Building Hope Newsletter, April 2020

I would give anything to be able to write about anything other than the Coronavirus. It’s taken over our lives, interrupted our plans, brought tragedy to countless, invaded our dreams, and put question marks on our futures. We’re all on overload, so I will try to focus on just a few key points that I feel are important. First, the construction industry is considered essential, and with careful preparation and mitigation efforts, we have been able to continue our important work for many of our partners, who need our help more than ever. With upticks in domestic violence, suicide, and homelessness due to job loss, our non-profit partners and staff are working tirelessly to provide desperately needed services for their clients. On the flip side, our builders and trade partners are doing everything in their power to stay safe on job sites so that they can fill the gaps during these impossibly difficult times. As you’re thinking of ways to show gratitude, please keep our building and non-profit partners in mind, as they are homegrown heroes for all of us at HomeAid Northern Virginia.

On a personal note, I hope all of you are weathering this crisis well, and that you remember to give yourself the space and grace you deserve. I’ve read so many gorgeous essays about the importance of recognizing that what we’re feeling is grief, and that traversing our way toward acceptance can take very different paths. All are okay. It’s also important to recognize that just because our neighbor is using this time to write a novel or repaint the house doesn’t mean that that’s realistic for all of us! Please, don’t pressure or blame yourself if you don’t feel super productive or efficient; your response is the right one for you, and it’s okay to not be okay. Feel the same compassion for yourself that you feel for others, even if your circumstances vary. And lastly, consider asking yourself three small questions every morning that may help you frame the day. While these may not work for you – again, we’re all different, and we all respond differently – I’ve found them useful, and I hope you will, too.

  1. Who am I checking in on, or connecting with, today?
  2. What expectations of “normal” am I letting go of today?
  3. What beauty am I creating, cultivating, or inviting in today?

Be well, my friends. We’re all in this together.

With Gratitude,

[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]New Date: Thursday, September 3, 2020

As COVID-19 spreads rapidly across our region and around the globe, HomeAid Northern Virginia has postponed the 2020 Housing Forum, originally scheduled in May, for September 3. Please save the date!

Kevin Hines

We know that learning to deal with stress and trauma has never felt more relevant, and we look forward to bringing our speaker experts to you. We will all have new, important perspectives and experiences on which to reflect, and we are confident that this year’s Forum will be our most important in history.

Gina White

Our two keynote speakers – Kevin Hines, a best-selling author, global public speaker, and award-winning documentary filmmaker, and Gina White, a mind-body practitioner – will strengthen us all through their stories of hope, healing, and recovery, and will provide us with strategies to be safe, healthy, and emotionally regulated. Until then, be well and stay safe. We’re all in this together![divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]On a single night in January 2019, 37,085 veterans were experiencing homelessness, a 2.1% decrease since January 2018. 22,740 veterans were sheltered, while 14,345 veterans were unsheltered.
Source: National Alliance to End Homelessness[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”][divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]

Once Builder Captain Christopher Companies, KTGY Architects, and trade partners complete a renovation project at Operation Renewed Hope, this carport will be a fully accessible bedroom with a full bath!

HomeAid Northern Virginia, Builder Captain Christopher Companies, and KTGY Architects have teamed up to renovate and update a home owned by Operation Renewed Hope Foundation in Alexandria, VA. The project will add critically important capacity for the organization, which serves Veterans and families experiencing homelessness.

Key to the project will be the conversion of a three bedroom, 1.5 bath home to a four bedroom, three bath home: A carport will be enclosed and converted to a bedroom with an accessible bathroom; a full bath and bedroom will be added in the basement; and three small upper-level bedrooms will be reorganized into two larger bedrooms with more closet space and shared bathroom access. Plans also include updating the home’s utility room and updating the house throughout to make it more comfortable and useable. KTGY is donating their architectural services to the project.

“We’ve placed 800 Veterans and families in quality housing since our founding in 2011,” said Deborah Snyder, LTC (R), U.S. Army, president & CEO of Operation Renewed Hope Foundation. “This property, which is very convenient to jobs, shopping, and transit, will be a really important addition; we offer the gamut of services through a continuum of care model, and we’re really excited to be able to expand capacity through this project! We’ve already helped seven Veterans in this one house, and have two Veterans living there now who were hired by Amazon. The support they receive here will allow them to transition to independent living, opening more opportunity down the road. This kind of renovation support is truly life changing.” 

