and offices.

Currently, the Triangle, Va. Center houses two programs: the “Empowering Women in Transition” residential program for women and families, and the ACTS Rapid Re-Housing Program focused on getting homeless individuals and families into permanent housing. The full renovation of the basement into classrooms and offices will enable the Center to offer all programming downstairs, while allowing the first and second floors of the Center to retain a true “home” feeling.

In the upgraded Center, five chronically homeless women and their children, many with physical and mental disabilities, will each have their own one- or two-room units with private bath sharing a spacious kitchen, living room, children’s room, and yard with a deck and new playset.  Downstairs, women will receive diverse training provided by ACTS and community partners, as well as comprehensive case management.  The vision for the Center is to become a central location for women to find all they need to live on their own and maximize their own potential.

The renovations were completed by HomeAid Northern Virginia, which builds and renovates homeless shelters and supportive housing facilities via the donated expertise, labor and resources of local homebuilders – enabling nonprofit organizations such as ACTS to invest more of their budgets in supportive programs and services rather than building expenses. Van Metre Homes served as the project builder captain, mobilizing 19 construction trade partners and subcontractors on the renovation. Under HANV and Van Metre’s stewardship, 98% of the $80k retail cost of the renovation of the 2,452 sq. ft. basement was covered for ACTS.

“As a core part of our mission, we at ACTS are here to offer a hand when the community reaches out to us, and we reach out to our local communities whenever we can be of service. The renovation of our Women’s Empowerment Center now gives us greater ability to do both, and to forward our work to change lives and create safe and welcoming communities for vulnerable individuals and families in Prince William County and its surrounding areas,” said Steven Liga, chief executive officer of ACTS. “We thank HomeAid Northern Virginia and Van Metre Homes for taking on this project and bringing it to life for ACTS and for the communities we serve.”


See more photos of the renovation and open house here!

About Action in Community Through Service
Action in Community Through Service (ACTS) provides support services for Prince William County and surrounding areas focused on housing and homelessness, domestic abuse, sexual assault, suicide prevention, crisis helplines and food pantries. ACTS fosters hope, provides relief and promotes self-sufficiency for Prince William area residents in crisis.

About HomeAid Northern Virginia
HomeAid Northern Virginia, a chapter of HomeAid America, engages the resources and interests of the homebuilding community and its corporate partners in order to undertake new construction and major renovations to properties owned by homelessness service providers that help homeless individuals and families gain stability and get back on the road to self-sufficiency. The organization was started in 2001 by members of the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association (NVBIA), and since then, has completed 120 projects valued at more than $15.7 million, serving more than 112,000 homeless individuals.

Thanks to Van Metre and the construction trade partners that contributed labor and resources to HomeAid Northern Virginia’s project with ACTS:

  • Alliance Contracting Group LLC
  • Atlas Plumbing LLC
  • B&K Distributors, Inc.
  • Buhl Electric Company, Inc.
  • Builders Floor Service
  • Color World Paint & Drywall
  • Falcon Heating & Air Conditioning
  • G&G Carpentry
  • KT Enterprises
  • KTGY
  • Miller & Associates
  • N&B Paving
  • Railing Systems
  • Scot Engineering
  • Sight and Sound Systems, Inc.
  • Stonewall Concrete
  • TruTeam
  • Van Metre B.A.S.E
  • VCI

Building Hope Newsletter, April 2018

By | News, Uncategorized

Executive Director's Corner

HomeAid Northern Virginia’s Mike Sandkuhler and Cilda Pretorius joined me at HomeAid America’s National Conference in Orange County, Calif.

In March, HomeAid Northern Virginia President Mike Sandkuhler, Operations & Events Manager Cilda Pretorius and I headed west … to Orange County, California, where HomeAid was first founded in 1989 by the Orange County chapter of the Building Industry Association of Southern California (BIA/SC), an affiliate of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

In addition to being where the whole HomeAid movement started, it was an inspiring feeling to be reminded – as we were surrounded by executive directors and staff from most of the national organization’s 17 chapters – that we’re part of something bigger. No matter how one thinks about our own roles in the world – as a cog or a speck – being part of the HomeAid family means that we are not alone in our efforts to end homelessness in our community. As we shared our stories – along with our successes and biggest challenges – I was reminded again and again that homelessness is not a local problem, and we are not the only ones tirelessly working to find solutions to a persistent problem.

It was also intensely gratifying to be reminded of the strength of our Board in Northern Virginia, in a market that is so incredibly supportive of our efforts. I was also honored to facilitate a breakout discussion that focused on our shelter projects. After almost three days of meetings and networking, we headed home with new ideas and a strong feeling of comfort that we are backed by a national organization – and supported by partners all over the nation – that are all working as hard as we are to increase awareness of homelessness, build support for our mission, and continue to change lives.

In Gratitude,

In the Spotlight

2018 Housing Forum to Study Homelessness’ Complex Needs and Focused Solutions

Thursday, April 19, 2018
8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Breakfast and lunch are included
Location: Brookfield Residential

Register for the Housing Forum

Registration is FREE, but required.

We are pleased to announce that Norm Suchar, director of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs, will be our keynote speaker for our upcoming Housing Forum. The Office of Special Needs supports the nationwide commitment to ending homelessness and manages a portfolio of programs that provide needed shelter and housing assistance for hundreds of thousands of children, youth, and adults each year. The theme of this year’s forum is “Complex Needs, Focused Solutions.”

In addition, representatives from a wide range of homelessness providers of all types – including non-profit and government agencies – and thought leaders from County Continuums of Care Programs will share their insights through panel discussions and training sessions. Key topics to be discussed this year include:

  • Overall State of our Union
    – Trends and Ideas
    – Challenges, Opportunities and Solutions
  • Trauma Informed Care
  • Implementing Low-Barrier Services
  • Removing Barriers to Permanent Stable Housing.

The Annual Housing Forum has established itself as the region’s most unique and valuable opportunity to take a deep dive into trends and best practices in homelessness, homeless assistance, and at-risk populations. Empower yourself – and learn through collaboration with colleagues – to end homelessness by registering today!

Thank you to Presenting Sponsor Bank of America and to Venue Sponsor Brookfield Residential!

In Your Neighborhood

HomeAid, Brookfield Residential to Renovate Gabriel Homes Property

Four adult men, all long-term residents with intellectual disabilities who are working toward independent living, will soon experience first-hand how it feels to move into a newly renovated and upgraded home: HomeAid Northern Virginia and Builder Captain Brookfield Residential are set to begin a project for Gabriel Homes, owner of the 2,016-square foot home.

The project – the fifth that Brookfield will lead – will focus primarily on improving accessibility inside and outside the 46-year-old home; refreshing and upgrading the kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, and basement; painting; and replacing flooring and carpeting throughout.

Rebecca Hartner, executive director for Gabriel Homes, noted that of the seven homes Gabriel owns, this property is the oldest and, after having had a significant number of people move through the building over the years, has been exposed to significant wear and tear.

“Our residents are like you and me,” she said. “If you’re given something nice, you want to take care of it and show it off. It changes your whole demeanor – it makes you happy and proud of where you live and proud of what you’re doing in life. An additional bonus is that when our residents step up and feel more responsible for taking care of their home, it makes it easier on staff. There’s an assumption that group homes aren’t a nice place to live – they’re too institutional – but our philosophy is that our homes should be good enough that we ourselves would move in with our families tomorrow. It’s a high standard, and we’re certainly not perfect, but it’s what we strive for … and HomeAid and Brookfield are helping us achieve that goal.”

Gabriel Homes, founded 30 years ago, is a private, nonprofit organization that promotes independence through residential placement, training and community integration for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Based in Reston, Gabriel Homes serves clients in nearby regions of Fairfax County and gives residents the opportunity to stay in supportive homes for as long as they need to learn the skills they want and need to live independently. The organization’s properties feature tiered levels of support, with the house that HomeAid and Brookfield will soon renovate being a 24-hour care site. The property will be vacated during the renovation process, with the kickoff planned for the July timeframe.

Many thanks to Brookfield Residential for serving as Builder Captain and to the many trade partners who will make this project possible!

In Your Community

Loudoun Hunger Relief Open House Honors HomeAid, Knutson Companies and Trade Partners

HomeAid Northern Virginia, Builder Captain Knutson Companies, and trade partners Eastern ApplicatorsISI FlooringNEKA, and Southern Electrical were honored guests at Loudoun Hunger Relief‘s (LHR) Open House on April 4, when the food pantry celebrated the many stakeholders who have been so instrumental in the organization’s success.

In March, HomeAid, Knutson and trade partners completed the $20,000 renovation project at LHR, improving and refreshing the organization’s public waiting room and turning the food pick-up area into a more grocery store-like atmosphere—all to better enable the organization to distribute 1.2 million pounds of food to more than 8,000 people in a year.

Also in attendance at the Open House were Ralph Buona, vice chairman of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors; Bob Wertz, commissioner of the revenue for Loudoun County; Kelly Burk, mayor of Leesburg; and Bo Machayo, Chairwoman Phyllis Randall’s chief of staff. Several community nonprofit partners and LHR and HomeAid Board members were also honored guests. Buona, LHR Board Chair Carol Barbe, Knutson Companies President Don Knutson, HANV Executive Director Kristyn Burr, and LHR Executive Director Jennifer Montgomery provided welcoming remarks at the festive event.

In addition to enjoying refreshments and having the opportunity to answer questions and raise awareness about the important role the food bank plays in the Loudoun County community, Montgomery and volunteers provided tours of the newly renovated food pantry.

HomeAid President Mike Sandkuhler presents a plaque to Builder Captain Don Knutson and Ollin Toller of Knutson Companies at LHR’s Open House.
Knutson Companies and four trade partners renovated LHR’s space, converting a food pick-up area into a space where clients can select their own food items. 100% of the costs of this project were covered by Knutson and the trade partners.

Did
You
Know?

Since HomeAid Northern Virginia’s founding in 2011, more than 289 trade partners have contributed their expertise, time and resources toward at least one of the 120+ projects we have completed locally, worth more than $15.7 million.
Source: HomeAid Northern Virginia

Supporter Spotlight

Making a Difference by Never Taking Life for Granted

Gary Smerk, Business Development Manager for Cox Communications

Every organization has supporters who are so committed that others consider them to be part of the organization. For HomeAid Northern Virginia, Gary Smerk, business development manager at Cox Communications, is one such supporter. In addition to his position with Cox, Gary is a Life Director with the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association (NVBIA), has chaired NVBIA’s Associates Council, and has played an enormous role in raising awareness about HomeAid’s mission among the homebuilding industry’s trade companies, as well as inspiring them to get involved by participating in a HomeAid renovation project. Gary and his colleagues from Cox regularly help out at HomeAid events to ensure we have enough hands on deck to help make our events run smoothly. What is it about HomeAid that Gary finds so appealing? Find out in this conversation with one of our most dedicated supporters!

Q: What has inspired you to give back to the community?

A: I have been involved with HomeAid for about a dozen years and am inspired by the tireless efforts of the HomeAid staff and the NVBIA community. HomeAid is a partnership between home builders and their trade partners (such as Cox Communications), which offers hope in making a difference in the lives of the thousands of homeless men, women and children living in Northern Virginia. We often take life for granted because we live in an affluent area and have many blessings afforded to us. Unfortunately, there are too many people in our area that lack the necessities, like a roof over their heads. Through volunteerism and service leadership, my hope is to make a small contribution to the overall team effort of making a real difference in people’s lives. The gratitude these recipients express when they receive a key to their new living arrangement is what keeps me plugged in.

Q: What attracted you to HomeAid?

A: There are a lot of great causes out there, but choosing one to focus on is probably a bit more realistic than trying to help everyone. HomeAid’s cause – helping members of our community find steady housing – was something I could really get behind and support. I live life daily with a sense of gratitude and knowledge that “no one has ever become poor from giving.”

Q: How did you encourage NVBIA and trade partners to get involved with HomeAid projects? 

A: As past chair of the NVBIA Associates Council, I encouraged our committee and associates to become involved by simply sharing information about HomeAid. Since I’m so active with the organization and it’s a great cause, it was easy for me to tell their story and share information about volunteer opportunities, etc. You know, having a place to call home is probably something we take for granted. Having a family to love and support you is a blessing. And, sometimes those things become so commonplace for us we forget that fact.

Q: How do you answer the question: What’s in it for me?

A: So many people today ask themselves that question before helping someone else. And honestly, I like to pose the question instead as: “If I was someone in need, how would I want others to help me?” That way, I can walk around in their shoes for a moment and try and see what’s in it for them. Society can get a little selfish sometimes. What’s wrong with just helping someone because they need help? Maybe our world would be a little better if we just helped others without even needing something in return.

Q: Why is HomeAid’s Builders & Friends BBQ of particular importance to you?

A: I have participated in the BBQ (someone needs to pour the beer, right?) and have attended the annual Golf Tournament and Gala & Auction events, to name a few, for a while now. They are fun events but for a good cause. So, what better way to raise money than by offering guests good food and a cold beer? As an employer, Cox is very supportive of employees getting involved with community nonprofits. Actually, I am a member of the Cox Charities Advisory team, which helps select annual grant winners. So, I know deep down that Cox is a member of our community, and just like we want to see our neighbors succeed, Cox does as well.

Announcements

2017 Impact

HomeAid Northern Virginia’s  2017 Annual Impact Report is now available! Download it today and learn how HomeAid and our partners launched nine renovation projects, ultimately investing $1,035,789 in our local communities to help the homeless.

HomeAid Northern Virginia Represents

Representatives from most of HomeAid America’s 17 chapters—including HANV’s 2018 President Mike Sandkuhler, Operations & Events Manager Cilda Pretorius, and Executive Director Kristyn Burr—attended HomeAid America’s Annual National Conference in Orange County. The group shared best practices, discussed opportunities for national partnerships, and provided support to each other as we all work to end homelessness in our respective communities.

Did
You
Know?

 In 2017, HomeAid America completed 25 projects, five of which were completed by HomeAid Northern Virginia.
Source: HomeAid America Annual Conference

Did We Meet Our Next Builder Captain?

Cilda Pretorius and Kathryn Kovacs at meet the Builder on March 15.

HomeAid Northern Virginia had a big presence at the always-packed NVBIA Meet the Builder event on March 15, with an information booth to encourage builders and trade partners to get involved in future projects and to talk up our upcoming Builders & Friends BBQ in June. Thanks to all who stopped by!

Cold Ice, Warm Hearts

Thank you, Feld Entertainment, for providing 50 free tickets to Disney On Ice at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax. Children and grownups from local shelters are looking forward to a rare night out as they enjoy this year’s “Follow Your Heart” show together. We appreciate your generosity in always remembering that at least 25 percent of the population we serve are children.

Registration Open Now!

HomeAid’s Builders & Friends BBQ is one of our most popular networking events, and registration for this year’s event on June 21st is NOW OPEN! Ready to put your company name in front of the hundreds of influencers who attend? Sponsorship opportunities of all sizes are also available now; please contact Kristyn Burr for more information. Check out all the fun from last year’s event in our Flickr album.

40 Under 40 Props!

Congratulations to HomeAid Northern Virginia Board Chair Mike Sandkuhler for being named one of Professional Builder‘s 2018 40 Under 40. Mike is vice president of building operations at Van Metre Homes—a longtime Builder Captain partner—and very active with the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association. Congrats, Mike!

ISO Conference Room Furniture

HomeAid is spiffing up our headquarters, and now it’s time to take a hard look at our furnishings … and our conference room needs help! We would welcome the donation of a new or lightly used 12-foot conference table and 10-12 chairs for our meeting space, where we meet with prospective supporters and service providers, and where we hold our staff meetings. It gets a lot of use, and it’s time that we give our own space a little bit of reno love. Please contact Kristyn Burr if you’d like to help.

Save the Date

Annual Housing Forum – April 19, 2018, Brookfield ResidentialFairfax, VA 22030; This event is geared towards those who work to house the homeless.
NVBIA Crawfish Boil – April 26, 2018, 3:30–7:00 p.m., Wetland Studies and Solutions
NVBIA Parade of Homes – May 5-6, 2018
NVBIA Scramble Golf Tournament – May 21, 2018, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., River Creek Club, Leesburg, VA
9th Annual Builders and Friends BBQ – June 21, 2018, The Barn at One Loudoun
8th Annual Night at the Ballpark – August 3, 2018, Potomac Nationals Pfitzner Stadium, for families living in local shelters.
4th Annual Golf Tournament – September 21, 2018, Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club
17th Annual HomeAid Northern Virginia Gala & Auction – November 10, 2018, Lansdowne Resort & Spa

Newly Renovated Loudoun Hunger Relief Center Distributes Food with Dignity, Compassion

By | News, Uncategorized

The newly remodeled collection and distribution center, completed by HomeAid Northern Virginia, upgrades food pick-up area into a welcoming grocery store-like atmosphere

April 5, 2018 – Leesburg, VA: Loudoun Hunger Relief (LHR) unveiled its newly renovated lobby and “client choice” food selection room at an April 4 celebration attended by LHR supporters, community leaders and local officials. The upgrades include a separate lobby for customers and a wide hallway that can better house food items for choice selection, giving families more autonomy over their selections, more privacy while they shop, and – as a result – more dignity while receiving food from Loudoun Hunger Relief’s distribution site.

“At Loudoun Hunger Relief, compassion and dignity have long been core values of our service to our neighbors in need,” said Executive Director, Jennifer Montgomery. “Now, we have a space that better reflects the underlying purpose of the work we do here. We want to make sure that no one in Loudoun is hungry, and we also want to make sure that all feel the welcome, compassion and respect that every human being deserves.” Explained Montgomery: “We love putting items out for choice—everything from bread to sweets, vegetables to deli items—but the way we were set up, it meant that people waiting in line could see those in front of them shopping and perhaps taking some of the things they really hoped for. It caused much anxiety and unhappiness, and it ultimately stole dignity from people who are working so hard to provide for their families. This renovated space now separates the lobby and waiting area from the food selection/client choice area – solving these issues, preserving dignity and giving our clients a space that serves them so much better. We are grateful to HomeAid Northern Virginia for the opportunity to make these improvements to better serve our communities.”

