Women and children fleeing domestic violence now have a newly upgraded, secure safe haven in Northern Virginia with the completed renovation of the Alexandria Women’s Shelter. Debuted via a private tour with senior staff from the City of Alexandria’s Sexual Assault Center and Domestic Violence Program, the renovations were completed under a collaboration between the City of Alexandria and HomeAid Northern Virginia, with the assistance of grants from the United Way and the Van Metre Companies Foundation.
“Our residents at Alexandria Women’s Shelter are in crisis. They are vulnerable, and often afraid. The physical environment and security of our building is important to our residents. The renovations make the shelter feel more welcoming, comfortable, safe and ‘homey.’ To our community, these are essential. This is what can help foster healing and stability. The last thing we want is for our facility to feel institutional for women – and for children – who have left such bad situations,” said Debra Evans, division chief of the City of Alexandria’s Sexual Assault Center and Domestic Violence Program. “We are fortunate to have local champions for our community in organizations like HomeAid Northern Virginia and the team it mobilized from Brookfield Residential who managed the renovation from start to finish and brought in the donated expertise, labor and resources of local homebuilders to complete this project.” Residents of the shelter moved to a temporary facility during parts of the renovation process, and the shelter re-opened its doors in October.
Renovations of the shelter were led by HomeAid’s “Builder Captain” Brookfield Residential and its network of aligned home building “trade partners” – including Atlantic Building Supply, McCormick Paint, and Vintage Security – who donated expertise, labor and/or materials to the shelter project. The five-bedroom shelter provides emergency housing, food, transportation and counseling for women and their children who have been physically or psychologically abused, or threatened with abuse. The HomeAid renovation project – valued at approximately $25,000 – included structural and cosmetic upgrades to shelter bathrooms, bedrooms and kitchens, and installation of an enhanced security system with closed circuit cameras at the front and back doors. HomeAid Northern Virginia builds and renovates shelters and housing facilities like the Alexandria Women’s Shelter via the donated expertise, labor and resources of homebuilders and trade partners (suppliers, manufacturers, electricians, plumbers, etc.) – providing significant cost savings and allowing organizations to invest their budgets in programs and services rather than building expenses. HomeAid partners directly with non-profit organizations on building projects, as well as with local governments such as the City of Alexandria.
“In Alexandria, we are committed to building a strong community,” said Alexandria’s Department of Community and Human Services director Kate Garvey. “We are working to ensure that individuals and families have the services they need, and that those who face significant challenges have a safe place – like the Alexandria Women’s Shelter – to regroup, and to begin to rebuild their lives.”
“Brookfield Residential understands the importance of safe, stable and comfortable housing – for everyone, but particularly for women and children in crisis, who need to be assured of stable housing before they can focus on receiving the counseling, and other assistance they need in order to get back on their feet and move forward. Brookfield Residential – together with our network of home builder trade partners who participated in this project – is honored have led the renovation for the Alexandria Women’s Shelter and to give back to our local community in such a meaningful way,” said Marc Dalessio, Production Manager at Brookfield Residential.
The Alexandria Women’s Shelter services and supportive programs benefit more than 600 families – reaching more than 2,000 individuals – each year.
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 people 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 100 projects valued at more than $12.7 million, serving more than 95,440 homeless individuals.
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