Building Hope Newsletter, August 2021

In July, we celebrated the completion of our largest project of the year, and while it always feels great to dedicate a big project, this home – owned by Bethany House – represents so much more than the numbers of dollars and partners it took to finish it. It’s been on the table since my career began at HomeAid and embodies just how seriously our Board, homebuilders, and trade partners stand with us to see a project through. It – like all HomeAid projects – represents our ability to transform non-profits’ facilities and housing units into safe, stable homes where people can heal, in an environment where funds for non-profit capital improvement projects simply don’t exist. This home – where we doubled the number of bathrooms and kitchens and added three bedrooms, a playroom, and meeting space – gives Bethany House and Fairfax County more beds and a greater ability to provide a place to heal. The meticulous work and high-quality products show residents that people care about them, that they’re worthy, and that they’re loved. And, because this home serves women and children who have escaped domestic violence, it stands in the storm of what is being called ‘a pandemic within a pandemic,’ as reports of domestic violence in the region have shown a staggering increase. Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence – myself included. I learned firsthand – as have others close to me, that domestic violence does not discriminate; it can happen to anyone, regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, faith, level of education, or class. Dedicating this home, and cutting the ribbon to a door ready to welcome and safeguard survivors, is our way of working to restore families’ dignity, hope, and sense of worth. We all deserve that, no matter our story and no matter our past.


With Gratitude,

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On July 14, HomeAid Northern Virginia, Builder Captains Van Metre Homes and Toll Brothers, and 40 trade partners celebrated the completion of the total restoration of a home owned by Bethany House in Fairfax County, which will now provide a safe haven for women and children survivors of domestic violence.
The property was dilapidated and at the time of demo wasn’t habitable, which means for a significant amount of time, Bethany House and Fairfax County had fewer beds to provide critical services and housing to those fleeing domestic violence.
This project was a labor of love HomeAid’s largest project this year. When it was all said and done, the only salvageable items where the frame to the house and a couple of windows. Our Builder Captains and partners added a new roof, replaced siding, painted the exterior, landscaped, added railings, made the driveway ADA compliant, turned the garage into an additional bedroom, and so much more.
Since this project serves domestic violence victims, special considerations had to be made during the design process too. Women and children escaping domestic violence need to feel safe and secure when they move into a place like Bethany House, so a state-of-the-art security system was installed in the home. Bethany House staff can even monitor the property from afar so that in case an unwanted abuser finds the family, the police can be notified immediately. Locks with key pads were installed on each of the doors, giving the families peace throughout the night. Additionally, an adjoining room unit was created that can serve as two units or one for mothers with larger families so that everyone can be together.
Our Builder Captains completely reimagined the original footprint, expanding the home from four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and one kitchen to seven bedrooms, four bathrooms, two kitchens, a playroom, and meeting space for critical programs. They left no stone unturned and put so much thought and consideration into whom this house would serve and what the families moving in would need in order to break the cycle of abuse and gain stability to move forward.
HomeAid is extremely proud to have maximized our relationship with builders and contractors to save Bethany House nearly $250,000 and double the capacity so that more people needing a hand up could be served in Fairfax County.

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Thank you to Builder Captains Van Metre Homes, Toll Brothers, and the following trade partners for providing a beautiful home dedicated to healing, rebuilding, and restorative care for women and children.
AJ Trim
Alliance Contracting Group, LLC
Atlas Plumbing
Audio Buys
B&K Distributors, Inc.
Buhl Electric Co., Inc.
Builders Fire Solutions, LLC
Burgess Lighting
Capitol Building Supply
Century Kitchens
Darvish Construction
Darvish Interiors
Davenport Insulation
Falcon Heating & Air Conditioning
Five Star Septic, Inc.
General Electric Appliances
Goodman Air Conditioning & Heating
HDS Drywall Services, Inc.
HomeTeam Pest Defense
Industrial Disposal Services (IDS)
J2 Engineers, Inc.
KTGY Architecture + Planning
KT Enterprises
Lisbon Concrete Corp.
Marie Pinho
N&B Paving
NOVA Catholic Community
Railing Systems
Richard Sewall, RA LEED AP
Scot Engineering, Inc.
Southland Insulators
Terra Stoneworks
Titan Erosion Control
Universal Engineering Sciences
Van Metre BASE
Velasquez Contractor, Inc.

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It took a year longer than we anticipated, after having to cancel last summer’s outing, but HomeAid’s 1st Annual Arts in the Park was well worth the wait! On an absolutely beautiful Saturday in July, more than 100 parents, kids, and staff from our shelter partner organizations filed into the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts to enjoy “Snow White,” performed by Maryland Youth Ballet students. With free parking and admission, reserved space on the lawn, and boxed lunches for all, this joyful day introduced kids to the arts, created priceless family memories, and eliminated the stress of “how will I pay for it?” for parents.
Additionally, every child in attendance was able to hand-pick a brand-new backpack for school and given a $50 gift card to pick out their own school supplies, one of the best parts about preparing to go back to school! Since most students will return to in-person learning this fall, it’s especially important for kids to choose their own supplies so they feel empowered and ready to learn.
You can check out more photos of kids “shopping” for backpacks by visiting Flickr.

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We are excited to announce that our 7th Annual HomeAid Golf Tournament, on Friday, September 17 at Raspberry Falls, is SOLD OUT to a full course of 156 golfers, but we still have a few amazing sponsorship opportunities available for every budget, including hole-in-one, breakfast and par sponsors. No matter your level of support, all sponsors enjoy maximum exposure that help support our mission of building and renovating housing and other facilities for those experiencing homelessness in Northern Virginia and beyond.
For information about sponsorships, please contact Kristyn Burr.