The renovated space was designed, constructed, outfitted and finished completely through efforts of HomeAid Northern Virginia, which builds and renovates homeless shelters and supportive housing facilities via the donated expertise, labor and resources of local homebuilders – enabling nonprofit organizations such as Loudoun Hunger Relief to invest more of their budgets in supportive programs and services rather than building expenses. Knutson Companies led the project as builder captain. Four of its trade partners and subcontractors – Eastern Applicators, ISI Flooring, NEKA Granite Marble Quartz, and Southern Electric Services Company – donated materials and labor to complete the project.

The remodel transformed a “dreary” and non-functional space into a cheerful, welcoming place with a private check-in desk and upgraded the food pick-up area into a more grocery store-like atmosphere. The remodel also added a room for shelving bakery goods and produce, allowing clients to select what they know their families will eat.

Thanks to Builder Captain Knutson Companies and its construction trade partners that contributed labor and resources to the Loudoun Hunger Relief project!

Eastern Applicators
ISI Flooring

NEKA Granite Marble Quartz
Southern Electric Services Company

About Loudoun Hunger Relief

Loudoun Hunger Relief (formerly Loudoun Interfaith Relief) is the largest food pantry in Loudoun County and has served the community for 27 years. Last year LHR provided 1.2 million pounds of food to more than 8,000 individuals. 40% of those served are children. LHR distributes food to families six days a week, year round. Loudoun Hunger Relief was voted Loudoun Chamber of Commerce 2014 Nonprofit of The Year, Leesburg Today 2015 Reader’s Choice Nonprofit of The Year, the Loudoun Times Mirror 2015 and 2017 Nonprofit of the Year, Loudoun Now 2016 Favorite Non-Profit. For more information on LHR, please visit www.loudounhunger.org.      

About HomeAid Northern Virginia

HomeAid Northern Virginia, a chapter of HomeAid America, engages the resources and interests of the homebuilding community and its corporate partners in order to undertake new construction and major renovations to properties owned by homelessness service providers that help homeless individuals and families gain stability and get back on the road to self-sufficiency. The organization was started in 2001 by members of the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association (NVBIA), and since then, has completed more than 119 projects valued at more than $14.7 million, serving more than 98,500 homeless individuals.

###

Building Hope Newsletter, March 2018

By | Building Hope, In the News, News

Executive Director's Corner

(Pictured, left to right) Amiee Freeman, Kathryn Kovacs, HANV Board President Mike Sandkuhler, Kristyn Burr, and Cilda Pretorius

In a single week, we’ve completed a renovation project for a new partner, pulled off a brand-new fundraising event at TopGolf – which sold out within days and brought in $30,000 to support our mission – and sent our Annual Report to more than 3,100 supporters. I hope you’ve received yours in the mail already, but if you haven’t, you can read it here … and I hope you will take a few minutes to learn more about our biggest successes in 2017. Among other things, you’ll learn that together, we invested more than $1 million in our communities to support the homeless and at-risk populations and renovated more than 14,000 square feet of space in Alexandria, Fairfax, Springfield and Herndon. You’ll read about some of the things we did that are outside of building and renovating buildings – but that are equally important to improving the lives and self-esteem of at-risk populations. All told, it tells the story of an incredibly active and busy organization: Did you know that HomeAid America collectively completed 20 projects last year – and five of those were from our chapter alone? In this first quarter of 2018, we’ve already invested $125,000 through the three projects we currently have underway. This laser focus on never slowing our efforts to serve the men, women, and children in our region who need our help is what makes my role here so fulfilling. Thank you for being such a critical piece of the puzzle – together, we are changing lives.

In gratitude,

In the Spotlight

Inaugural GolfAid Event Sold-Out Success

HomeAid Northern Virginia’s newest event – GolfAid, a fundraising and business-building event held at TopGolf Loudoun on March 1 – was an enormous success. A sold-out crowd of 170 enjoyed a fun night of golf and camaraderie and raised $30,000 for HomeAid. Hosted by Brian Davidson, Van Metre Homes, and John Buhl, Buhl Electric Co., the event featured three hours of unlimited golf, networking with home builders and trade partners, great food, and an open bar – all in climate-controlled hitting bays.

Congratulations also to Stephanie Marcus, SCG Development, Andy Tuttle, Offix, and Porter Johnson, James Hardie, who won the TopGolf contest and took home prizes of tee time for a foursome at some of the best courses in the area. Congratulations also to Rob Barnard, SCG Development, who won a raffle for a three-month corporate platinum TopGolf membership.

“Last night epitomizes what it means to be part of the HomeAid family,” said Executive Director Kristyn Burr. “Two of our most dedicated Board members took a risk creating a brand-new event, and then 170 supporters immediately made it a sell-out success by showing up and backing what HomeAid stands for. The warmth and fellowship felt last night was palpable. Knowing that so many came out to learn more about HomeAid, support our mission, and build their own business relationships in such a fun venue made it clear that these kinds of out-of-the-box fundraisers have a place in our strategy.”

TopGolf Contest Winners (left to right): Brian Davidson, GolfAid Host; John Buhl, GolfAid Host; Stephanie Marcus, SCG Development; Andy Tuttle, Offix; Porter Johnson; James Hardie; and Kristyn Burr.
Raffle Winner Rob Barnard, SCG Development with Kristyn Burr.

In Your Neighborhood

Knutson Companies, HomeAid Celebrate Opening of Expanded Food Distribution Center

In their efforts to make LHR’s 4,700-square-foot space a more useful and more fulfilling experience, workers designed a separate lobby for customers and a wide hallway that can better house food items for choice selection, giving families more autonomy over their selections, more privacy while they shop, and more dignity. Plus, this new set-up will generate less food waste as families will be able to choose what they want and will use.

“The process has been a joy from start to finish,” Montgomery added. “Knutson and all of their trade partners have been so professional and so easy to work with. As a non-profit, we would never have dreamed about selecting premium materials like granite, and we certainly would never hire a professional color consultant to help us think through paint options! But with HomeAid and Knutson, all of that became available to us, and it is just a beautiful gift. The generosity will add so much to our client’s daily experience here, and we are so grateful.”

HomeAid Northern Virginia, Builder Captain Knutson Companies, and four trade partners have completed a renovation and expansion project for HomeAid’s newest partner,  Loudoun Hunger Relief (LHR) in Leesburg, which distributes three days’ worth of food to an average of 50 to 75 families every day. The organization is planning a celebratory Open House on March 21 to thank the many people who made the project possible, but in the meantime has already opened the space to the public for food distribution.

The overall goal of the project was to renovate and refresh the organization’s public waiting room and turn the food pick-up area into a more grocery store-like atmosphere, but in reality, the project did far more.

“I focused so much of my time on thinking through the physical needs of the space and the logistics of traffic flow,” said LHR Executive Director Jennifer Montgomery, “that I didn’t stop to really think what this renovation has also meant … and that’s simply that it feels good to be in a nice space. It’s a dignified, warm space, and the colors and brightness make you happy the minute you walk in. I simply cannot put into words how exciting this has been—what a gift! It’s so much more than I ever dared to envision!”

“I live in Loudoun County—only about a mile away from Loudoun Hunger Relief, in fact—and when this opportunity to lead a project came up in my own backyard, I knew I wanted to do it,” said Builder Captain Don Knutson of Knutson Companies. “I am a co-founder of HomeAid Northern Virginia, so I’m aware of the level of need in our region, but even I will admit that I didn’t realize the extent of what Loudoun Hunger Relief is doing, serving 11,000 individuals a year. It’s remarkable, and I’m so glad to be a part of it. I’m gratified that our trade partners always go above and beyond to provide the highest quality materials, as well. We’re strong believers in ‘if you’re going to do it, you may as well do it right,’ and for us that means exceeding expectations and providing these non-profits with a level of service and product that they may not be accustomed to. It’s an honor to help.”

An upgraded and expanded space welcomes the 50 to 75 families who stop in for groceries every day at Loudoun Hunger Relief.

Did You Know?

Loudoun County’s child food insecurity rate is 9.5% or approximately 9,660 children. Of these children, 66% are likely ineligible for federal nutrition programs due to income limitations. Nearly 17% of Loudoun’s school children qualify for free and reduced-priced meals.

In their efforts to make LHR’s 4,700-square-foot space a more useful and more fulfilling experience, workers designed a separate lobby for customers and a wide hallway that can better house food items for choice selection, giving families more autonomy over their selections, more privacy while they shop, and more dignity. Plus, this new set-up will generate less food waste as families will be able to choose what they want and will use.

“The process has been a joy from start to finish,” Montgomery added. “Knutson and all of their trade partners have been so professional and so easy to work with. As a non-profit, we would never have dreamed about selecting premium materials like granite, and we certainly would never hire a professional color consultant to help us think through paint options! But with HomeAid and Knutson, all of that became available to us, and it is just a beautiful gift. The generosity will add so much to our client’s daily experience here, and we are so grateful.”

Thank you, Knutson Companies and the following trade partners, for giving thousands of men, women, and children in Loudoun County a safe and dignified space to select and pick up much-needed food.

Eastern Applicators
ISI Flooring
NEKA Granite Marble Quartz
Southern Electrical Services Company

Trade Partner Spotlight

Knutson Companies has led several HomeAid projects of varying sizes, and their recent completion of the renovation of Loudoun Hunger Relief was not the biggest project they’ve done. But no matter the size or financial investment needed, Don Knutson and Ollin Toller, construction vice president for Knutson Companies, once again gave the project their all.

“Clients always have a list of ideas and things they need to achieve their goal,” Knutson said. “We, of course, take that into account when we draw up the plans, put together the budget, and assemble the team to handle to the project. Part of that process is always remembering that it’s not enough to just get the project done—you want the end result to be nice, too. Our trade partners always do the best that they can and provide the best quality they have, because they’re all craftsmen who are proud of their work and want to deliver the best for our client. In the case of Loudoun Hunger Relief, we wanted these 11,000 individuals to walk in and say, WOW.”

So when it came time to recruit a paint and drywall company, Knutson turned to long-time partner Rob D’Lugos of Eastern Applicators, who first started working with Knutson when he was with Beazer Homes and has continued to partner with him since he founded Knutson Companies in 2012.

“We work with HomeAid a lot, we’re members of NVBIA, and we work with many of HomeAid’s Builder Captain companies outside of HomeAid,” said D’Lugos. “When Don asked if we’d be willing to take on this project, it was an easy yes; we like helping out and giving back to the community, because personally we just feel like it’s the right thing to do. It takes us a couple of days of manpower and material, but then that translates into years of benefit for our client. We’re glad to help.”

Eastern Applicators, Inc., is a Virginia corporation founded in July 1987 specializing in drywall construction and new construction painting. The company partners with some of the nation’s largest homebuilders and general contractors in the DC/Metro area and recently launched a sister company, Safe & Sound Poured Floors, to do floor underlays.

In Your Community

HomeAid Housing Forum Taking Shape:
Make Plans to Attend Today

Thursday, April 19, 2018  •  8am – 1pm (breakfast & lunch included)

Register Now!

A full house at HomeAid’s 2017 Housing Forum brought energy, best practices, and shared strategies to one of several break-out sessions during the half-day program.

Make plans now to attend HomeAid’s Annual Housing Forum, which has become Northern Virginia’s most unique and valuable opportunity to meet and learn from shelter partner colleagues, share best practices, and gather take-aways from community leaders in the field. Scheduled for April 19 at Brookfield Residential’s headquarters, the themed half-day program will feature a keynote speaker, as well as panel discussions and training sessions on a variety of topics.

“HomeAid’s Housing Forum is always an empowering and inspirational event, when we hear firsthand the incredibly important work that our shelter partners are carrying out every day,” said HomeAid Northern Virginia’s 2018 President Mike Sandkuhler. “Having the breadth of experience that each shelter partner represents makes these programs so valuable; it’s a totally unique opportunity for providers in our region to talk about the challenges they face and help each other identify new solutions to common problems.”

Special thanks to the 2018 Housing Forum Committee for all of your hard work in putting this important program together, to Brookfield Residential for the use of its beautiful meeting space, and to the Bank of America Charitable Foundation for its generous $5,000 grant in support of this important program.

Making It Count

HomeAid 2017 Impact: The Faces Behind the Numbers

HomeAid Northern Virginia’s Impact Report is a study in numbers—and a reminder that behind every number is a man, woman, or child who may have lost their job, survived domestic violence, missed a meal, or have nowhere to lay their heads or do their homework. Each number represents a company, organization, individual, or small business willing to be part of the solution. Whether we’re renovating a home, giving tickets for a rare night out with family, or providing grocery gift cards and household essentials, our overall mission remains the same: To build new lives for Northern Virginia’s homeless.

In 2017, we served 4 shelter organizations through 5 completed projects, working with 7 Builder Captains and 130 trade partners. We started 4 more projects by year-end. Our efforts meant that 11 adults with mental illness and other disabilities could live in upgraded homes, 56 kids had a safe place to go after school, and 125 individuals living in tent cities received a winter-comfort kit to make their living situation just a little bit better.

But who are these people, partners, and donors who make our work possible? Read their stories. See their faces. And celebrate our successes in HomeAid’s 2017 Impact Report.

Supporter Spotlight

Sight & Sound Systems Provides Electronics, Security, and a Little Bit of Fun

Staff from Sight & Sound Systems in Loudoun County, Va., have donated manpower and equipment to numerous HomeAid projects.

Staff from Sight & Sound Systems in Loudoun County, Va., have donated manpower and equipment to numerous HomeAid projects.

Kris Kaymanesh, president of Sight and Sound Systems, founded his company 24 years ago in order to address the electronic needs of those in Loudoun County and beyond. Since then, his wife of 32 years, along with his three children (ages 24-29) have joined him. Together, they help homeowners with technology services, such as home automation and home theater systems. Although Sight & Sound Systems is accustomed to providing sophisticated technology services, what Kaymanesh and his family really enjoy is reaching out to those members in the community whose needs are much more basic. Find out why staff from Sight & Sound Systems generously share their systems expertise with HomeAid and with those who struggle with housing needs every day.

Q:  Can you tell us about your company?

A:  Sight & Sound Systems provides electronic solutions for our clients—not just equipment, but we sit down with clients to discuss their specific electronic needs. Their needs can be as basic as a couple of phone and video jacks, all the way up to internet and remote home security systems. We often create a level of human comfort – putting a little bit of a personal touch in certain situations. We work with Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals and other organizations to bring comfort to injured veterans. Many of them need help with daily functioning; we have situations where a person can push a button on their wheelchair, and their entire kitchen cabinetry can lower for their use.

Q:  How did you become involved with HomeAid Northern Virginia?

A:  We became involved because of our strong relationship with Van Metre Homes. By nature, I am one who likes to be involved in charitable projects; aside from HomeAid, we have done projects for Wounded Warrior and Operation Finally Home, among others. I have always felt that it’s good to do a healthy business, but it is equally important to be involved in the community and to contribute to those who are less fortunate.

We have been doing projects with HomeAid for seven or eight years now. We contribute where we can. During one of the more recent projects, we were asked to provide some surveillance cameras and some safety-related electronics for people who were living in a shelter for domestic violence survivors. We have done other similar projects.

Q:  Can you talk about the SevaTruck event?

A: SevaTruck serves food periodically to people living in the tent city in Woodbridge, and our involvement in this was a joint effort between our company and the staff: We announced that we would like to participate, and all of our employees donated what they could. Then we took those funds and put them toward blankets, gloves, socks, food bars, and similar items. So, our staff really gets credit for that. We all enjoyed it.

Q:  Can you say which is your favorite HomeAid project that you have been involved in?

A:  Actually, no. That’s why there are so many colors in the rainbow. Each has its own beauty. To us, it’s a matter of making a difference and participating as much as possible. Obviously, there are time and financial limitations at times, but we always like to contribute. Then, if it has been started, we don’t pick which one is our favorite. But I really don’t have one—each is important in its own way.

Q: What is it about HomeAid that keeps your company so dedicated to its mission?

A: I am originally from Iran. In the old world, many people use proverbs to explain their decisions, actions and so on. We have an old proverb that says, “The lantern that can provide light for your home is not needed to be taken to the church or mosque.” What the proverb means is that if you have something you can do to help your immediate surroundings, it is more important to implement it there rather than ship it out to other areas.

There are a lot of good charities out there.  However, we have many people right in our own backyards who have had a tough time in life. So, it just makes sense to us to help out those in our immediate surroundings. HomeAid is right at our back door, and the issue of homelessness does not just affect one group of people. It has different tentacles that touch many lives, and we are proud to help our community in this way.

Q:  Will you be working on any HomeAid projects in the near future?

A:  Sight & Sound Systems has a showroom where we have two nicely decorated home theaters. We told HomeAid that we could provide our showroom theaters for those who don’t normally get to go out and have some fun; we would like to help those struggling with homelessness to see a movie, enjoy dinner and some popcorn. It may not put money in their pockets, but if it puts a smile on their face, it is still good: Our first Lunch and Movie event will be scheduled this Spring with HomeAid Shelter Partners. We will play a movie and provide some food and beverage in the hopes of giving them a fun afternoon out and a happy family memory. We plan to continue to help HomeAid do great work looking out for those who are in need.

 

Announcements

It’s a Wrap!