Craig Havennerpresident of Christopher Companies, is looking forward to remodeling the home to make it more comfortable, accommodating, and accessible. 

“We’ve engaged KTGY, and they’ve generously agreed to provide designs that will update and modernize the house and make it feel more livable and spacious for the Veterans living there,” he said. “We’ll be able to work around current residentsan important benefit since we all know how scarce affordable housing isand because the project is near our recently completed Rose Hill Manor community and literally down the street from the Meadows at Rose Hill neighborhood that we have just started, it will make it very easy for us to share resources between jobs. We’ve also worked with Operation Renewed Hope before, when we made some minor renovations to another existing home they purchased a couple of years ago, and it was great to make that connection when we met about this house. It’s a small world!” 

Once the project kicks off, estimates are that it will take about 60 days to complete. We look forward to working with Christopher Companies, KTGY, trade partners, and Operated Renewed Hope on this important project!

[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]Research shows that those who served in the late Vietnam and post-Vietnam eras are at the greatest risk of becoming homeless, but veterans from more recent wars and conflicts are also affected. Veterans returning from deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq often face invisible wounds of war, including traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, both of which correlate with homelessness.
Source: National Alliance to End Homelessness[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”][divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]

Over 300 partners, supporters, and guests turned out for HomeAid’s 10th Annual Builders & Friends BBQ in 2019, raising $70,000 to support our mission.

Date TBD – Stay Tuned!
The Barn at One Loudoun
4:00-7:00 p.m.

With many of our calendars suddenly cleared for weeks, it’s probably no surprise to hear that we have decided to postpone our 11th Annual Builders & Friends BBQ, which was originally scheduled for June 18. As we work through the Covid-19 crisis and gain a clearer picture of when we will be able to safely reschedule the BBQ, we will be updating all of you via email, social media, and the website. Please check regularly for updateswe will be more ready than ever to celebrate with a much-needed event that always offers brotherhood and camaraderie!

In the meantime, sponsorships are available and will offer an outstanding opportunity to put your company name in front of hundreds of builders, trade partners, and industry supporters.

Regardless of when we hold the BBQ, we can promise a relaxing, informal, and fun afternoon of catching up with old friends and meeting new colleagues. All guests will be treated to all-you-can eat BBQ, open bar with craft beer and seasonal cocktails, live music, cornhole, and fun raffle prizes! Each $50 registration includes food, drink and one raffle tickets, and all 2020 trade partners, suppliers, or subcontractors that have participated on a HomeAid project this year will receive TWO FREE BBQ registrations![divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]As of January 2019, Virginia had an estimated 5,783 experiencing homelessness on any given day, as reported by Continuums of Care to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Of that total, 447 were veterans.
Source: U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”][divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]There are times when the best of our HomeAid family really come to light, and this is unquestionably one of those times. As so many of us face new uncertainties and unforeseen challenges, our supporters, partners, and the entire Northern Virginia building industry have mobilized and found new ways to respond, find solutions, and reach out in effective and compassionate ways. Before the current crisis, 1 in 3 families struggled to provide clean diapers for their babies, which costs approximately $80 per month. Now the need is even greater.

Kristyn Burr and her daughter pick up donated diapers and baby wipes from Scott Shelton of SN Mortgage. The collection will be distributed to nonprofits and individual families who are in need due to loss of employment and/or grocery store shortages.

SN Mortgage
SN Mortgage was planning a grand opening for a new office in Sterling, VA, and thought it would be a great time to kick off a collection drive for diapers and baby wipes, which they could then donate to HomeAid Northern Virginia for distribution to area non-profits serving moms in need. Little did they know that soon after that, the coronavirus would start changing lives in Northern Virginia pretty dramatically.  

“Soon after we started collecting” said Heather Kyle, loan officer assistant at SN, “we started seeing empty shelves at grocery stores, and essentials like baby wipes and diapers were nearly impossible to find. I sent Kristyn [Burr] a note saying, ‘I see that things are getting wiped out of the grocery stores, so rather than wait for our collection drive to end on April 30, we have a pretty big pile of things we can donate right now.’ It was really fortuitous timing, and it made me feel especially grateful for the cloth diapers that were donated; this is a great time to have reusable options!” 

