A True Community Partnership: HomeAid, Ryland Homes, Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church and NOVACO

“Our congregation has always been involved in service in the community and we’ve worked with many community organizations,” said Dorothy Sorrell, Jubilee Committee Chair at Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church.  “When we were preparing for our congregation’s 50th anniversary, rather than having a large party celebrating ourselves, we decided to have a special offering to help people who are homeless.

“We used some of the offering to upgrade our kitchen in order to prepare meals to serve to homeless individuals and families and those living in transitional shelters. Another use for the offering was to renovate Christ House. For more than 15 years the 33-year-old home on our property has been used as transitional housing. For the past  six years, we partnered with NOVACO to help families fleeing from domestic violence by providing shelter, support, mentors, counseling, case management and other services to help the family get back on their feet.”

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And that’s when HomeAid and Builder Captain Ryland Homes got involved. “We have been involved with HomeAid in different ways including our division President Stephen Fritz’s participation on the HomeAid Board,” said Greg Morgan, Vice President, Operations for Ryland Homes Washington Division. “But serving as Builder Captain for this project has been immensely gratifying work for me personally. It’s going to make a difference in the lives of families in transition.”

The project encompasses almost every area of the home and the renovation is estimated to have a retail value over $65,000. The project started with demo work on the interior and exterior of the home.  The kitchen and both bathrooms will be upgraded. The hot water heater is being replaced and along with the existing washer and dryer, is being relocated on the basement level to improve the flow and living space. In addition to changes that can be seen, Ryland Homes and its trade partners are also replacing pipes, leaking drains and making changes to the heating system.

“On the exterior we have removed the old wood siding and put up new house wrap,” said Morgan. “We’re going to install all new windows, two new doors, new siding and new trim.” The exterior renovation also includes replacing boards and railings on the deck and front porch, and replacing the roof on the porch.

“This is a large project,” said Morgan. “We’re in some tough economic times and it’s no surprise that companies are just trying to keep their employees employed. But all the contractors I’ve spoken with have said they would love to help. Obviously, we can’t do it without them. The work is technical – on our end in setting up a plan of attack, but also on our trade partner’s end in actually performing the work.”

“The house will go through a total transformation.  It’s going to be a really nice place for someone to move into and to go home to every day.”

“Quite honestly, we could not have not done all the renovations planned without HomeAid and Ryland Homes even with the offerings we have received from the congregation and the grant received from our national church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America,” said Sorrell. “We’re immensely excited and thankful.” 

This partnership is a win for all involved. It supports HomeAid Northern Virginia’s mission, is rewarding work for Builder Captain Ryland Homes and the trade partners, and will provide significant savings to Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church and NOVACO – money the church will use to provide direct support to the family moving into the home.