Steve Liga, executive director, ACTS; Kristyn Burr, executive director, HomeAid Northern Virginia; Richard Clark,construction manager, Van Metre Homes; Kathryn Kovacs, program manager, HomeAid Northern Virginia; and Lula Kelly, director of housing services, ACTS (left to right), celebrate the completion of the ACTS’ Women’s Empowerment Center renovation.

HomeAid Northern Virginia, Builder Captain Van Metre Homes, 19 trade partners, and ACTS celebrated the opening of the newly renovated and expanded ACTS’ Women’s Empowerment Center. Thank you to all who worked on this important, $80,000+ project—because of your generosity, ACTS can now deliver diverse training and comprehensive case management to a broader population of women and families in Prince William County, while also housing a live-in residential coordinator to serve ACTS’ residents.

Congratulations!

Zabiullah Nekzad, HomeAid events coordinating intern, is a new graduate from Training Futures, a workforce development program of Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS)! Zabi worked with us as part of Training Futures’ three-week intern program, and we’re grateful for the work and energy that he brought to our office. We wish him all the very best as he takes the next step in his career!

Did
You
Know?

Since 1996, Training Futures has trained more than 2,200 people from diverse backgrounds and experience and, within six months of graduation, 72% of trainees secure full-time employment in an office environment.
Source: Northern Virginia Family Services
HomeAid’s Event Manager Cilda Pretorius and Zabiullah Nekzad, Training Futures graduate and HomeAid Northern Virginia intern.

Breaking News

On February 28, The Washington Post reported that the men and women living in the “tent city” off Telegraph Road in Prince William County must vacate by March 1 or risk being cited for trespassing. Many of the tent city residents have lived there as long as 15 years, and we, along with SevaTruck, visited the tent city twice to help deliver food and winter supplies to those in need. We will continue to follow this issue as we pursue our mission of helping the homeless and at-risk populations in Northern Virginia.

HomeAid Visits Elected Officials in Richmond

Thank you to Senator Dave Marsden, Senator Barbara Favola, Senator Adam Ebbin, Senator Jeremy McPike, the office of Senator Dick Saslaw and to Delegate Tim Hugo, who met with HomeAid Executive Director Kristyn Burr, HomeAid Board Chair Mike Sandkuhler, and Board Member Brian Davidson on February 15. We are so grateful for your time and your interest in ending homelessness in our region.

And, a huge thank you to Andrew Clark of HBAV for making the day possible!

Pictured: Brian Davidson; Andrew Clark, vice president of government relations, Home Builders Association of Virginia; Mike Sandkuhler; Senator Adam Ebbin; and Kristyn Burr (left to right).

Catholic Charities Project Kicks Off

HomeAid and Builder Captain Toll Brothers kicked off an estimated $100,000 project for Catholic Charities, with 70% of the funds needed for this project being donated by HomeAid and supporters. This project will renovate and update a 14-unit apartment building for at-risk families. With some families living in the building during the two-month renovation process, we will demo and work on three units at a time until completed.

Welcome

Amiee Freeman has joined our staff as HomeAid’s programs and communications specialist. Previously the communications specialist for DAI, Amiee comes to us with a great deal of experience in branding; writing, editing, designing and creating publications; social media promotions; and planning and promoting conferences and events. She holds a Master’s in public policy in environmental policy from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor’s degree in English from Franklin and Marshall College. Please join us in welcoming Amiee — she will be an enormous asset to our communications and events efforts!

Final Salute Renovation Back on Track

HomeAid, Builder Captain Winchester Homes, and dozens of trade partners are moving full steam ahead on the $550,000 renovation of Final Salute’s residence in Fairfax County where, upon completion, 10 female veterans and their children will live. Women veterans are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population according to Final Salute, and more than 60% of programs serving veterans don’t take in women, or don’t take in women with children, or have age limits on veterans’ children. We are proud to work with Final Salute and look forward to providing not only stability but also a beautiful and safe place to call home for some of our nation’s veterans!

ISO Conference Room Furniture

empty conference table and office chairs

HomeAid is spiffing up our headquarters, and now it’s time to take a hard look at our furnishings … and our conference room needs help! We would welcome the donation of a new or lightly used 12-foot conference table and 10-12 chairs for our meeting space, where we meet with prospective supporters and service providers, and where we hold our staff meetings. It gets a lot of use, and it’s time that we give our own space a little bit of reno love. Please contact Kristyn Burr if you’d like to help.

Save the Date

NVBIA’s Meet the Builder – March 15, 2018, Waterford Fair Oaks 
Annual Housing Forum 
– April 19, 2018, Brookfield Residential, Fairfax, VA 22020; This event is geared towards those who work in the field.
NVBIA Crawfish Boil
– April 26, 2018, 3:30-7:00 p.m., Wetland Studies and Solutions
NVBIA Parade of Homes
 – May 5-6, 2018
NVBIA Scramble Golf Tournament – May 21, 2018, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., River Creek Club, Leesburg, VA
9th Annual Builders and Friends BBQ – June 21, 2018, The Barn at One Loudoun
8th Annual Night at the Ballpark – August 3, 2018, Potomac Nationals Pfitzner Stadium, for families living in local shelters.
4th Annual Golf Tournament – September 21, 2018, Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club
17th Annual HomeAid Northern Virginia Gala & Auction – November 10, 2018, Lansdowne Resort & Spa

Building Hope Newsletter, February 2018

By | Building Hope, In the News, News

Executive Director's Corner

Kristyn Burr

It’s hard to think of a better way to start off a new year than with a new partner or a new event, and this year, we’re doing both. Just this week, we kicked off a renovation project for a brand-new partner—Loudoun Hunger Relief (LHR)—which is doing incredible work in our region’s fastest growing and richest county. It’s so easy to forget that struggle is all around us—and in Loudoun County, there are segments of the population who are homeless, housebound, or barely getting by. LHR serves food and support to every population, and they go the extra mile for their clients, whether it’s encouraging the homeless to get to a shelter for further services or providing breakfast and snacks to food-insecure students when they’re not in school. Then, in March, we’ll be trying out a brand-new fundraising and networking event at TopGolf Loudoun, with two of our most dedicated Board members being the inspiration behind the idea and co-hosts of the event. We have a lot of dedicated golfers in our support network, and I’m excited to try out a venue where weather won’t matter and where we can easily gather everyone under one roof for sport, friendship, and refreshments. Whether you’ve always wanted to try out golf or are an experienced player, I hope you’ll join us as we continue to toast a year that is shaping up to be one full of new support, new energy, and new collaborations.

In Gratitude,

In the Spotlight

Play Golf (and Stay Warm!), Network with Top Home Builders and Trade Partners

Old Man Winter may not be out of here yet, but that doesn’t mean that golfers have to stay home—especially on March 1, when HomeAid’s Brian Davidson, Van Metre Homes, and John Buhl, Buhl Electric Co., will host GolfAid, a fundraiser for HomeAid, at the popular TopGolf Loudoun complex. The golfers’ mecca, which features climate-controlled hitting bays, full-service restaurant and bars, and private event space, will welcome HomeAid supporters for three hours (4:00-7:00 p.m.) of unlimited golf, networking with home builders and trade partners, great food, and a full bar. Registration is $250 per person, with a large portion of every registration going to support HomeAid Northern Virginia.

“John and I are big golfers, and since we already have the HomeAid Golf Tournament, we wanted to do something different,” explained Davidson. “John had attended another event at TopGolf and saw that it had so much to offer … it’s equally attractive to beginner through expert golfers, and because we’re not all spread out on a course, networking with the entire group—instead of just your foursome—is so much easier. We’ll have more time to really talk about and raise awareness of HomeAid’s mission, and with a heated venue, it won’t matter what the weather is doing. It’s also a simpler event to organize for our first time out—we hope it’ll be a unique way to gather HomeAid supporters together during an otherwise ‘off’ month while still offering the fun of golf, food, and drinks.”

Mid-way through the evening, John and Brian will challenge golfers to a top golf contest, with the top three golfers taking home bragging rights and tee time for a foursome at some of the best courses in the area. A raffle for a three-month corporate platinum TopGolf membership will be available, as well.

For more information, contact Cilda Pretorius at 703-953-3525.


Did
You
Know?

The average golf course hosts 50 events per year, and the average golf fundraising event raises $5,000 after expenses, generating more than $4 billion for charity in the U.S. every year.

In Your Neighborhood

HomeAid, Van Metre and ACTS Prepare New Space for Women’s Empowerment Center

HomeAid Northern Virginia, Builder Captain Van Metre Homes, and 19 trade partners are nearing the completion of a $60,000 renovation project for ACTS’ Women’s Empowerment Center, which will allow the organization the capacity to serve a broader population of women and families in the Prince William County community.

The project involved turning a 2,452 square-foot basement into classrooms and offices, where women will now receive diverse training provided by ACTS and community partners, as well as comprehensive case management. Upstairs, first-floor office space was converted to a suite for a 24-hour, live-in residential coordinator.

Thank you, Van Metre Homes and the following trade partners, for giving women the gift of greater economic independence and self-sufficiency.

Alliance Contracting Group LLC
Atlas Plumbing LLC
B&K Distributors, Inc.
Buhl Electric Company, Inc.
Builders Floor Service
Color World Paint & Drywall
Falcon Heating & Air Conditioning
G&G Carpentry
KT Enterprises
KTGY

Miller & Associates
N&B Paving
Railing Systems
Scot Engineering
Sight and Sound Systems, Inc.
Stonewall Concrete
TruTeam
Van Metre B.A.S.E
VCI

Velasquez Contracting is a Company to Count On

Velasquez Contractors Inc., or VCI as the company is best known, is one of the biggest framing companies in the area, and a long-time partner for Van Metre Homes. So when it was time for Builder Captain Van Metre to build its team for the ACTS’ Women’s Empowerment Center renovation, Mike Sandkuhler, the company’s vice president of building operations, knew exactly who to turn to: VCI Owner Sammy Velasquez.

“Sammy’s company does all of our new-build work, and he’s a great man,” Sandkuhler said. “He and his company have been strong partners with Van Metre for years, and they’ve been continual supporters of HomeAid. They’ve worked on many, many projects for HomeAid, and I was pleased to see them step forward for this project, too.”

“We like to give back to the community, and we like working with HomeAid,” Velasquez said. “We did all the carpentry and framing work for the ACTS project, just as we did the framing for HomeAid’s Youth For Tomorrow project in 2017. We like being able to help in any way we can.”

VCI, based in Chantilly, Va., was founded 29 years ago. For more information, call Sammy Velasquez at 703-929-2130.

In Your Community

Alexandria City Honored with 2018 Audrey Nelson Community Development Award for HomeAid-Renovated Community Lodgings

Sheryl Kenny (Arlington, TX), NCDA Treasurer; Dale Cook (Palm Springs, CA), NCDA Secretary; Vicki Watson, NCDA Executive Director; Kristyn Burr, HomeAid Northern Virginia Executive Director; Cindy Metcalf, City of Alexandria, Office of Housing; Eric Keeler, City of Alexandria, Office of Housing; Patrick Sullivan (New Bedford, MA), NCDA President; Lynn Thomas, Community Lodgings Executive Director; and George Mensah (Miami, FL), NCDA Vice-President (left to right) accept the National Community Development Association’s (NCDA) prestigious Audrey Nelson Community Development Award for their support of the substantial rehabilitation of Community Lodgings.

The City of Alexandria’s Office of Housing was honored on Friday, January 25, with the National Community Development Association’s (NCDA) prestigious Audrey Nelson Community Development Award for its support of the substantial rehabilitation of the Community Lodgings (CLI) property in Alexandria. The renovation of the six-unit apartment building, including the reconfiguration of space to create a seventh two-bedroom unit, was led by HomeAid Northern Virginia and Builder Captains Brookfield ResidentialEvergreene CompaniesM/I Homes, and Richmond American Homes.

The $1,059,411 project addressed the critical need to preserve the City’s stock of affordable housing, particularly for underserved families in Alexandria, many of whom have fled domestic violence or are chronically homeless, and was a collaborative effort between CLI, the City of Alexandria Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, Home Investment Partnerships (HOME) funds from HUD, HomeAid of Northern Virginia, BB&T, the four Builder Captains, and a network of HomeAid trade partners.

“The project not only contributes to preserving affordable housing in the City, but it provides an opportunity for underserved families to live comfortably and independently,” Lynn Thomas, CLI’s executive director, wrote in the award nomination. “It gives these families stability, so they can be empowered to become self-sufficient. For residents at Community Lodgings, self-sufficiency means they can access transportation, amenities, and supportive social services, which all make a positive and meaningful impact on their lives. Additionally, every homeless person who lives in these units in turn reduces strain on other parts of social-services system, from hospital emergency rooms to homeless shelters.”

The prestigious award is named after Audrey Nelson, the first Deputy Executive Secretary of NCDA. Nelson grew up in an inner-city Chicago neighborhood, which was a target area for the local Model Cities Program. Very involved in her neighborhood and driven to serve low-income people, she died at the age of 29 due to cancer.

HomeAid was proud to join CLI and the City of Alexandria at the awards ceremony to share in the excitement of having such a worthy project recognized – congratulations to all of our partners!

Making It Count

New Partner Spotlight: Loudoun Hunger Relief

HomeAid’s newest partner—Loudoun Hunger Relief (LHR) in Leesburg—will soon be working with Builder Captain Knutson Companies to renovate and refresh the organization’s public waiting room and turn the food pick-up area into a more grocery store-like atmosphere.

But who is this new partner, and how is it that LHR—located in the country’s richest county—last year distributed 1.2 million pounds of food to more than 11,000 people—including groceries to seniors and the disabled, and breakfast and snacks to food-insecure students?

LHR’s story is really a story about what happens when a community grows exponentially quickly: Before 1991, Loudoun County was mostly rural with a small population. Church-based food pantries could handle need, but as the County started to grow, it became increasingly difficult to find food-on-call. A woman who worked for the County’s government social services department wanted to help, forming a non-profit supported by faith-based organizations, where food could be available more regularly and where volunteers would have a consistent way to get food to those who needed it. Fast forward to today, and Loudoun’s population has quadrupled, and that non-profit – LHR – is now a $3.2 million organization with 10 staff members and 340 volunteers, who last year worked 12,000 hours. This year alone, they’ve already served 472 individuals, averaging between 50 to 75 families a day, six days a week, with enough groceries to feed a household of four three meals and snacks for three days.

“Our portions are generous, and although much of the food is pre-packed, we have copious bakery products that individuals can ‘shop,’ and we are always working to get more fresh produce to put out,” said Jennifer Montgomery, executive director at LHR. “Homeless individuals can come in every day for food, and anyone can come for bread every day. Otherwise, we serve each family up to two times per month.

“The reality is, it’s really expensive to live here. The United Way put out a study that showed that in order to live in Loudoun as a family of four with daycare needs, a family needs to earn $94,000 a year—and that means living paycheck to paycheck with zero savings,” she added. “That’s the crux of the problem, and it’s reflected in the fact that our surveys show that 70 percent of those we serve are working, while 11 percent are seniors. These aren’t people ‘living off the government’ … you just can’t live in this county without a job, and the people we serve are your neighbors and your kids’ classmates. They’re families working hard and trying to make ends meet, spending the majority of their funds on housing and transit, without much left over and no safety net. While we will serve families twice a month, the majority only come once a month, showing us how fine a line many are living on … they need us as a BandAid gap between paychecks, so there may only be a few days a month they need help, and I’m glad we’re here to help them bridge that gap.”

The HomeAid-led renovation will mean big changes for the organization, and staff and volunteers are excited to see it come to fruition.

“One of our biggest challenges is that at 4,700 square feet, we’re small for the number of people we serve,” Montgomery added. “We really love putting things out for choice—everything from bread to sweets, vegetables to deli items—but the way we’re set up, it means that people waiting in line can see those in front of them shopping and perhaps taking some of the things they really hoped for. It causes so much anxiety and unhappiness, and it steals so much dignity from people who are working so hard to provide for their families. This project will keep the lobby separate and allow a hallway that will house the items for choice selection, which will give families more autonomy over their selections, more privacy while they shop, and more dignity and less waste as they can choose what they want and will use.”

“An Eagle Scout is making slanted market tables for us, and we’ll have a three-door refrigerator. We’ll be able to check people in and allow them to privately select what they want, pick up their pre-packaged items, and exit out another side. We’ll have more space for restocking, and the whole experience will feel more dignified and streamlined. We are super excited and so grateful … when [Don Knutson] asked us what kind of granite we wanted, I was just overwhelmed – I couldn’t believe we’d get granite! He admonished us to stop thinking like a non-profit, and I’m just so excited for what this will mean for our clients. We work so hard to make this a welcoming and fulfilling experience, and this renovation will really advance that goal.”

Did
You
Know?

Loudoun County, the wealthiest in the country, boasts a median income of $122,238 and a poverty rate of 4%. But in one census tract near Leesburg, 20 percent of children live in poverty, and just more than half of residents have a high school diploma.

Supporter Spotlight

Photographer Bob Narod’s Generosity is Picture Perfect

Bob Narod (middle) and his son, Brendan, and daughter-in-law, Melody Rush, have volunteered their company’s photography services at more than 75 HomeAid events.

In 1995, Bob Narod was at a NVBIA meeting, discussing the budget for an upcoming NVBIA event. “When the photography issue came up, I thought I could help out by offering our services at no charge for the event,” he said. Nearly 23 years later, Bob is still volunteering his company’s photography services not just for NVBIA, but for HomeAid Northern Virginia as well.

Bob’s company, Bob Narod, Photography, LLC, which includes his son, Brendan, and daughter-in-law, Melody, is a perfect example of the many generous volunteers that HomeAid is lucky enough to rely on, as HomeAid simply could not reach so many in need of housing without volunteers like Bob and his family.

Q:  What was the first HomeAid event that you worked on?