SN Mortgage intends to keep its collection going, and they had placed collection boxes at local churches that they hope to distribute once churches re-open. “We look forward to being able to pick up those collections too, once restrictions are lifted, although we’re also hoping that the churches are dipping into our boxes for supplies if they need them! No matter who gets them, what’s important is that we can make a difference in people’s lives, and we’ve played our part to go out in the world and make a difference.”

HomeAid America and the Leading Builders of America
The shortage of masks and eye protection among health care workers is at a crisis level, and HomeAid, along with Toll Brothers and Richmond American Homes – both of which serve on our Board of Directors and have served as Builder Captainscoordinated a collection drive of masks and eye protection equipment. Toll Brothers and Richmond American encouraged donations at their headquarters in Ashburn and Reston.

HomeAid Northern Virginia
We are collecting diapers, baby wipes, formula, and gift cards for families in need. While we have a collection box placed in the entryway of our office (open 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.), you do not have to leave the comfort and safety of your home to donate – donations can be ordered online (via Amazon, Target, Walmart, etc.) and delivered directly to the office (see address below)! If you are out and notice that diapers are in stock and are able to get a box to donate – or are able to donate a gift card to Target, Walmart, grocery stores, or other places that families could purchase diapers/wipes/formula themselves – please consider purchasing some so that we can distribute to our non-profit partners as well as directly to families in need in our community. Thank you!

Monetary donations can be made here.

Donations can be mailed directly to/dropped off at our office:
HomeAid Northern Virginia
3684 Centerview Drive, Suite 110B
Chantilly, Virginia 20151

Executive Director and CEO Kristyn Burr also conducted a videoconference with NBC4 to highlight our Builders for Babies collection initiative; the resulting news segment aired April 2.

To Our Non-Profit Partners:

Please reach out to us if you have immediate needs that we may be able to help fill or spread the word about. We’re here to help!

Contact HomeAid Executive Director & CEO Kristyn Burr at

[divider line_type=”No Line”][divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”][divider line_type=”No Line”][divider line_type=”No Line”]

Scott Shelton

Scott Shelton, executive regional manager, Mid-Atlantic States, SN Mortgage, first learned about HomeAid years ago, thanks to overlapping relationships with builders who are so important to our network. He quickly stepped up to volunteer on our Gala Committee, and most recently has made an even bigger impact by introducing SN Mortgage to HomeAid. By helping spread awareness within his company – and educating colleagues on how they too could help – the ripples of support grow ever widerRead on to find out what inspired Scott and how he and SN Mortgage are continuing and expanding his effort to educate, fundraise, and help our community’s neediest.

Q: How did you originally find out about HomeAid, and what inspired you to get involved?  

A: Throughout my mortgage career and through my involvement with NVBIA, I’ve had the privilege of working with a lot of builders. It was through those connections that I was first introduced to HomeAid. I believe it is my duty to do everything in my power to make a positive impact in the world, and I recognized that by leveraging my connections and resources by working with HomeAid, there was – and is – a great opportunity to be of service and to help support a real need in the community. 

Q: You served on the Gala committee for years; can you tell us about the experience?  

A: There is so much that goes into planning and preparing for an annual event like HomeAid’s yearly Gala. Because it is the biggest fundraiser of the year, it can’t be matched when it comes to creating more awareness of HomeAid’s mission. That’s why I was glad to step up to be on the committee and contribute to its success. For anyone considering joining the committee, I really recommend it. For me, the whole experience was satisfying, gratifying, and truly fulfilling. 

Q: Why did SN Mortgage get involved and evolve to the point that you’re now full swing in a diaper drive, with a trap shoot fundraiser scheduled for the fall? 

A: One of the things that attracted me to SN Mortgage was SecurityNational’s commitment to supporting its branches in community outreach. As I mentioned before, improving the lives of others is near to my heart. I saw this as another opportunity to serve. When I was coming on-board at SNMC, I was asked about a cause or charity I was interested in focusing on helping this year. HomeAid immediately came to mind, and we began putting together a plan for the October charity trap shoot. As I began to build the SN Mortgage Sterling, Virginia, branch and expand throughout the region, I tasked my team to actively look for more ways that our team could help make an impact on HomeAid’s 2020 initiatives. After only one phone call with Kristyn Burr, my marketing director was already putting out the call for a 1st quarter diaper drive at our SN Mortgage branch in Sterling. We hope to continue to make an impact in other ways throughout the year. 

