HomeAid Northern Virginia had the honor of helping to renovate Friends of Guest House’s newly opened residential re-entry program in Alexandria, VA. Check out the local news coverage of the project below.
Your Past Does Not Define Your Future
By the time Helenia Bragg was 15, she had a full-blown heroin habit. “I was raised in a ‘liquor house’ in 1960s and 1970s Alexandria,” Helenia explained. “My mom was a bootlegger. My father was a drug dealer.”
She first went to prison at 17 for drug possession, then cycled in and out of prison for the next 30 years. When she was released the first time, she returned to a home that was riddled with crime and drugs. When she was released the second time, her parents had died and extended family members wanted nothing to do with her. Without a secure place to go, she returned to friends who enabled her drug habit, returned to crime to support it and returned to prison again. Then again.
Helenia was in the middle of her fourth prison sentence and about to turn 50 at Fluvanna Correctional Center in Troy, Va., when she came to the realization that changed her life:
“If I don’t use drugs, I don’t commit crimes. If I don’t commit crimes, I don’t go to prison.”
Thanks to Craftmark Homes and to the trade partners who contributed labor and resources to the project:
Action Sheet Metal Co., Inc.
Area Walls Incorporated
Beltway Steel Supply Co., Inc.
B & K Distributors, Inc.
B F Behan, Inc.
Builders Fire Solutions, LLC
Capital Mechanical, LLC
Carter Lumber of Virginia, Inc.
Consulting Engineers Corporation
Delta Faucet Company
Dimond Adams Design Architecture
Doug Construction, LLC
F M Rolloff and Construction Services, LLC
G J World Carpentry, Inc.
HDS Drywall Service, Inc.
JHK Carpentry, Inc.
Kichler Lighting, LLC
M R Stone, LLC
New York Concrete Corporation
Southern Maryland Heating & Air, Inc.
Southland Insulators, Inc.
Stone Works, Inc.
TNT Services Group II, Inc.
UBH Construction (Umeres Better Homes, Inc.)