A:  The 2003 Gala and Auction—it had a theme of “Catch a Falling Star,” and I remember that the fundraising event featured famous actress impersonator, Shannon Benton, as Marilyn Monroe. It was a lot of fun, with many great subjects to photograph, and it gave me a wonderful feeling being able to contribute to such a great cause.

Q:  You have been very loyal and generous to HomeAid over the years; what keeps you so committed?

A:  We really enjoy working for HomeAid. The cause is so important, and we love seeing the results and the gratitude felt by the people who benefit from the completed projects. We have photographed so many HomeAid events and projects – at least 75 or more – including ground breakings, ribbon cuttings, dedications, construction and completion of projects, barbeques, golf tournaments, auctions, and more.  They have each been special in their own way, and it gives us pride to work on these projects for HomeAid.

Q:  What are some of your favorites?

A:  A couple of them stand out: The Carpenter’s Shelter opening and the Youth for Tomorrow events were very touching. The Gala and Auctions, of course, are always fun. Really, I enjoy them all, and I am always so impressed by the generosity of the attendees. We especially enjoy the Golf Tournament; the participants are always happy to be taking time off of work to golf, network, and ‘talk a little trash’ with their friends at this event. It is a great atmosphere and one that we are always delighted to be involved with.

Q:  It must be very rewarding to work for a family company; can you talk about how you got into the photography business?

A:  I began my photography career in 1971 after spending two years in the Army as a clinical lab instructor. While in graduate school, I was introduced to an established commercial photographer, and I eventually became his associate. Many years later, my son, Patrick, married Melody and brought her home from Tennessee. She needed a job, and I needed an assistant, and now we’ve been together for almost a decade. My youngest son, Brendan, is also a full-time photographer and image processor for us. He is not seen as often as Melody or myself, but his role is just as important. It is very rewarding to work with my family, and it is especially meaningful to work with an organization like HomeAid, which does so much for the community and for those in need of housing. We plan on photographing HomeAid events long into the future – we consider them part of our family.

Announcements

Welcome

Zabiullah Nekzad has joined HomeAid’s staff as our events coordinating intern. He is enrolled in Training Futures, a six-month workforce development program of Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) that is accredited by the Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC). The program curriculum includes courses in computer skills, records management, business communication and writing, and organizational behavior, and enrolled students also attend professional development workshops and weekly speakers club meetings.

“Before I came to the U.S., I worked for DynCorp International as an interpreter/translator in the Ministry of the Interior for eight years, translating between the U.S. Army and Afghanistan Police personnel, plus translating reports from around the country. Through my work with the U.S. Army, I was offered an opportunity to come to the U.S. and in September 2014, I received my Visa and came with my family to Virginia.”

“Since then, I have worked as a cashier, delivery driver, and volunteer, before a friend enrolled in Training Futures encouraged me to apply for the next cycle,” he added. “Through Training Futures, I’ve been able to improve my computer skills, and I will earn my certificates in PowerPoint, Word and Excel by the time I graduate. I’ve learned a great deal about record management, customer service, business communication, and public speaking, and I’ve performed several presentations and have attended workshops like time management, business chemistry, and conflict resolution. I feel well prepared to work in any position, and working at HomeAid has been a big opportunity for me as I learn how to work on different projects and improve relationship building and office skills. I hope to eventually work full-time in an administrative support role in Northern Virginia.”

Call for Spring Interns

Our summer internship program is filling fast, but we still have positions open for the spring; if you know a student looking for meaningful work experience, please send them our way! An internship with HomeAid can launch a career, and we have opportunities in a variety of positions. To apply, send a cover letter and resume to info@homeaidnova.org.

NVBIA President’s Ball

HomeAid Northern Virginia represents at the NVBIA Presidents’ Ball! First row, left to right: Sal Migliore, Brian Guidash, Brian Davidson, Kristyn Burr, Russ Rosenberger, Debbie Rosenstein, and John Buhl, Jr. Second row, left to right: Mike Sandkuhler, Jerry Berman, Jarod Blaney, and David Gill.

Thank You

Thank you, Bank of America, for sponsoring our Annual Housing Forum—your support will go a long way in helping us share best practices and support a unique networking experience with our shelter providers throughout Northern Virginia!

Thank You

A round of applause to 11 local Wal-Mart stores for your generous $7,500 in grant donations; all of the funds will go toward supporting our mission of building homes—and new lives—for Northern Virginia’s homeless men, women, and children.

Save the Date

GolfAid for HomeAid – March 1, 2018, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. TopGolf Loudoun

Annual Housing Forum – April 19, 2018, Venue TBD. This event is geared towards those who work in the field; more information will be available soon.

NVBIA Parade of Homes – May 5-6

NVBIA Crawfish Boil – April 26, 3:30 – 7:00 p.m. Wetland Studies and Solutions

9th Annual Builders and Friends BBQ – June 21, The Barn at One Loudoun

8th Annual Night at the Ballpark – August 3, Potomac Nationals Pfitzner Stadium, for families living in local shelters

4th Annual Golf Tournament  – September 21, 2018 Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club

Building Hope Newsletter, January 2018

By | News

Executive Director’s Corner

Kristyn Burr (center) helps distribute blankets and other winter essentials to “tent city” residents in Prince William County.

For some, this really is the most wonderful time of year, with family, parties, festive meals, and beautifully packaged gifts part of the everyday. But for others, it’s a season of stress, guilt, and worry over how to make the holiday feel special for a child when money is tight. And for many others, it’s just another day on the streets, with the fight to stay warm and fed taking precedence over all else. In mid-December, HomeAid joined with our partner, SevaTruck, at a tent city in Woodbridge, where we together provided hot meals and distributed blankets, warm socks, and other winter essentials to the individuals and families who live in tents year-round – many of whom work full-time jobs. It was a day full of feel-good moments, and what I’ll remember most isn’t so much the level of need out there – which of course is enormous – but instead the smiles and hugs from people who have a seemingly endless supply of gratitude. It was a reminder that while we all have different paths, we’re all human. And while everyone has a unique story, we all respond to kindness – one man even tried to give me some hand warmers, when he noticed that I was cold. It’s a moment I’ve carried with me into the New Year, as well as a reminder to always take a moment to acknowledge the people we meet along the way – even the shortest of exchanges can change someone’s day. I look forward to applying that same spirit of outreach in everything we do as an organization this year, whether through our tried and true events or through new opportunities and new partnerships. I hope you’ll join me with a similar resolution. Happy New Year!

In gratitude,

 

HomeAid and SevaTruck Deliver Food, Winter Essentials to Homeless
HomeAid volunteers and Board members gather on the season’s first snowy day to distribute winter essentials to homeless men and women living in a “tent city” in Woodbridge. Partner SevaTruck offered free hot meals, as well. (photo credit: Rushdi Nackerdien)

The first snowy winter weather of the season hit on Saturday, December 9, and HomeAid Northern Virginia and partner SevaTruck were out in force to greet it! With Board members and other volunteers in tow, the two organizations met in the parking lot of the Prince William County Drop-In Center, where they provided hot meals, backpacks, blankets, hats, socks, toilet paper, insulated sleeping mats, and other essentials to homeless men and women who live in the surrounding “tent city” in Woodbridge.

The residents, many of whom work full-time or attend school, are living in the tent city for a variety of reasons—but very few are there by choice; in a report by CBS-TV, Resident Dwyane Green explained, “It is like the safety net of life was snatched from under me, and that drop is a long drop.”

“I was a homeowner all my life, lost my home to foreclosure, my second husband quit his job and was unemployed for a couple months, and that was the catalyst,” another resident shared.

“It’s a common theme,” said HomeAid Northern Virginia Executive Director Kristyn Burr. “Very few people choose to be homeless, but for a variety of reasons, their life circumstances worked out that way. Not everyone has a safety net to fall back on, so when they hit hard times, they don’t have much choice. They’re still working, still going to school … but they don’t earn what it takes to maintain a home and keep up with commuting costs in this region. It’s a difficult story, and we see it every day.”

Did you know? An estimated 400-500 homeless men and women live in about 55 homeless camps in Prince William County, with some residents living in the camps for as long as five years.
Source:
CBS-TV

“As volunteers, it’s always rewarding to see a smile when someone tastes our meals,” added Sonny Kakar, SevaTruck Foundations’ founder. “We served veggie burritos with salad, cookies, juice, water, and coffee, and on a snowy and freezing cold day, we made all of our clients smile. This event really expressed the true meaning of the ‘Seva,’ a Punjabi word that means ‘inspired to serve,’ and that we must express our love for the Almighty through service to all of humanity without judgment or discrimination. Witnessing firsthand the incredible work HomeAid does for the most unfortunate members of our community was an experience that our organization will never forget, and we look forward to partnering with HomeAid again to make the present and future a little bit brighter for those in need in Prince William County.”

 

HomeAid and Van Metre Homes Nearing Completion of Women’s Empowerment Center Renovation

Workers build out lower-level classroom space for women to receive life-skills training and comprehensive case management.

HomeAid Northern Virginia, Builder Captain Van Metre Homes, and 14 trade partners are putting the finishing touches on a $35,000 renovation project for ACTS’ Women’s Empowerment Center, so that the organization can serve a broader population of women and families in the Prince William County community. Currently, the Center provides the “Empowering Women in Transition” residential program for women and families, as well as the ACTS Rapid Re-Housing Program, which is focused on getting homeless individuals and families into permanent housing.

The full renovation of the 2,452 square-foot basement into classrooms and offices will enable the Center to offer all programming downstairs, while allowing the first and second floors of the Center to retain a true “home” feeling. Five chronically homeless women and their children, many with physical and mental disabilities, will each have their own one- or two-room units with private baths, sharing a spacious kitchen, living room, children’s room, and yard with a deck and new playset. Downstairs, women will receive diverse training provided by ACTS and community partners, as well as comprehensive case management. The vision for the Center is to become a central location for women to find all they need to live on their own and maximize their own potential.

“As a core part of our mission, we at ACTS are here to offer a hand when the community reaches out to us, and we reach out to our local communities whenever we can be of service. The renovation of our Women’s Empowerment Center will give us greater ability to do both, and to forward our work to change lives and create safe and welcoming communities for vulnerable individuals and families in Prince William County and its surrounding areas,” said Steven Liga, chief executive officer of ACTS. “We thank HomeAid Northern Virginia and Van Metre Homes for taking on this project and bringing it to life for ACTS and for the communities we serve.”

“This project has been a long journey, but will be so worthwhile once it’s completed,” said Mike Sandkuhler, vice president of building operations for Van Metre Homes. “The property was zoned as residential but changed to commercial, which required a host of changes in the permitting and codes process. It’s been another illustration of the value of having HomeAid at the table, helping the shelters through what can be an incredibly difficult process, but we’re now underway, and we are looking forward to providing additional space and comfort to women who would not otherwise have this option.”

Thank you, Van Metre Homes and the following trade partners, for giving women the gift of greater economic independence and self-sufficiency.

Alliance Contracting Group LLC
Atlas Plumbing LLC
B&K Distributors, Inc.
Buhl Electric Company, Inc.
Builders Floor Service
Color World Paint & Drywall
Falcon Heating & Air Conditioning

G&G Carpentry
Miller & Associates
Scot Engineering
Sight and Sound Systems, Inc.
TruTeam
Van Metre B.A.S.E
VCI

 

 
Mike Sandkuhler Elected 2018 HomeAid Northern Virginia President
Mike Sandkuhler

Mike Sandkuhler, vice president of building operations for Van Metre Homes, was recently elected the 2018 president of HomeAid Northern Virginia, following three years of service on HomeAid Northern Virginia’s Board of Directors and after having served several years leading the Prince William chapter of the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association (NVBIA) and serving as NVBIA’s president in 2016. Sandkuhler has also served as a Builder Captain multiple times for HomeAid, first with The Christopher Companies and more recently with Van Metre Homes.

“I’ve enjoyed every single thing about working with HomeAid and the other board members during my tenure, and I’m honored to help lead the organization in 2018,” Sandkuhler said. “As a builder, I’d be hard pressed to think of a better way to give back to those who need our help, and I’m looking forward to continuing to strengthen the bond and partnership between HomeAid and NVBIA. In particular, I would like to see more builders get involved by taking on projects as Builder Captains—it’s an incredible experience, and I understand the hesitancy in taking on a project when life feels so busy and time-crunched. But seeing for ourselves the people who need help makes a real impact; I think so many of us are pretty far removed from stories like that in our daily lives, but they are all around us in Northern Virginia. It’s extremely rewarding to be part of an organization that’s helping transform and potentially save people’s lives.”

Joining Sandkuhler on the HomeAid Northern Virginia 2018 executive committee are Jerry Berman (M/I Homes), immediate past president; Gary Chandler (K. Hovnanian Homes), vice president/president-elect; Rick Cole (The Long Companies), treasurer; and Jason McDonough (United Bank), secretary.

In addition, four new members were elected to the 2018 Board of Directors: Scott Canan (Toll Brothers, Inc.), Alison Lee, Deepak (Dee) Kakar (M&T Bank), and Soledad Portilla (Stanley Martin Homes).

Scott Canan
Toll Brothers, Inc.
Alison Lee Deepak (Dee) Kakar
M&T Bank
Soledad Portilla
Stanley Martin Homes

Many thanks to departing Board Members Jon Adler and Katherine K. Hanley; we appreciate your many years of service!

Making it Count

Donations Make Huge Impact for Shelter Clients, Homeless

Stearns Lending of Fairfax assembled 100 care kits as part of their HomeAid for the Holidays partnership with HomeAid America. We’ve already distributed some to individuals struggling with homelessness in D.C. and will distribute the rest during the Point in Time count in January. Thank you!

It’s a season for goodwill and giving, and HomeAid Northern Virginia was blessed with a lot of donations to our Helping Hands program, which encourages grocery gift card and household essential donations for individuals and families moving into recently completed HomeAid projects. At the start of December, Intercoastal Mortgage Company collected diapers and blankets at their Christmas party, and Frontpoint Security dedicated a staff Happy Hour to us — meaning that we received 20% of all proceeds and a collection of household essentials for our Welcome Home baskets. Next, NVBIA Custom Builder’s Council collected blankets and warm socks at their holiday mixer.

Did You Know? Some of the top needs for the homeless include: bottled water; new underwear and socks; gift cards from chain stores for shoes; personal grooming products such as deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, brushes, tissues, toilet paper, feminine hygiene, soap and shampoo; dish soap; baby wipes and diapers; sleeping bags; and reading glasses.

So where do all the donations to HomeAid end up, and what does it mean to those who receive them?

For starters, donations of diapers means relieving mothers of sometimes-impossible decisions:

“Diapers are so expensive, and if a mother is faced with spending limited resources on a prescription for her baby or diapers, they’ll often feel that the diapers are an immediate need and the prescription can be put off,” said Meghan Huebner, vice president of residential services for Second Story. “And no one can donate prescriptions … so getting a donation of diapers means that those moms can refocus their resources on what their baby also really needs. We also have families in our programs who are contributing to part of their rent … so when times are really tight, they can quite literally be faced with having to choose between paying rent or buying diapers. Getting donations takes that level of worry and difficult choices away.”

Diapers are a big expense for any new parent — but for homeless teen moms or mothers fleeing domestic violence, it is a major struggle to ever have enough. Thank you to Intercoastal Mortgage Company for collecting diapers that were distributed to HomeAid shelter partners!

Huebner added that larger-sized diapers are always in particular need, as babies outgrow newborn and size 1s and 2s so quickly.

Donated blankets will be distributed during the January 25 “Point in Time” count, when volunteers measure the unsheltered homeless population over the course of one night. HomeAid will be donating blankets to both Streetlight and ACTS, as both organizations help with the Point in Time count every year.

“Throughout the year, Shelter House is also honored to receive support from the community — through donations and through partnerships such as the one we enjoy with HomeAid Northern Virginia, who put in countless hours helping our neighbors in need,” added Joe Meyer, executive director and CEO at Shelter House. “HomeAid goes beyond their immediate scope of renovation and construction work to provide essential items to people experiencing homelessness, and we are so thankful to HomeAid for ALWAYS doing more, embracing our community, and leading the way by bringing equitable services to our most vulnerable citizens.”

 

 

SevaTruck and HomeAid Team Up to Fight Homelessness and Hunger

SevaTruck founder and CEO Sonny Kakar, Sevatec employee Willie Camp, Willie’s wife Pamela, and Sevatec employee Svetlana Wiczer (back to front) cook warm and nutritious meals for homeless men and women living in a tent city in Woodbridge,Va.

For the second year, HomeAid Northern Virginia has teamed up with SevaTruck, a nonprofit food truck serving nutritious hot meals to those in need. HomeAid’s partnership with SevaTruck has directly impacted the lives of many who struggle with homelessness in Northern Virginia.  Carol Barbosa Jeliazkov, of SevaTruck, talks about the origin of the organization and its relationship with HomeAid.

Q:  How did SevaTruck come about, and what is its mission?

A:  The SevaTruck Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization, serves to combat the effects of poverty in major cities across the United States where there exists a vibrant and engaged Sikh Community. The first city identified to launch the SevaTruck initiative was in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Of the three essentials required by all of humanity — food, shelter, and security — hunger stands out as the most visible and the most debilitating, yet the easiest to address. Embarrassingly, it remains prevalent — even in the nation’s capital where one in seven families struggle with basic nutrition. Even more alarming is that Washington, D.C., has the highest rate of food insecurity among children.

SevaTruck, a mobile food truck equipped with a commercial full kitchen, aims to expand the reach and impact of the local area network of organizations addressing food insecurity and poverty in our community. While the D.C. metropolitan area sustains several food banks, shelters, and food assistance programs, to our knowledge there was no mobile food service solution.