Q: Tell us more about the trap shoot! Third party fundraisers are so important; where did the idea for a trap shoot come from, and how did SN decide to make HomeAid the beneficiary? 

A: I wanted to create something that would add some flair and really engage the builder community. And, I didn’t want to create just another run-of-the-mill fundraiser. I chose Bull Run Shooting Range because of its unique event offerings for large corporate groups like this one. The fundraiser is planned for Friday, October 2, 2020. “Take a Shot at Ending Homelessness” with SN Mortgage will begin in the morning with coffee, donuts, and instructions on safety and the proper use of a firearm. Then, participants will be led in teams through a competitive shooting course by trained instructors. The afternoon will conclude with a delicious catered barbecue lunch and recognition of winners and sponsors. It’s my goal to heighten engagement with HomeAid and ultimately increase donations. 

Q: What has most surprised you in learning about homelessness in Northern Virginia? 

 A: I think that awareness is the largest obstacle. That’s why the work HomeAid does is so important. We must raise awareness to address the issue of homelessness, which is going virtually unnoticed all over the U.S. It’s so important for each of us to do what we can. The first step to rectifying the issue is recognizing that there is a problem. Thank you, HomeAid, for all you do to raise awareness and bring relief to the neediest among us.[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]Spreading Awareness by Podcast
In March, Construction Management Podcast hosts Damien and Jason interviewed Kristyn Burr, highlighting the generosity of builders, developers and trade partners, as well as an organization she founded in 2016 called Seva Prison Yoga. Be sure to listen in to this engaging, half-hour podcast and find out how you can help end homelessness locally.

Thank You
These are impossibly hard times, and we’re all finding ways to help support those who need it most. Last week, HomeAid Northern Virginia donated nearly $3,000 in gift cards to five non-profit organizations as well as several individual families in crisis, which we hope will help those who depend on them.

Thank you, E*TRADE for your recent $10,000 grant donation, which we will use to support our mission of ending homelessness in Northern Virginia. We need your support now more than ever, and we are grateful for your generosity!

Save the Date

Brunch with BenefitsSunday, April 19, 2020, THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED – NEW DATE TBD, Lost Rhino Brewing Company, Ashburn, VA (10% of proceeds go to benefit HomeAid Northern Virginia!)

11th Annual Builders and Friends BBQThursday, June 18, 2020, THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED – NEW DATE TBD, The Barn at One Loudoun, Ashburn, VA (Registration now open!)

Toll Brothers Charity Golf Event – Monday, June 22, 2020, Belmont Country Club, Ashburn, VA (Proceeds to benefit HomeAid Northern Virginia!)

Women in Building Industry Spring Networking NEW DATE: Thursday, June 25, 2020, Paradise Springs Winery, Clifton, VA (Collecting home essential items for HomeAid’s Helping Hands program.)

1st Annual Arts in the Park at Wolf Trap – Saturday, July 18 2020, 10:00 a.m., Children’s Theatre in the Woods at Wolf Trap, 1551 Trap Rd, Vienna, VA

Housing Forum NEW DATE: Thursday, September 3, 2020 (This event is geared towards those who work in the field. FREE with registration.)

NVBIA Meet the Builder NEW DATE: Thursday, September 17, 2020, Waterford Fair Oaks, Fairfax, VA

6th Annual Golf Tournament – Friday, September 18, 2020, Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club, Leesbury, VA (Registration now open!)

SN Mortgage Benefit Trap Shoot – Friday, October 2, 2020, Bull Run Shooting Center, Centreville, VA (Details coming soon – proceeds to benefit HomeAid Northern Virginia!)

19th Annual Gala & Auction – Saturday, November 14, 2020, Lansdowne Resort & Spa, Leesburg, VA

In this newsletter:
Executive Director & CEO Corner
2020 Housing Forum Postponed
HomeAid, Christopher Companies, KTGY to Partner with Operation Renewed Hope
HomeAid’s Builders & Friends BBQ Postponed: Watch for Updates!
Covid-19: You Can Help Now!
Growing Support through Awareness, Education, and Fundraising