We aim to provide healthy, vegetarian, nutritious meals to individuals and communities in need, where and when it is needed. Our primary focus groups include underprivileged children and veterans. Often, some individual shelters find themselves low on food, or the physical location of a shelter may be inconvenient for individuals or families to reach. In other cases, organizations are looking for partners to supplement and complement their services with meal services. In either case, offering a convenient, dignified opportunity for a nutritious meal through the “coolness” of a food truck concept can be an enjoyable experience. From this perspective, SevaTruck serves to supplement the local food banks by providing a new experience for those with food insecurity and helping the broader network of food banks, shelters, and food assistance programs helping eliminate hunger in our community.

SevaTruck serves an average of 200 meals per event. The meals consist of an entrée, a side dish, dessert, fruit, and water. Our partners are located around the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area, and we also serve Jefferson County in West Virginia. In addition to HomeAid Northern Virginia, we partner with organizations such as the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC), a multi-faceted organization that empowers a diverse population of youth to achieve a successful transition to adulthood through multi-cultural, comprehensive, and innovative programs that address the specific social, academic, and career needs of today’s youth. Another one of our established partnerships is with The Christian Life Center, whose mission is to assist the residents of Prince George’s County. The center holds a bi-weekly produce distribution of more than 15,000 pounds of fresh produce to anyone who comes to the center. We also partner with many Title 1* schools in Fairfax, Montgomery, and Prince George’s Counties.

We are excited to have just expanded SevaTruck this past Thanksgiving by building a second truck in Michigan; that truck will operate in the Detroit area.

Q:  What motivated Sonny Kakar, SevaTruck Foundations’ founder, to start SevaTruck?

A:  Rooted deeply in the Sikh faith, preparing and serving food for anyone in need of a meal remains the cornerstone of the “Seva” performed by most Sikhs world-wide. To honor and continue with the Sikh heritage, initiated by Guru Nanak Sahib Ji, of combating food insecurity in local communities, Sonny decided to launch SevaTruck.

Q:  How long has SevaTruck had a relationship with HomeAid?

A:  Kristyn Burr, HomeAid Northern Virginia’s executive director, reached out to us and proposed a partnership to honor Homelessness Awareness Month in November 2016. Together, we hosted a unique event featuring SevaTruck serving burritos to the homeless and residents of the Woodbridge tent city, while HomeAid distributed backpacks with winter essentials.

Q:  How does collaborating with HomeAid help SevaTruck serve its mission?

A:  HomeAid’s mission of “building new lives for America’s homeless families and individuals through housing and community outreach” complements our mission of eliminating food insecurity and fulfilling a higher purpose of serving the genuine needs of our community.

By complementing each other’s mission with our strengths, we can enable our clients to look for opportunities to get them out of their current situation. Both organizations exist to help fight poverty. Shelters may not always have the financial resources to provide food daily, and our partnership is one that can help fulfill that mission. 

Q:  What are your hopes for the future of SevaTruck and HomeAid?

A:  We will always welcome the opportunity to do events with HomeAid. This was the second year that we did the Homeless Awareness Month event, and we hope to extend our partnership to other occasions: Every time HomeAid reaches out to us, we will be there!


*Title I is a federal grant. The purpose of this legislation is “to provide all children significant opportunities to receive a fair, equitable, and high-quality education, and to close educational achievement gaps.”

Title I elementary schools with the highest level of poverty receive funds that are used for staff and resources to meet the needs of their students and families. Schools are identified for Title I funds based on the percentage of students eligible for free or reduced-price meals.

Thank You

Thank you to our 2017 Gala Committee! Many members have volunteered for a decade or more, and we were glad to celebrate their incredible dedication to HomeAid with dinner in early December—and also to start discussing plans for our 2018 Gala.

Call for Builder Captains

We have several projects lined up for the year, of varying scope, in need of a Builder Captain! Will this be the year you say YES to an experience that 2017 President Jerry Berman calls “a reward for the soul and spirit”? Contact Kathryn Kovacs for more information.

NVBIA President’s Ball

We’re looking forward to NVBIA’s President’s Ball on January 27 at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner – there’s always time for networking with colleagues and local and state elected officials, and we’ll welcome their 2018 president, Matt Kroll from Willowsford LLC. Please join us!

Point in Time Count

The region’s annual Point in Time Count, which measures sheltered and unsheltered homeless population during one night, has been scheduled for January 25, 2018. This important count provides a snapshot of who is homeless on a given night, and the statistics can be used to plan local homeless assistance systems, tailor programs, and raise public awareness of homelessness.

Save the Date!

Housing Forum – April 19 (venue TBD) This event is geared towards those who work in the field; more information will be sent out soon.

9th Annual Builders and Friends BBQ – June 21, The Barn at One Loudoun

8th Annual Night at the Ballpark – August 3, Potomac Nationals Pfitzner Stadium, for families living in local shelters

4th Annual Golf Tournament – September 21, Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club

17th Annual Gala & Auction – November 3, Lansdowne Resort & Spa

 

Like what you’ve read? Don’t miss out on next month’s issue of #BuildingHope! Subscribe Now!

Read:
HomeAid and SevaTruck Deliver Food, Winter Essentials to Homeless, HomeAid and Van Metre Homes Nearing Completion of Women’s Empowerment Center Renovation, Mike Sandkuhler Elected 2018 HomeAid Northern Virginia President, Donations Make Huge Impact for Shelter Clients, Homeless, SevaTruck and HomeAid Team Up to Fight Homelessness and Hunger, Announcements and Upcoming Events

 

Building Hope Newsletter, December 2017

By | News

Executive Director’s Corner

I read this quote today – “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” So, let me be sure to say, “Thank you.” As 2017 comes to a close and I look back on my first year as HomeAid’s executive director, I’m struck by so many acts of generosity and kindness that our supporters – YOU – have shown. Sponsorships and event attendance routinely broke records this year. New partnerships were formed, while organizations and individuals who have been with us since we were founded continue to show up, day after day, year after year. Donations for our Helping Hands program have come from all corners of the homebuilding industry, and our relationship with NVBIA continues to deepen and grow. Everywhere I look, I see people generously giving – of themselves and of their organizations. Our Gala & Auction event, held last month, felt like not just a celebration of a year well-spent, but also a celebration of the hundreds of people who are inspired to give every day, in a multitude of vastly different but equally important ways. I am in awe of you, and I am grateful that you are part of our HomeAid family. From all of us at HomeAid, happy holidays to you and yours!

In gratitude,

 

Annual Gala & Auction Raises $250,000 for HomeAid

A sold-out crowd of over 450 supporters and guests turned out for HomeAid Northern Virginia’s 16th Annual Gala & Auction on November 4 and raised more than $250,000 through donations, sponsorships, attendance, and live and silent auctions.

The new venue – Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg – was an extremely popular choice, and the night buzzed with electricity as hundreds walked the “Time Tunnel entry,” where they learned about the history of HomeAid on their way to the cocktail reception and silent auction; listened with rapt attention to keynote speaker Jas Boothe, founder and president of Final Salute, Inc., as she shared her powerful story of what it means to be a woman veteran struggling with homelessness; raised their paddles to participate in The Paddle Challenge, raising a total of $120,000, thanks also to a matching gift from Doug and Ann Smith; and celebrated the generosity and tireless commitment that our 2017 Presidents’ Award honorees give to at risk families in our communities. Intercoastal Mortgage Company served as the presenting sponsor of the event for the second year in a row.

Got Photos? Be sure to check out more photos of the Annual Gala & Auction – and download your photo booth best shot!

 

Presidents’ Circle Awards Honor Community Lodgings, Buhl Electric, Brian Davidson

Nonprofit Service Provider Project of the Year Award: Community Lodgings

Community Lodgings lifts families from homelessness and instability to independence and self-sufficiency through its affordable housing and transitional housing options, as well as community outreach and youth education programs throughout Northern Virginia. In 2017, Community Lodgings partnered with HomeAid on a renovation of its multi-unit supportive housing property in Alexandria’s Arlandria-Chirilagua neighborhood, completely upgrading six existing affordable housing units and adding a seventh two-bedroom unit. A consortium of four Builder Captains also upgraded the property’s onsite learning center, enabling families to take advantage of afterschool and youth mentoring programs, daily nutritious meals, and computer and English as a Second Language classes for families. Congratulations to Lynn Thomas, executive director for Community Lodgings who accepted the award, and her team for all the good work you do in your community!

Trade Partner of the Year Award: Buhl Electric Company, Inc.

A family-founded and family-run company based in Sterling, Buhl Electric Company, Inc., has been in business for more than 50 years and, over the past 16 years, has contributed to 11 HomeAid projects and sponsored countless events and programs. Buhl Electric and its team exemplify what it means to be dedicated, driven, and committed to helping our local community by using their expertise in residential electrical to improve housing facilities for the most vulnerable among us, and they’re unfailingly first in line to help and provide meaningful assistance with our projects that serve our community. Thank you and congratulations to John Buhl, Jr., president of Buhl Electric and an active member of HomeAid’s Board of Directors, who accepted the award on behalf of the company!

Presidents’ Award: Brian Davidson

BRIAN DAVIDSONBrian Davidson, group president of Van Metre Homes, was awarded the 2017 Presidents Award, HomeAid’s most prestigious award for individuals. Brian’s long-time leadership in the community, collaborative approach, and tireless commitment to ending homelessness and supporting our nonprofit partners is exemplary: He understands the strength and power of teamwork – and brings together the builder community with local organizations that provide emergency shelter and other housing – to aid in the construction and revitalization of safe, stable living spaces for those who are rebuilding their lives after experiencing homelessness. His invaluable leadership on our Board and active involvement has inspired us to seek new ways to engage the Northern Virginia building industry and to evolve and respond to the ever-changing needs of our shelter partners. Congratulations, Brian!

 

 

Final Salute: Our 2017 Reality Check!

We’ve all had that moment when a well-laid plan unexpectedly heads south, and in home construction, it’s an everyday experience. How many of us have set out to replace, say, an appliance, only to discover that the wiring behind it is bad or the floor beneath it damaged by water damage? Suddenly, a simple project becomes bigger – and more expensive.

At HomeAid, we have these moments all the time, particularly during larger renovation projects that go well beyond cosmetic updates – and while they may be cause for some headaches, they also serve as excellent reminders of why HomeAid’s deep bench of industry experts can make all the difference to our nonprofit partners.

When Jas Boothe, founder and president of Final Salute, Inc., first came to us in 2015 about renovating a home her organization had purchased in order to house up to 10 veteran women and their children, it seemed like a pretty straightforward project. Soon enough, though, we learned that a previous architect’s plans hadn’t been approved, so we brought in one of our own architect partners – at a fraction of the cost. Next came zoning and permitting processes with Fairfax County, which our partners helped navigate for almost a full year. Currently, we’re working through asbestos inspections and remediation, with ADA and sprinkler system considerations next.

“The HomeAid team is full of experts in the field, who are experts in this often-arcane world of building codes, permits, and rules and regulations,” said HomeAid Northern Virginia Executive Director Kristyn Burr. “Our shelter partners are all experts in aspects equally important to solving homelessness – but rarely does that mean they also have the contacts and expertise that’s needed for navigating the permitting, zoning and building process. The end result may have taken us longer to achieve than we wished, but we also will be confident knowing that this home will be safe and secure for 10 moms who served their country and their children who have already survived wars, separation, and homelessness. We are proud to be part of their recovery.”

“Having HomeAid support us lets us focus on our mission and our bottom line, and they brought with them a unique level of expertise that we don’t have and never thought we would need,” added Boothe. “HomeAid’s partners fought each battle along the way for us, and we are so grateful; simply put, we were uneducated on what it takes to see a project through. We thought once we were approved, that would be it … we didn’t realize that there would be approvals on top of approvals that had to be made. Having them at our backs is the kind of support we needed.”

Special thanks to the many partners who are bringing the Final Salute to fruition, including Van Metre Companies Foundation, The Home Depot Foundation, Bank of America, Builder Captain Winchester Homes, WC Ralston Architects, and dozens of trade partners.

 

It’s a Wrap!

2017 HomeAid Northern Virginia Impact

2017 projects infographic

 

 

Making it Count

Partner Donations Make Big Difference for Helping Hands Program

According to Charity Navigator, the American charitable sector is the largest in the world, with Americans contributing nearly $400 billion in 2016 plus $260 billion in volunteer time. And, it’s estimated that between 40 and 50 percent of those totals come during the winter holidays!

At HomeAid Northern Virginia, we see significant giving all year long, with major grants and in-kind donations from partners of all sizes; but during the holidays, we too see a welcome uptick in contributions, particularly to our Helping Hands program, which encourages grocery gift card and household essential donations for individuals and families moving in to recently completed HomeAid projects.

Special thanks to the following partners for your generosity this month!

  • Intercoastal Mortgage Company—which just sponsored our Annual Gala & Auction—is collecting diapers and blankets at their Christmas party.
  • Frontpoint Security dedicated its most recent staff Happy Hour to us – and we received 20% of all proceeds and a collection of household essentials for our Welcome Home baskets.
  • NVBIA Custom Builder’s Council is collecting blankets and warm socks at their holiday mixer tonight.

Want to help before the year is out? It’s not too late!

  • Shop with Amazon Smile: If you’re planning to do your holiday shopping on Amazon this year, designate HomeAid as your beneficiary (search for Housing Trust Fund of Northern Virginia, Inc.), and Amazon will donate a portion of each purchase to us at no cost to you.
  • We are always looking for volunteers to coordinate drives for grocery cards and household essentials; learn more about our Helping Hands
  • Learn about other ways to volunteer in the region.

 

 

Jerry Berman Looks Back on Rewarding Year and Forward to Exciting Future

Jerry Berman initially heard about HomeAid through his involvement with NVBIA, and the more he heard, the more he began to think that becoming involved with HomeAid would not only be good for his company’s team members, but that it would also be a good way for his company to give back to the community. As builders, they were in a unique position to help.

“Eventually, one thing led to another, I ended up on the board, and I have loved it ever since,” he said. With his term as 2017 president winding down, he reflects on his year and looks forward to many additional years volunteering with HomeAid. “This year has been a tremendous honor,” he said. “I am really lucky to have had this opportunity, and I am thankful for it.”

Q:  With your term as president of HomeAid’s Board coming to a close, what would you say has been your favorite thing about serving?

The way the HomeAid board is structured, every board member has an opportunity to contribute, and every member really does contribute. So, serving as president is really not that different than serving on the board. One thing that I really enjoyed as president, though, was the chance to work with other nonprofits and community organizations. HomeAid’s president and executive director typically attend fundraisers and award dinners for other local charitable organizations, and I enjoyed the chance to meet the wonderful people who are involved in these organizations and learn how they, like us, serve the community. And, of course, we always enjoyed and were honored to be recognized for the contributions that HomeAid makes to the community. Those are some of the special things that I will always remember.

Q:  What were some of the biggest challenges that HomeAid encountered during your tenure as president?

Finding new builders to get more involved – that’s consistently our biggest challenge. There are a fair number of builders who have been involved for a very long time and have remained committed and involved. As we continue to do more projects and renovations, we rely on builders to lead the way. Going back to the well as many times as we do with the same group is difficult. So, what we tell builders is just try it once, and we promise that you and your staff will really like it. The work that we do is very rewarding, and it is a welcome diversion from what builders do every day, when they are working to make a profit. This is a different kind of reward, and it is more than satisfying.

Q: What were some highlights of the past year with HomeAid?

Every project is special, but the opportunity to see the clients who are going to move into a renovated home continues to be the best part of HomeAid. To see the happiness and disbelief that they are going to have a comfortable home, and knowing that this will help them in their lives, makes it all worthwhile.

In terms of a particular project, Community Lodgings was very exciting. We completely gutted a seven-unit apartment building in Alexandria and rebuilt and redecorated it. There is a learning center there too. I single it out because we did the project in a different way than how we have typically done them: For this project, there was a consortium of builders, because it was an $775,000 project and we weren’t able to get a single builder to step up as Builder Captain. So, we put together a consortium of four Builder Captains who agreed to do it, and it worked really well. Typically, we all compete with each other in the industry, but in this case, everybody worked together very well, of course. It was a great project and probably the highlight of the work we did all year.

Another highlight was the Annual Gala. It’s always great, but as president, you get a lot more involved in the planning and the decisions that need to be made. You get to see behind the scenes how much effort goes into making the event happen, and it’s remarkable. There is a committee that has been doing it for a number of years that gets very little accolades for the amazing work that they do, and they create this great fundraising event every year. It was the best year ever, and the whole night is a lot to be proud of.

Q:  What will you miss about serving as board president of HomeAid?

I’m going to stay very involved with HomeAid. I plan to remain on the board, and I don’t plan on missing anything. In addition, there are certain duties that the immediate past president has, so there won’t be a whole lot of change – I just won’t be signing the checks like I was before.

I will also be involved on some HomeAid committees. For example, the Shelter Projects Committee initially vets the new applications for work; we go out and visit the home or shelter and really assess whether it fits within our mission, and we meet with the organization. We are always interested in helping, but we want to work with organizations that we know are set up to successfully maintain a new or renovated property. I really enjoyed serving on that committee, and I will probably get back into that.

Q:  What is it about HomeAid that makes it so valuable to the community?

There is not a lot of help available for people in need and for those who are struggling with homelessness. So many people, even in our wealthiest neighborhoods, do not have homes. In Loudoun County, the wealthiest county in the country, there are hundreds of people without a place to call home. It is a tough situation to climb out of without some help, and HomeAid is valuable because it provides housing that is dignified and similar to what others live in. The homes that HomeAid builds can provide a sense of pride and a ray of hope for people who move into them. That’s very special, and everyone benefits from that. HomeAid is a great organization, and we’re very lucky to have the best staff, board of directors, volunteers, builders, and trade partners of any other organization. Everyone is so involved, and they all make it special.

Q:  Other than serving the building industry and HomeAid, what do you like to do in your free time?

Number one is family. I have a wife of 43 years, four great kids, and one grandchild. Family has always been number one for me. I also love to travel and do so as much as possible – one of my sons has lived in Japan and China, and my daughter is in Germany, and we have visited them both often. We would travel even if they weren’t there, but having them there is an extra benefit. Also, I love to play golf. I’m lousy at it, but I love it.

Q:  What are your hopes for the future of HomeAid Northern Virginia?

Our vision as an organization has changed some in the past couple of years. Kristyn, our executive director, is so forward-thinking and willing to try new things, all with the same goal of helping people with housing needs. We are really moving in a direction of slightly expanding our mission, but not significantly outside of the housing umbrella. We have been exploring some new possibilities; for example, we are talking with a church in Fairfax that has some property, we are talking with a care provider organization, and with a group that does construction for the homeless, similar to what we do. We are looking into collaborating with them, and we have never done anything like that. We are working with a tent city in Prince William County where there are a lot of people struggling with homelessness, and we are exploring ways to help them. We are partnering with SEVA Truck, which provides hot meals. We are spreading our wings, and a lot of good things will be happening in the future.

Like what you’ve read? Don’t miss out on next month’s issue of #BuildingHope! Subscribe Now!

Read:
Annual Gala & Auction Raises $250,000 for HomeAid, Final Salute: Our 2017 Reality Check!, It’s a Wrap! 2017 HomeAid Northern Virginia Impact, Partner Donations Make Big Difference for Helping Hands Program, Jerry Berman Looks Back on Rewarding Year and Forward to Exciting Future

 

Presidents Circle Award Winners Recognized at 16th Annual Gala & Auction

By | News

HomeAid’s Annual Gala Raises More Than $250,000 to Fund Renovations to Homeless Shelters and Supportive Housing Properties in Northern Virginia

Nov. 8, 2015 – Chantilly, VAHomeAid Northern Virginia (HANV) recognized local businesses, nonprofits and individuals for positive community impact and serving vulnerable families in the Northern Virginia region with its 2017 Presidents’ Circle Awards. HomeAid, a nonprofit that renovates homeless shelters and housing facilities via the donated expertise, labor and resources of local homebuilders, presented the following awards at its 16th Annual Gala & Auction on Nov. 4th at the Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg.

Nonprofit Service Provider Project of the Year Award: Community Lodging

Community Lodgings Executive Director Lynn Thomas accepts the Non-Profit Service Provider of the Year award from Jerry Berman, HomeAid Board President, and John Buhl, President of Buhl Electric

Community Lodgings lifts families from homelessness and instability to independence and self-sufficiency through its affordable housing and transitional housing options, as well as community outreach and youth education programs throughout the Northern Virginia region. Community Lodgings partnered with HANV this year on a renovation of its multi-unit supportive housing property in Alexandria’s Arlandria-Chirilagua neighborhood. The HANV-led renovation included a complete upgrade of the property’s six existing affordable housing units, as well as the reconfiguration of space to create a seventh two-bedroom unit – enabling more families to call the property “home.” The renovation was completed by a consortium of four local homebuilders convened by HomeAid: Brookfield ResidentialEvergreene CompaniesM/I Homes, and Richmond American Homes. Importantly, the property’s onsite learning center was also upgraded, enabling families to take advantage of afterschool and youth mentoring programs, daily nutritious meals, and computer and English as a Second Language classes for families—setting up the children who live there and in the surrounding community for brighter futures. The award recognizes Community Lodgings’ impact on its community and on the lives of the clients it serves.

Trade Partner of the Year Award: Buhl Electric

John Buhl, President of Buhl Electric, accepts the Trade Partner of the Year Award from HomeAid Board President Jerry Berman

HomeAid’s trade partners are those in the home building industry – suppliers, manufacturers, electricians, plumbers, etc. – who play meaningful roles in shelter construction projects by donating materials, time, labor and expertise. A family-founded and family-run company based in Sterling, Buhl Electric Company, Inc. has been wiring new homes in Virginia for more than 50 years.  The company has supported through donation and in-kind services/expertise to 11 different HANV projects, including Youth for Tomorrow,  Shelter House and ACTS Turning Points Domestic Violence Program. Buhl Electric has also been a sponsor of numerous HANV events, including the Gala, the annual Night at the Ballpark, and the Builder & Friends BBQ. The Trade Partner of the Year award recognizes Buhl Electric’s willingness to regularly be “first in line to help” and provide meaningful assistance with HomeAid’s projects to serve our region’s communities. The award was accepted by John Buhl, Jr., president of Buhl Electric and an active member of HomeAid’s Board of Directors.

Presidents’ Award: Brian Davidson of Van Metre Homes

Brian Davidson, Group President of Van Metre Homes, accepts the HomeAid Presidents’ Award—HomeAid’s highest honor given to an individual who has worked to further our mission of ending homelessness.

Brian Davidson, Group President of Van Metre Homes, was awarded the 2017 Presidents Award, HomeAid’s most prestigious award for individuals. Davidson has a long tenure of involvement and leadership with HomeAid Northern Virginia: he served as the 2015 board president, and 2014 board secretary. Under his leadership, Van Metre has served as a builder captain for projects including Shelter House’s Ives House and Artemis House and ACTS Women’s Empowerment Center, as well as helped fund enhancements to the Alexandria Women’s Shelter and Women Giving Back. Van Metre Homes and the Van Metre Foundation have been long-time supporters of HANV, and many of their own fundraising initiatives – such as their annual fall Cornhole Challenge – have raised funds for HANV. Davidson’s receipt of the HANV President’s Award is a natural extension of his personal interest in making a positive impact on the community and of Van Metre’s long-held commitment to philanthropy.

More than $250,000 Raised at Annual Gala

HomeAid Northern Virginia’s 2017 annual gala raised more than $250,000 to build and renovate homeless shelters and supportive housing facilities. Intercoastal Mortgage Company served as the presenting sponsor of the event that included more than 500 people in attendance. The awards ceremony was sponsored by Buhl Electric Company.

About HomeAid Northern Virginia

HomeAid Northern Virginia, a chapter of HomeAid America, convenes and mobilizes the local homebuilding business community and its corporate partners to undertake new construction and major renovations for homeless shelters and supporting housing facilities owned by nonprofit service providers that help homeless individuals and families in our community gain stability and get back on the road to self-sufficiency. Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, the organization was started in 2001 by members of the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association (NVBIA) and, since then, has completed more than 118 projects valued at more than $14.7 million, serving more than 98,500 homeless individuals.

Building Hope Newsletter, November 2017

By | News

Executive Director’s Corner

Next week, our nation will recognize our military on Veterans Day. Last week, many of us at HomeAid were reminded that women veterans often have vastly different experiences than their male counterparts, when we were honored by Final Salute, Inc., at their Ms. Veteran America event in recognition of our work on a transitional home for women veterans and their children. We heard intense stories from 10 women also honored at the event, who have surmounted challenges ranging from homelessness to assault. It was both empowering and heart-wrenching, and it reminded me of my six years as a military spouse, when I saw for myself the gaps and discrepancies between men and women in the military. VA benefits cannot reach all of our nation’s veterans, and today, women veterans are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population. Worse, we’re not even capturing the true story of how many women have no place to call home: “Point in time” counts of the homeless don’t include those who bounce around between friends and/or family—which is what most mothers do in order to protect their children. Ms. Veteran America was an important event for a host of reasons – it gave a voice to women whose stories must be told, it recognized the millions of women who have bravely served our country, and it reminded me that something as simple as a renovation on one home can have a powerful ripple effect throughout a community. I’m proud that HomeAid and our partners are at the center of ensuring that ripple gets started.

In gratitude,

 

HomeAid Honored with “Stand-Up Award” by Ms. Veteran America

On October 8, HomeAid Northern Virginia – along with Winchester Homes, Home Depot Foundation, and Van Metre Foundation – was honored by Final Salute, Inc., at the 6th Annual Ms. Veteran America event in recognition of our strong support of women veterans. All four organizations are involved in the 2017 renovation of “Karen’s Home” in Alexandria, owned by Final Salute, which upon its completion will provide housing for up to 10 women veterans and their children.

illustrated infographicSince its founding in 2010, Final Salute has supported more than 3,600 women veterans and their children in approximately 30 states and territories, provided 12,000+ housing days, and raised over $2 million to support to women veterans – now the fastest growing segment of the homeless population. This kind of support, said Founder Jas Boothe, wouldn’t be possible without the “heroes behind the heroes” – including organizations such as HomeAid, Winchester Homes, Home Depot Foundation and Van Metre.

Representatives from all four organizations were present to accept the award at the black-tie event, and all look forward to completing a project that will help make the home a safe, stable sanctuary for women veterans, who are three times more likely to be homeless than their male counterparts.

The Ms. Veteran America awards event also served to bring more attention to (according to Final Salute, Inc.) the estimated 55,000 homeless women veterans nationwide – more than half of whom are single mothers – and honor the two million women who have served in the U.S. military.

 

 

 

$30,000+ Raised for HomeAid at Cornhole Challenge

Kevin RabilOn Saturday, October 7, Van Metre hosted its 6th Annual Van Metre Cornhole Challenge, with 28 teams raising more than $100,000 for five organizations – HomeAid Northern Virginia, Emerging Scholars, HeroHomes, Payton’s Project, and Stillbrave. Twenty participating teams raised over $30,000 for HomeAid, helping ensure our continued efforts to build and renovate homes for the homeless. HomeAid Board Member Mike Sandkuhler’s team, in fact, took home bragging rights as raising the most of any team – thank you Mike and Josh Conlon of the Humble Heroes team! Special thanks also to Brian Davidson and Regis Arnold, on Team Tremendous Egos, for also raising big money for HomeAid!

The 2017 Cornhole Challenge was presented by Buhl Electric Company as part of the Brambleton Fall Festival and was hosted by the Van Metre Companies Foundation.

 

 

Making it Count

NVBIA’s Future Leaders Donate $550 to HomeAid’s Fill the Fridge

November is Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Month, and NVBIA’s Future Leaders helped bring attention to it – and be part of the solution – by collecting $550 worth of grocery gift cards at their recent Oktoberfest networking event at Mustang Sally Brewery in Chantilly. The group donated the cards to HomeAid’s Fill the Fridge program, and will donate them to homeless families and individuals moving into HomeAid’s completed projects.

The cards are preferable to canned goods, because they empower families to make healthy choices at the grocery store, and purchase perishables like fruit and milk.

“As a group, we knew we wanted to do something to give back to the community,” said Avi Sareen, 2017 chair for Future Leaders, “and in chatting with Kristyn [Burr] at the golf tournament, we realized our Oktoberfest event—held on October 26—would be a great way to kickstart Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Month. We gave people the option of bringing grocery cards of any denomination or making a financial donation so that we could purchase the cards for them. The night was a nice mix of networking informally with friends and colleagues while supporting an organization we believe so strongly in.”

According to Feeding America, one in seven children in Virginia struggle with hunger on a daily basis. Thank you, Future Leaders, for making a real difference in the lives of families seeking a fresh start in the Northern Virginia area!

 

 

 

HomeAid Gala Continues to Grow, Thanks to Efforts of Miriam Goldin

Miriam Goldin is one of the many keys to HomeAid’s success. A retired teacher from Fairfax County; a new grandmother; and a busy member of Inclusion Consultants, where she teaches teenagers and adults effective communication and social skills, she somehow manages to find time each year to help plan and coordinate HomeAid’s fundraising Gala. Philanthropy is important to Miriam’s family; when their three kids were young, she and her husband emphasized the importance of community service. They continue to be involved with several organizations, and her husband travels to the Philippines each year, where he volunteers as a dentist. Read more to find out what motivates Miriam to donate a tremendous amount of her time to HomeAid, and what keeps her coming back each year.

Q:  What is your role with HomeAid Northern Virginia, and how did you become involved?

A:  Several years ago, my friend Patti Brownstein – HomeAid board member and Gala & Auction Committee Member – asked me to help at a HomeAid Gala, and I was intrigued. I enjoyed it so much that when I was asked to chair the Gala Committee the following year, I happily accepted.

Q:  How many HomeAid Galas have you planned?

A:  This is my seventh year as chair. The theme for this year’s Gala is TOMORROW IS TODAY, which will be held at the Lansdowne Resort – a new venue for us. We more or less have outgrown every hotel that we’ve been in, and Lansdowne gives it a little more panache. The ballroom is exquisite.

The Gala takes a tremendous amount of planning, and I am very lucky to have an incredible group of volunteers and staff who have worked with me for the past seven years – I can’t do this on my own! A lot of people work very hard on this and give so much time and effort to planning it.

As soon as the Gala is over, we go into planning mode for the following year. We have our congratulatory dinner in December, and in January, I host a thank you dinner and kick-off meeting in my home, where we talk about the next year’s Gala. We discuss the new theme, fresh ideas, and generally have a wonderfully productive evening. We meet monthly after that, and, starting in September, we meet every other week. In addition, there are small focus groups and meetings with hotel and audio-visual (AV) staff. I negotiated a two-year contract with Lansdowne this time, and we will meet with hotel staff at least six times. This year we also separated the AV, because we like to do it a little differently. We’re having two different rehearsals with a new and creative AV company.

I would compare our meetings to an orchestra; I might be the conductor, but I cannot possibly do what the other talented players do to make the performance a hit. It really takes a year to pull together, and I couldn’t put this event together without the help of the following individuals:

  • Patty Mao Booker – registration
  • Kim Calavas – creator of our raffle boxes and entertainment, with her husband Chris
  • Beth Cline – registration
  • Jennifer Keesling – procurement
  • Board and Committee members – Patti Brownstein, John Darvish, Scott Shelton, Jason McDonough, Debbie Rosenstein, and current President, Jerry Berman
  • HomeAid Northern Virginia staff – Kristyn Burr (Executive Director), and Cilda Pretorius (Operations and Events)

Q:  What have been the biggest challenges in planning the event each year?

A:  Trying to keep the event relevant, interesting, and productive. The attendance has grown every year, and I am delighted to say that we are extremely close to being sold out for this year’s event, with an expected attendance of 500. We are excited about this remarkable achievement.

Q:  What is your favorite thing about planning the Gala, and what is it about HomeAid’s mission that keeps you so dedicated to the organization?

A:  I love to see how it all comes together – the charity part of it and the organizing part of it. I don’t like to hyper-manage; I just let people do their job because they’re masters at what they do. We’re a troupe of players, and we’re friends, which makes it fun. Friendships have grown out of this event, and we have a good time.

Also, it makes me feel better than just giving money. My husband and I donate to many charities, but working on this Gala gives me an opportunity to do more than write a check. I am awed by the generosity and quality of work that the builders bring to the HomeAid projects. They create beautiful homes and bring a sense of pride and accomplishment to the people who live in them. HomeAid brings dignity and hope to people who need it. Volunteering for HomeAid is very important to me.

Welcome New Interns!

Alexandra Abellard and Rose Baham have joined HomeAid’s staff as our events and communications interns, respectively.

Alexandra, enrolled in the Bachelor of Individualized Studies (BIS) program at George Mason University, is majoring in hospitality/tourism/events and hopes to graduate in 2019. Attracted to HomeAid because its mission aligns so closely with her own values, Alexandra hopes that her real-world experience with HomeAid will help her plan and execute major social and fundraising events, so that she can becoming an effective event coordinator.

“Through my time here, I’ve also realized that homelessness is a real societal problem,” she said, “and while one individual or organization alone cannot solve all the problems associated with homelessness, if we work together, we’ll have a better ability to fight it – along with homelessness among veterans or sex trafficking. I hope to also learn how I can be part of the solution.”

Rosemarie interned for HomeAid in 2014 as part of her efforts to re-enter the workforce in the marketing field, which was her major concentration at the University of San Carlos, Philippines, in the 1980s.

“As a returning intern, I am ultimately impressed with the hard work and dedication of HomeAid Northern Virginia’s staff, and by its housing renovation projects that result in such comfortable, updated homes for those in life transition,” she said. “This internship has not only brought dramatic and exciting exposure to marketing events, networking, and digital marketing, but it also helps me realize how much we can affect the quality of lives for others in need, who are working their way back. I’m proud to be here.”

 

Like what you’ve read? Don’t miss out on next month’s issue of #BuildingHope! Subscribe Now!

Read:
HomeAid Honored with “Stand-Up Award” by Ms. Veteran America, $30,000+ Raised for HomeAid at Cornhole Challenge, NVBIA’s Future Leaders Donate $550 to HomeAid’s Fill the Fridge, HomeAid Gala Contues to Grow, Thanks to Efforts of Miriam Goldin, Welcome New Interns

Building Hope Newsletter, October 2017

By | News

Executive Director’s Corner

ribbon cutting on front porch of new home

Completing a project gives all of us at HomeAid such an enormous sense of pride and accomplishment, knowing that together, we have immeasurably helped those who need it most. At the ribbon cutting for the Community Lodgings project last week, a huge number of our partners turned out to celebrate the completion of seven apartments for at-risk populations and community meeting space for mentoring and life skills programming, and it felt great to thank them for their incredible contributions. But what resonated the most, I think, was our recognition of what these homes will really mean to the seven families who will be living there. The pure sense of relief these moms must feel, knowing they’re moving into fully stocked homes … meaning they won’t have to worry about furnishing them. And the impact it will all have on 14 kids who probably aren’t accustomed to having anything new. It’s these moments when our hard work comes full circle, as we see first-hand what it means to change so many lives for the better. Best of all, we’re not finished for the year: We have several other projects in process, and we just received long-awaited permits to continue the renovation of a home in Fairfax County for Final Salute, which will provide housing for up to 10 residents – all female veterans and their children. These projects, valued at nearly $1.4 million, will provide sanctuary and life-changing programs to our youngest citizens and give their parents a safe and stable place to rebuild their futures. It’s an incredible feeling, and I’m so grateful to our countless partners for working so hard with us to help make others’ dreams come true.

In gratitude,

“Tomorrow is Today!”

Are You Registered for HomeAid’s Gala & Auction?

November 4, 2017 • 6:30 p.m. • Lansdowne Resort & SpaLeesburg, VA

sponsor button

It’s our Sweet 16, and trust us when we say you’re going to want to celebrate with us at our 16th Annual Gala & Auction! There’s a lot of “new and improved” at this year’s futuristic-themed “Tomorrow is Today” event, and we know it will make our biggest fundraiser of the year feel different from the moment you arrive:

  • A bigger, better location—at the beautiful Lansdowne Resort & Spa in Leesburg, Va.
  • Time-tunnel entry—learn about the history of HomeAid as you walk the tunnel toward the cocktail reception!
  • Out-of-this-world signature drink, The Blue Atlantic, and magnificent truss bar conveniently located in the Ballroom.
  • Entertainment provided by a techno DJ.
  • Exceptional silent and live auction items, with something to fit every budget!
  • Our first-ever “After Party”—when it’s time to clear the ballroom, we’ll head outside to Lansdowne’s patio overlooking the golf course, where partygoers can enjoy a nightcap from the outdoor bar and sweet tooths can roast marshmallows for late-night s’mores  at the patio fire pit.

We’ll also celebrate three Presidents’ Circle award winners, enjoy a three-course dinner, and salute the future of HomeAid with our annual paddle challenge, which last year raised $120,000 for HomeAid.

This year’s dress code will be futuristic formal. We look forward to seeing you there!

Whether you’re hoping to score a pair of Washington Capitals tickets or want to take a trip of a lifetime, our silent and live auction has you covered!

Here’s a sampling of just a few of our 2017 auction items:

  • A 10-day trip with Africa Sport Hunting Safaris for four, at a 4-star lodge (all meals/beverage included) and a $1,000 credit to hunt local game among other activities.
  • Two passes to the Wanderlust Festival in June 2018 (Snowshoe, WV), for yogis, foodies, and music lovers!
  • Personalized barrel with whiskey-making kit
  • Four Park Hopper passes to Walt Disney World
  • Field-to-table bird hunting excursion and dinner with Chef Jacques of L’Auberge Chez Francois
  • Amazon Echo Show, the “smart home assistant”
  • Autographed poster of NASCAR’s Daytona 500 champion Kurt Busch
  • Overnight stay with breakfast at Lansdowne Resort and Spa
  • Condo in beautiful Snowmass, CO
  • Joe Theismann Redskins jersey, signed by Joe Gibbs.

Our procurement team is still collecting donations and are in particular need of restaurant, technology, and unique experiences and getaways. Contact Jenn Keesling to coordinate your donation.

 

Do You Know? 1

 

HomeAid, Four Builder Captains, 35 Trade Partners Complete Major Renovation for Community Lodgings
Seven low-income families now have newly upgraded and fully-furnished homes in the City of Alexandria, following the completion of renovations to a Community Lodgings multi-unit supportive housing property led by HomeAid Northern Virginia and a consortium of four builder captains—Brookfield ResidentialEvergreene HomesM/I Homes, and Richmond American Homes. Representative from all organizations gathered on a beautiful fall day in September to celebrate the ribbon cutting for the completed project and help welcome some of the seven families—14 of whom are children—who will be living there.

Brookfield Residential logo Evergreene Homes logo MIHomes logo Richmond American Homes logo

The nearly $900,000 project—HomeAid’s largest for 2017—involved upgrading the property’s six existing affordable housing, as well as adding a seventh two-bedroom unit. The lower level now also features a family learning center, a kitchen area for residents, and a new meeting space that will be open to the community for mentoring and programming.

“The impact this renovation has on our families is incredible,” said Lynn Thomas, executive director of Community Lodgings. “I grew up in affordable housing in southeast DC, and I know how important it is for a low-income family to live in a nice, safe house. We are all so grateful to HomeAid Northern Virginia, the builders, and the many other supporters who made this happen.”

The project required a great deal of prep work, and architectural firm Rust Orling was brought in to submit architectural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing drawings for Community Lodgings, with the goal of bringing the circa 1940s apartment building up to today’s building standards, as well as designing an additional two-bedroom unit; new covered front entrance; and HVAC, bathroom and kitchen upgrades to their children’s learning center.

“Architecture is a powerful tool and much needed in improving vital areas in Alexandria City,” said Lisa Lettieri, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Rust Orling Architecture. “We feel it’s important to help create a home one can feel good about on their way to bettering themselves and their futures, which they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford. We were proud to be part of the team that helped make this happen for Community Lodgings and for the residents who will now live there.”

For Cris Maina, director of construction for Brookfield Residential, the project was his first with HomeAid, although Brookfield has led many projects as a Builder Captain. “This was really a new experience for me, as we’re of course more accustomed to working on new builds rather than on renovations. But everyone really stepped up, and having Greg Poulson from Madison Homes work as the general manager for the project was an integral part of our success. This was a huge, high-profile project, and we wouldn’t have been able to take it on by ourselves at this point … so having this consortium of builders was a creative solution to getting the job done. I enjoyed this experience tremendously.”

Rob Cappellini, founder and CEO of The Evergreene Companies, agreed that Greg Poulson did an amazing job leading the project and coordinating the countless details from start to finish. “We are grateful for the opportunity to participate in such a great cause and very proud of the teamwork that made it all possible. Within our own company, Tim Brown and Corey Smith really enjoyed working with the group to achieve the goals that were set. The leadership team and the trade partners really came together to make this project a success, and they should all be very proud of the work done to support the Home/Aid and Community Lodgings mission. Many thanks to a great team.”

Thank you, Brookfield Residential, Evergreene Homes, M/I Homes, Richmond American Homes, and the following partners for dedicating your time, skills, and resources to the seven families who can now call their apartments at Community Lodgings “home!”

A&M Drywall Construction
Ace Trim Carpentry
Airtron Heating & Air Conditioning
AJS Consulting Engineers
Annandale Millwork & Allied Systems
ARC Firestop Solutions, LLC
B&K Distributors
Best Painting Services LLC
Better Termite
Builders First Source
Bryant Plumbing
Capital Construction of America, Inc.
Christopher Consultants
Countryside Electric, Inc.
Custom Services & Flooring
John Darvish Construction Co.
General Electric Appliances
Homestead Building System
Horizon Contracting
K&M Masonry
Madison Homes
Metro Stoneworks

Metro Tile
Mid Atlantic Contracting
Mid South Building Supply
Nicholas Trucking
Potomac Concrete Proper Tree Care, LLC
R&F Metals
Rust Orling Architecture
Southland Insulators
TAC Ceramic Tile
TNT Services Group
Tysons Service Corporation
Vintage Security
Virginia Cleaning and Punchout Inc.Furnishings provided by
Staged InteriorMajor Contributors
BB&T
City of Alexandria
Virginia Housing Development Authority

 

Tysons Service Corporation

Tysons Service Corporation LogoGreg Poulson of Madison Homes was tasked with managing and coordinating HomeAid Northern Virginia’s biggest projects of the year—a nearly $900,000 renovation of a 1940s apartment building for Community Lodgings—along with a Builders Consortium of four homebuilders. And once the plans were finalized and permits pulled, it was time to start demolition.

“I knew it wouldn’t be easy to find someone to do it,” Poulson said. “It was a difficult job, and it had to be done by hand. I turned to Jim Parks, president and owner of Tysons Service Corporation, because I’ve worked with him for a long time, they do great work, and I knew that they’ve done community projects like these in the past. Sure enough, they stepped right up and got it done for us. It was a substantial give—the value of their work was easily worth $70,000.”

“I’ve known Greg for a long time, and I’ve worked with Madison Homes countless time. [HomeAid Board Member] Barry Schwartz reached out to me as well, and I felt compelled to give a hand,” Parks said. “We’ve been involved with the homebuilding industry for 25 years, and we’ve worked with NVBIA’s HomeAid and other charities many times. I’m familiar with the people and the work, and I enjoy extending our services to help. It went well, and I really hope the people living there now will benefit from it. We’re a local business, and we like supporting the community and people here.”

Tysons Service Corporation has serviced Northern Virginia owners, contractors, and local government agencies since 1994, specializing in demolition, site work, and environmental services for residential, commercial, industrial and retail. The company also owns and operates three recycling centers located in Northern Virginia, where they recycle construction debris, concrete, plastics, and metal; crush and screen salvaged concrete; and offer roll-off container service.

 

 

Annual HomeAid Golf Tournament Raises $70,000+

A sold-out field of 144 golfers turned out on a gorgeous fall day to raise more than $70,000 for HomeAid, network with colleagues, and enjoy friendly competition on the links at Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club in Leesburg, Va.

Thank you to our supporters and sponsors for making this year’s golf tournament possible! Special thanks to John Darvish, John Buhl, Brian Davidson and Jason McDonough for being the inspiration behind the event and for all of your work in steering this year’s tournament with our HomeAid team and tireless volunteers.

 

Sponsor thank you graphic

 

Do You Know? 2

 

Making it Count

HomeAid Partner Staged Interior Furnishes Apartments for Community Lodging, Seven Families

Work team from Staged Interior pose in front of truckOver a warm weekend in September, moving trucks and a team of volunteers converged on an apartment building owned by Community Lodgings, where HomeAid and a consortium of four Builder Captains had just completed a nearly $900,000 renovation project. The weekend team was led by Young and Trish Kim, founders and owners of Staged Interior—a professional home staging company—and they were there to furnish and accessorize all seven apartments—for free.

It’s the second time Staged Interior has donated and installed interior furnishings for a project; last year, they fully outfitted a 5,000 square foot home built by HomeAid and partners on the campus of Youth For Tomorrow. But this time, they needed seven of everything, and they were on a deadline to get it all done before the ribbon-cutting the following week.

living room with new furnishings“Community Lodgings was a hugely successful result of collaboration between Builder Captains and trade partners,” said Young, “and we dedicated that same level of collaboration and coordination to put the finishing touches on all seven units, with the talent of all of our team members. We had to be extremely organized, with most of the preparation done at our warehouse so that the day of execution would go as smoothly as possible. We faced some challenges—a blocked entrance door that meant bringing everything in a circuitous way—but we got it all done 3:00pm! On the day of dedication ceremony, it was awesome to hear the ‘oohs and ahhs’ from trade partners and HomeAid and Community Lodgings team members, and it gave us such a pure sense of appreciation when we met and saw the excitement of the residents who will be living in these units. We can’t wait for next year’s project!”

All photos ©2017, Staged Interior. All rights reserved. All photos by Susan Maunders Olson.

See more photos of these remarkable volunteers and this remarkable project!


 

Do You Know? 3

 

 

Women in the Building Industry View Philanthropy as Foundation of Leadership

Erin Thiebert, president of Women in the Building Industry (WBI), and a transactional attorney at Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley and Walsh, has been committed to HomeAid Northern Virginia since WBI’s founding three years ago. WBI, an outgrowth of the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association (NVBIA), has featured numerous events, roundtables, and other networking opportunities for women in the industry. The group just held its annual and popular winetasting event last month, which led to the donation of stockpiles of useful items for HomeAid’s shelter clients as they move into homes renovated or built by HomeAid and partners. WBI is devoted to philanthropy and continues to create opportunities for members who enjoy networking and learning while generously donating to those in need. Read more as Erin shares the history of WBI and what drives the organization’s commitment to HomeAid.

Q:  Can you tell us about WBI and how this organization came about?

A:  WBI is a subcommittee of NVBIA, and it was started in 2015 by three women who were in the industry, two of whom work with builders: Alicia Skoug with Drees, Soledad Portilla with Stanley-Martin, and Heather Hanes-Long with RES.  They saw a need for a group to help embolden women in the industry and support their rise to leadership positions. They reached out to me early on to see if this was something that I thought women would be interested in, and to get some feedback.  The moment I heard about it, I thought it was the greatest thing ever. I said, ‘Sign me up and tell me what I need to do.’

WBI held a few events in their first year, 2015, in an effort to get it off the ground. They had an introductory happy hour, which was very well attended—the attendees were just bubbling over about it. It served as a great foundation and has continued ever since. Our first full year of events was in 2016, which was very successful. We have tried to retain a similar style of events throughout each year, this being our third year.

One of the features of our popular winetasting event, which was just held in September, is a Welcome Home Basket Drive for HomeAid. That was something that was started in 2015 and something we will continue. Those attending the event enjoy bringing something brand new to outfit a home—laundry baskets, skillets, measuring cups, small appliances, towels, coat hangers—things that you wouldn’t think of that every home needs and people may not think of when you’re transitioning from a homeless situation into a home. We collected about seven big laundry baskets filled with home goods, and then HomeAid creates a basket for each room depending on what has been donated. They just used up last year’s supplies for the recently completed Cornerstones project; a mom of four kids who moved in had a fully stocked kitchen, plus sheets and towels and a bunch of other home goods to get her started. I am a huge supporter of HomeAid—it does good work for a cause that people may not think about enough. If we can supply the basics for somebody who is transitioning from homelessness, that leaves HomeAid with more resources elsewhere.

WBI has an executive committee for the first time this year, made up of four of us. We make a great team, and though I currently serve as president, the entire committee does so much work that I think I rely on them more than they rely on me. They’re wonderful, and include our events and education committee head and vice president, Lauren Duvall; public relations and communications head, Carmela Patrick, and Karen Garceau, who heads up community service.

Q:  What other events does WBI sponsor?

A:  I served on WBI’s events and education committee in 2016; on that committee, we would discuss the events we wanted to have, and talk about what aspects of the industry could use our organization’s assistance.

One of the big events that we have continued since our first year is a women’s leadership roundtable event. The first roundtable we hosted featured a panel of women leaders from local homebuilders and an engineering company: Diane Cox-Basheer, Deborah Rosenstein, and Susan Wolford. They shared their history of rising to their positions of leadership in the industry and the types of challenges they encountered along the way. Some of them started in the industry years ago, at a time when it was very challenging for women. The panel was open for questions, and it was just a very informative and popular program.

We tried to keep that momentum going—sharing experiences, learning from one another, and just bouncing ideas off of each other. We did that in 2016 as well, but then we added breakout panels, including, for example, work-life balance and how to ask hard questions at work, such as asking for a raise. This year, we’re already preparing for our next roundtable in November; much of the focus will be on creating a leadership program within your company.

Q:  Who is eligible to join WBI?

A:  It is open to anyone who is member of NVBIA, including men. We try to keep the events neutral—they are not just for women. We love for men to attend our events, especially the events that include women sharing their experiences, as well as the issues and decisions we face. There is often a difference in how women make decisions versus how men make decisions in this industry. We welcome men at our events so they can see what drives us.

Q:  How did you become involved in the building industry?

A: I come from a long history of builders and developers. My family started a road construction company in Texas in the 1800s. They built roads with mule trains across Texas. My grandfather, all of my cousins and uncles, and my father grew up working for the construction company, and my father and brothers eventually spun off a general contracting firm that constructs buildings rather than roads in 2007. General contracting and development is what I was raised on and what I know, so it was sort of natural that I would get into that line of work as an attorney. I help homebuilders and commercial developers by providing legal expertise and assisting with due diligence and other aspects of real estate transactions.

Q:  Why is it important to your organization that you support HomeAid?

A:  When WBI first got started, the women who started it wanted to ensure that we were pushing forward with an agenda of promoting women into leadership positions within the industry. In my view, it is naturally inherent to any leader that they recognize philanthropy as a foundation of becoming a leader; good leaders are also good philanthropists. I don’t think you can be an effective leader without also being altruistic. It was natural to go with HomeAid since it was already part of NVBIA. Many of the supporters of HomeAid are members of NVBIA, so it was a natural fit, and we know they do good work.

There are so many worthy charities, but I have been very protective as president to ensure that the two charities that we support (HomeAid and Women Giving Back) get our full attention. I know how easy it is to spread yourself too thin, and then you don’t accomplish anything. The winetasting event we just had has always been geared toward collecting home essentials for HomeAid. You have to build that strength up gradually, and I think repetition is the best way to do that. And if we can keep HomeAid stocked up on those baskets that they need through the year, that’s our goal.

Also, when I first joined Walsh Colucci, I was put in charge of HomeAid’s backpack drive, to collect backpacks for kids going back to school in the fall. I headed that up at the office for the last three years, and the firm has continued to donate new backpacks to HomeAid for the drive. We get a lot of participation from everyone at the firm.

Q:  What would you say about HomeAid and how important it is to the community?

A:  It’s exceptionally valuable because it is able to reach out to an aspect of the construction industry that maybe wouldn’t normally be tapped. The founders of HomeAid obviously figured out early on that there are people willing to help their cause in the construction industry. And, there is need for construction expertise in renovating and building housing for those in need here in Northern Virginia. The two go hand-in-hand, and they’re not just building shelters; they’re building homes in order to help move people from homelessness into a home. They saw a resource they can depend on in the homebuilding industry, and they rely on that. It’s great because the members of NVBIA aren’t just builders—they’re also engineers and law firms and banks. There is a wealth of experience and resources within the membership of NVBIA and if everybody just gives a little bit, it’s amazing what comes of that.

Like what you’ve read? Don’t miss out on next month’s issue of #BuildingHope! Subscribe Now!

Read:
“Tomorrow is Today!”—Are You Registered for HomeAid’s Gala & Auction?, HomeAid, Four Builder Captains, 35 Trade Partners Complete Major Renovation for Community Lodgings, Trade Partner Spotlight: Tysons Service Corporation, 3rd Annual HomeAid Golf Tournament Raises $70,000+, HomeAid Partner Staged Interior Furnishes Apartments for Community Lodging, Seven Families, Women in the Building Industry View Philanthropy as Foundation of Leadership

 

Collaboration of Nonprofits and Homebuilders Improves and Expands Supportive Housing in Alexandria for Formerly Homeless Families

By | News

Community Lodgings and HomeAid Northern Virginia partner with 4 local homebuilders who put competition aside to renovate 7 housing units that transition families out of homelessness

Alexandria, Va. – Sept. 19, 2017 – Formerly homeless families now have newly upgraded residences in the City of Alexandria, following the completion of renovations to a Community Lodgings multi-unit supportive housing property led by HomeAid Northern Virginia (HANV). An onsite “learning center” was also upgraded, enabling families to take advantage of after school and youth mentoring programs, daily nutritious meals, and computer and English as a Second Language classes for families—setting up the children who live here for brighter futures. The ribbon cutting was held today with local officials, community advocates, homebuilders and construction partners that provided labor, resources and expertise to the project.

The renovation of the 10,446 sq. ft. Community Lodgings building in the Del Ray neighborhood was completed by a consortium of four local homebuilders convened by HomeAid: Brookfield ResidentialEvergreene HomesM/I Homes, and Richmond American Homes. The $650,000+ renovation included a complete upgrade of the property’s six existing affordable housing, as well as the reconfiguration of space to create a seventh two-bedroom unit – enabling more families to call the property “home.” Via a special partnership with local home staging company, the units will already be “home-y” when new residents move in: Staged Interior fully furnished each unit and have committed to furnishing one HomeAid project each year.

“On behalf of our entire community, I am thankful to Community Lodgings, HomeAid Northern Virginia and the many partners involved in this project,” said Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg. “It is a great example of how a community working together can help solve the affordable housing issue.”

“The impact this renovation has on our families is incredible,” said Lynn Thomas, executive director of Community Lodgings. “I grew up in affordable housing in southeast DC, and know how important it is for a low-income family to live in a nice, safe house. We are all so grateful to HomeAid Northern Virginia, the builders, and the many other supporters who made this happen.”

“The renovated property will provide housing stability for individuals and families who are transitioning out of homelessness and working toward self-sufficiency. Through collaboration with Community Lodgings, with our multiple builder partners, HANV was able to take on this large, high-impact project. This is a great example of the spirit of cooperation: local homebuilders putting aside natural business competitiveness to work together, and work with HANV, Community Lodgings and with the City of Alexandria to benefit local families and improve the local community,” said Kristyn Burr, executive director of HomeAid Northern Virginia.

HomeAid Northern Virginia builds and renovates homeless shelters and supportive housing facilities via the donated expertise, labor and resources of local homebuilders, enabling nonprofit partners like Community Lodgings to invest budget in programs and services rather than construction expenses. This project is HANV’s fourth project with Community Lodgings and is the first time HANV has organized a formal consortium of multiple builders to co-lead as joint project “Builder Captains.” The City of Alexandria, BB&T and the Virginia Housing Development Authority also contributed funds for the project.

About HomeAid Northern Virginia

HomeAid Northern Virginia, a chapter of HomeAid America, engages the resources and interests of the homebuilding community and its corporate partners in order to undertake new construction and major renovations to properties owned by homelessness service providers that help homeless individuals and families gain stability and get back on the road to self-sufficiency. The organization was started in 2001 by members of the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association (NVBIA), and since then, has completed more than 118 projects valued at more than $14.7 million, serving more than 98,500 homeless individuals.

About Community Lodgings

Celebrating 30 years of impact in the local community, Community Lodgings lifts families from homelessness and instability to independence and self-sufficiency through its affordable housing and transitional housing options, as well as community outreach and youth education programs.

###

Media contact: Shelley Ducker, 202.255.0561

Thanks to the construction trade partners that contributed labor and resources to the Community Lodgings project:

Trade Partners

A&M Drywall Construction

Ace Trim Carpentry

Airtron Heating & Air Conditioning

AJS Consulting Engineers

Annandale Millwork & Allied Systems

ARC Firestop Solutions, LLC

B&K Distributors

Best Painting Services LLC

Better Termite

Builders FirstSource

Bryant Plumbing

Capital Construction of America, Inc.

Central Wholesalers

Christopher Consultants

Countryside Electric, Inc.

Custom Services & Flooring

John Darvish Construction Co.

General Electric Appliances

Homestead Building System

K&M Masonry

Madison Homes

Metro Stoneworks

Metro Tile

Mid Atlantic Contracting

Mid South Building Supply

Nicholas Trucking

Potomac Concrete

Proper Tree Care, LLC

R&F Metals

Rust Orling Architecture

Southland Insulators

TAC Ceramic Tile

TNT Services Group

Tysons Service Corporation

Vintage Security

Virginia Cleaning and Punchout Inc.

 

Furnishings provided by

Staged Interior

 

Major Contributors

BB&T

City of Alexandria

Virginia Housing Development Authority

 

Building Hope Newsletter, September 2017

By | News

Executive Director’s Corner

September marks back-to-school season, and we look forward to a season of new beginnings and fresh starts. As I look at my own calendar for the month, I’m filled with gratitude for the support of so many of you: Thanks to your unwavering commitment to our mission of giving new hope and second chances to at-risk and homeless individuals and families, we’ll be celebrating a ribbon cutting on September 19 at Community Lodgings—our biggest project of the year—where seven families will soon experience what so many of us take for granted: a safe, stable home. Just a few days later, on September 22, I look forward to seeing many of you at Raspberry Falls for our 3rd Annual Golf Tournament. The event is testament to our volunteers; organizing this tournament is an enormous undertaking, and I’m grateful for the passion and effort shared by all who make it possible. We’ve also raised more than $50,000 and counting through the sold-out tournament, ensuring that HomeAid’s mission of building and renovating homes for the homeless can continue. Thank you!

In gratitude,

Filling the Grandstand with Joy

After having to reschedule the 7th Annual Night at the Ballpark once due to intense rain on the original date of July 28, HomeAid held its breath when stormy skies once again threatened the August 18 game. But, the game was happily a go, and HomeAid and Pfitzner Stadium welcomed parents and kids from many local shelters for a Potomac Nationals baseball game followed by fireworks. As has become the tradition, families enjoyed free concessions from the ballpark stands, and kids met the Nationals mascot, Uncle Slam, and ran the bases after the game. Families also enjoyed the stadium’s “Bark in the Park” theme night, which allowed many fans to bring their dogs with them to the park for the game!

“HomeAid’s Night at the Ballpark has grown into such a feel-good event, and we repeatedly hear from our shelter partners what an enormous difference an outing like this can make for their clients,” said Kristyn Burr, HomeAid’s executive director. “It’s hard to quantify how much it means for families who rarely – if ever – get to enjoy a night out together, especially when you consider not having to worry about managing the cost of tickets, concessions, parking, and all the other things that seem to add up for family outings like this. We are so grateful to event sponsors Buhl Electric Co., Van Metre Homes, and Franklin Electric Co., who made this night possible for these families.”

“This is a great opportunity as a whole,” said Simajah Jackson, MSW, assistant director, Fairfax Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) Programs, New Hope Housing, Inc. “Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and we were all captivated with the dogs in attendance – it was nice to attend the Bark in the Park game, as we know dogs and other pets also have therapeutic value.”

HomeAid, Miller & Smith Renovate Townhome for Cornerstones and Family of Five

HomeAid Northern Virginia, Builder Captain Miller & Smith, and trade partners have completed a $70,000 renovation of a townhome owned by Cornerstones, and a single mom and her four children have already moved in to start their new lives.

“Ranging in age from three to 10, including eight-year-old twins, the kids are squealing with excitement at having their own bedrooms, and the house is in a great school system,” said Tierra Faggins, asset manager for Cornerstones. “This family moved from a shelter, and this is the first long-term stability these children will know. We look forward to working with the mom on her short-term and five-year goals—for herself, her kids, and her finances—so that she can reach self-sufficiency; this house will provide such a solid foundation for her and her kids.”

“This townhome was built in the 1980s,” she added, “and it was in bad shape. As a non-profit, it would have cost what is to us a fortune to repair it, and this partnership with HomeAid and Miller & Smith was an incredible opportunity to make it a beautiful home for another family.”

Miller & Smith and its trade partners gutted much of the interior, ultimately renovating and updating the kitchen and bathrooms; replacing laundry appliances, roof, interior flooring, and exterior walkway and patio; repainting the entire interior; and updating electrical and plumbing systems.

“I love having the opportunity to take something that most wouldn’t want to live in and make it something that anyone would want to live in, no matter their situation,” said Scott Alford, vice president of production for Miller & Smith and the project manager for the renovation. “It feels good to give someone a second chance—as well as the chance to feel proud of where they’re living rather than feeling like ‘this is the best I can do.’ I know we’ve turned the corner when even our subs are saying the end result is nicer than their own homes!”

“There were a lot of surprises behind the walls with this house, he added, “and we won’t ever just Band-Aid over hidden problems. This house is going to be solid for years, and we were proud to have been involved in its renovation – it’s always an honor to work with HomeAid.”

Thank you, Miller & Smith and trade partners, for giving new hope to
a single mom and her four young children!
Bee & H Electric

Builders FirstSource

Commercial Concrete

E.D.S. Flooring

Falcon Heating & Air Conditioning

G&B Insulation & Garage Doors

GE Appliances

Hall Mechanical

JD Landscaping

John Darvish Construction Co.

Johnson Drywall

KND

McCormick Paints

Metcalfe Heating & Air Conditioning

Next Day Blinds

Paintworx

SBS Siding Co.

Signature Companies

Stadler Nurseries

TAC Ceramic Tile Co.

Titan Erosion Control

 

Commercial Concrete

You can’t build a great building on a weak foundation, and when it came time for Builder Captain Miller & Smith to replace the flooring in a circa 1970s townhome for Cornerstones, they knew just who to call first: Commercial Concrete.

“The flooring inside the house had layers and layers of hardwood and tile, all atop a concrete floor, and after we removed all of the old flooring, Commercial Concrete came in to grind and prep the concrete surface so that it was in perfect shape for new flooring throughout,” said Scott Alford, vice president of production for Miller & Smith and the project manager for the renovation. “There’s no point in putting good on top of bad, and this is a trade partner who always does it right.”

The company also re-poured the front walkway and backyard patio, ensuring that the entry was smooth and safe for residents and guests, and that the family of five living in the home will have outdoor space to enjoy together.

“We’ve worked on three or four HomeAid projects,” said Robert McLaughlin, owner of Commercial Concrete. “I’ve been in business for 28 years, and as a business owner in the community, I feel strongly that you have to give back to the community. I do a lot of volunteer work—with local fire departments and a lot of one-on-one situations with families who need help with sick children. Over the years, I’ve built out spaces for kids’ special needs and even additions onto houses to help; it’s important to me. I also work with the Loudoun County Public School system, ranging from building a labyrinth for kids to a memorial for a school principal who passed away. I love going a little further and a little deeper to help people, so working on a project like this with Miller & Smith and HomeAid is a natural fit. I’m glad to be able to help.”

Founded in 1989, Commercial Concrete can handle everything from a backyard patio to a multi-million-dollar construction job, including residential and commercial real estate, land development, and roadways, curbs and gutters. For more information, please call Robert McLaughlin at 703.503.7800.

 

Looking Ahead: HomeAid’s 16th Annual Gala & Auction Coming Soon! Are You Ready?

November 4, 2017 • 6:30 p.m. • Lansdowne Resort & SpaLeesburg, VA

sponsor button

gala logoThe future happens fast, so be ready for it! HomeAid’s Tomorrow is Today future-themed 16th Annual Gala & Auction will be here before you know it, and as our largest fundraiser of the year, you won’t want to miss it! We’re moving to a bigger and better location—at the beautiful Lansdowne Resort & Spa in Leesburg, Va.—and we’ll kick things off in a whole new way with a time-tunnel entry. Learn about the history of HomeAid as you walk the tunnel toward our always-popular cocktail reception, which will feature a giant, double-scaffold open bar with our signature drink (The Blue Atlantic), shrimp bar, and a techno DJ. Enjoy hot and cold hors d’ouvres while checking out our exceptional silent and live auction items.

We’ll celebrate three Presidents’ Circle award winners, enjoy a the three-course dinner, and add a twist to our live auction, which will of course include an auctioneer-led paddle challenge, which last year raised $120,000 for HomeAid.

But we have a lot to do before the big night, so be sure to register today for yourself or for an entire table of 10! Put your company’s name in lights through a sponsorship, and help make this year’s auction the best yet with your donation!

This year’s dress code will be futuristic formal. We look forward to seeing you there!

Making it Count

What Can You Do TODAY to Help?

A single mom with four children just moved from a shelter into a townhome this week, and the family is ready to start their new lives! Please help them make their house a home through your donation of new:

  • Queen sheet set and comforter for mom
  • Four twin sheet sets and comforters for kids (three girls, one boy, ages 3-10)
  • Everyday silverware and dinnerware
  • Set of eight bath towels
  • Grocery gift cards of any size

Thank you, Builder Captain Miller & Smith and trade partners for all your work on this project for Cornerstones!


HomeAid and CarrHomes also recently renovated a home owned by Pathway Homes, and now the three women living there are ready to enjoy the beautiful fall weather on their new patio—but first, they need patio furniture! Can you please help us furnish it with a table and umbrella—or donate a gift card to a home improvement store? Thank you!

For help coordinating your Welcome Home donation, please contact Kristyn Burr at HomeAid.
 

Hands-on for HomeAid

Scott Alford has lost count of how many HomeAid projects he has overseen during his 19 years with Miller & Smith. As vice president of production, he estimates that it’s close to one each year, but he never loses sight of the fact that HomeAid projects are an integral part of his company’s culture and an important part of his company’s community outreach.

“We’re always looking forward to the next HomeAid project,” Alford says, “and I hope that other builders who have not had the opportunity to work with HomeAid will consider giving it a try.”

Q:  As vice president of production, you play a very direct role in every job. What do you enjoy most about working on HomeAid projects?

A:  I try to be very involved. We usually try to assign a superintendent to each project when we can, but that doesn’t always work out. So, I help coordinate, communicate with the vendors and ask them to participate, and sometimes clean up onsite. I do whatever needs to be done to make sure the project is completed on time.

The best part is being able to give back to the community and to the shelters or providers that have a need. It is satisfying to take a house that is older or hasn’t been taken care of as well as it should, and transform it into a home that someone can be proud to live in. It makes us feel good to hear a vendor say, “It’s nicer than my house,” and to give the shelters a product that will last at least 10 years or so. It’s not a temporary fix; we always try to go above and beyond what is required for our projects and deliver a product that will fulfill their needs for a long time.

Q:  What types of jobs have you done for HomeAid?

A:  We’ve been involved in a wide variety of renovations. For example, the Cornerstones project we [recently completed] is a transitional housing shelter in Herndon, which means that somebody will be placed there when it’s ready, and they will be allowed to stay until they get back on their feet. They will receive job and money management training so that they can become self-sufficient.

[The townhouse] was built in the 1970s, and we did the flooring, the kitchen, the paint, the drywall, the plumbing, the bathrooms, the roof, and redid the exterior. Basically, we did a complete renovation so it will last them another five or 10 years before they will have to spend any money or do anything to it at all. It is a great feeling; all of us—myself, our organization, our vendors—all enjoy being able to do this sort of a job.

Q:  Do you have any favorite HomeAid projects?

A:  We did one in Loudoun County that had six apartments. Miller & Smith and Winchester Homes did the project jointly, going in and gutting the apartments and doing a thorough renovation. We had an interior decorator working on the project with us, so when we were finished, the space was redesigned, redecorated, and much more useable. The property was very nice and provided homes for multiple clients.

There was another condominium project that we did where we renovated it and then were able to decorate it with some very nice model home furniture. We were there when the home was presented to the mom, and she was just overwhelmed. It was beautiful—decorated by a professional decorator—and the mom was in tears. She just kept saying how much of a difference this home would make in her life, how special it was, and how it would give her a whole new beginning in life.

Q:  How does that feeling compare to working on the new homes that Miller & Smith typically produces?

A: Building houses for people—giving them their dream homes—is incredibly satisfying too. We always go above and beyond what is required in anything that we build. But to be able to do something for somebody in need—building a home for somebody who might otherwise not have a place to live, who may otherwise have to live in their car or on the street—that’s definitely satisfying. Nothing compares to that.

Also, the staff really enjoys working on HomeAid projects when they have a chance. We have done some projects where we built a playground and some outdoor spaces, and we made it a company day where the whole company could participate. They landscaped and sodded, put together playground equipment, built a deck, and painted. They really enjoy those company-wide events. Both Co-Founder Gordon Smith and President and CEO Doug Smith have made philanthropy part of our company’s culture. It’s just something that we do.

Q: Will Miller & Smith continue to be involved with HomeAid projects in the future?

A: Absolutely. It is so worthwhile to take the time to do whatever we can to give back and help out. I would also hope that more and more builders will get involved who are not already. If they take the time to do whatever they can to give back, they won’t regret it. I think sometimes people may be reluctant because they worry about time or money. There are a million reasons why you can’t do it. But HomeAid has projects for everybody. Whether you want to spend a day or a month doing something, or whether you want to spend $500 or hundreds of thousands of dollars, there are plenty of things that need to be done. I think sometimes HomeAid has to turn down projects or applications from shelters because they don’t have somebody to take on the project. I would encourage all builders, even if it’s not in the near future, to put their name out there to HomeAid and say they’re willing to do something at some point. At the end of the day, they’ll be glad that they did.

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Read:
Filling the Grandstand with Joy, HomeAid, Miller & Smith Renovate Townhome for Cornerstones and Family of Five, Trade Partner Spotlight: Commercial Concrete, Looking Ahead: HomeAid’s 16th Annual Gala & Auction Coming Soon! Are You Ready?, What Can You Do TODAY to Help?, Hands-on for HomeAid