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This month, students across the country will start back to school – a stabilizing force for children experiencing homelessness. Part of the support many kids receive is due in part to the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, which works to ensure that academic barriers to success are resolved as efficiently and effectively as possible. It also works to provide support mechanisms to ensure that, at least while at school, students have access to basic care such as education, food, and shelter.
Source: Accredited Schools Online

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It’s no secret that having a safe, stable place to call home is the foundation of building a life. But we all know there’s more to it than that, and we are repeatedly reminded that sometimes, it’s the rhythms of daily life that so many of us take for granted that are just as important to our confidence, our decision making, and our ability to budget. We all remember the excitement of going shopping for school supplies in the fall, and we remember that getting to pick out a brand-new backpack was a very big deal. That’s why last month – thanks to the over 400 backpacks donated by supporters – hundreds of kids were able to select a backpack that spoke to them, rather than just taking whatever was offered.
It’s why we launched a “Builders for Babies” initiative, which provides free diapers, wipes, and other baby essentials to moms who quite literally might otherwise have to choose between paying for a prescription or buying diapers, or reusing a soiled diaper. It’s why we devote countless hours to collecting and filling “Welcome Home” baskets with household supplies, so that the excitement of moving out of homelessness and in to a new home isn’t tempered by the extreme cost of stocking up for shelters or clients. And, it’s why we urge those who want to donate food to instead donate grocery gift cards, giving recipients the power of choice – to buy foods they love and need. Building homes, building hope, building self-esteem. That’s HomeAid.

[divider line_type=”No Line”][divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]Mitch Elmore, president of HDS Drywall Service, Inc., and his family-owned company have played an integral role in HomeAid’s success since their first project with us in 2013. Always one of the first to step up and help with projects of all sizes, the team has over the years invested more than $60,000 in projects, sponsorships and donations, most recently working on the total transformation of Bethany House, a $340,000 renovation project completed last month. Why do they keep stepping up to the plate? What do they get out of their service? Find out more with this enlightening Q&A with Mitch!

Q: What were your earliest impressions of HomeAid, and why did you decide to get your company involved?
A: One of our customers partnered with HomeAid on a project, and they asked us to participate. I was so impressed with how HomeAid was able to recruit so many contractors to come together and donate their time, materials, labor, and money for such a good cause, and it was such a great experience that we have continued volunteering every year since then. It’s great that HDS can lend its time, resources, and expertise to help stamp out homelessness in Northern Virginia.
Q: You’ve worked on so many projects. What makes you keep saying ‘yes’?
A: We truly believe that HomeAid and their non-profit partners are providing an incredible service to those in most need in our communities, and we appreciate that HomeAid gives us the opportunity to give back to our community through our drywall and paint resources. There is nothing like seeing new tenants move into a recently completed HomeAid project, and knowing that we were able to contribute to an individual or family’s well-being always gives all of us at HDS enormous satisfaction.
Q: What has surprised you most about working with HomeAid?
A: I’d have to say I’m just surprised by the sheer number of people in need in Northern Virginia. Before I became involved with HomeAid, I don’t think I ever really grasped just how many people in Northern Virginia need a hand to get back on their feet.
Q: What do you love most about your career?
A: HDS Drywall is a family-owned and operated company that my father has been running since the late 1980s. I’ve been involved with the company in some way or another for my entire life, but I’ve worked there full time for roughly 14 years. We employ 65 full-time employees and work with builders of all sizes throughout Southern Maryland and Northern Virginia. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work with my father and sister. I’d also say the best part of my career is being able to drive through Northern Virginia and point out projects that HDS has been a part of, providing homes and home improvement projects to members of the Northern Virginia community and for HomeAid. It’s very fulfilling to actually be able to see the work we’ve accomplished over the years as I drive down the highway.
Q: If someone was thinking of working with HomeAid, what would you tell them?
A: Stop overthinking it and sign up today. There is nothing like the feeling of giving back to the community and using your resources to help get people back in homes and on their feet.

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Federal education data released this year by the National Center for Homeless Education (the U.S. Department of Education’s technical assistance center) show that public schools identified 1.5 million children and youth experiencing homelessness in the 2017-2018 school year – an 11% increase over the previous school year and the highest number ever recorded nationally.
Source: School House Connection

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Register or Sponsor Today
HomeAid Northern Virginia’s 20th Annual Gala & Auction on November 13 will pick up right where we had to leave off pre-COVID, and we’re excited to see everyone at our reimagined “Masquerade 2.0” themed event after last year’s virtual “Maskerade!” Please, save the date – and be sure to check out our multiple sponsorship opportunities available NOW! This is our biggest fundraiser all year that draws hundreds of movers and shakers from the building industry. Get your company’s name in the spotlight!

Meeting a Critical Need
In July, we were pleased to donate $600 worth of gift cards to those living in tent cities throughout Prince William County. Gift cards give people the flexibility of knowing they can use them how they want and allows people to purchase things like minutes on a phone, bottled water, handwarmers or grab a warm cup of coffee on a chilly night. Dehydration and hypothermia are major problems for people living in tent cities or encampments, so why not give a gift card to help with basic needs for this critical population?

 [divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]7th Annual HomeAid Golf Tournament – Friday, September 17, 2021, Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club, Leesburg, VA Registration is open

20th Annual HomeAid Gala & Auction – Saturday, November 13, 2021, Lansdowne Resort & Spa, Leesburg, VA Reserve your tickets

In this newsletter:

Executive Director & CEO Corner
HomeAid, Toll Brothers, Van Metre Complete Transformation of Home for Bethany House Survivors of Domestic Violence
Arts in the Park: A Perfect Summer Morning for Making Family Memories
Golf Tournament SOLD OUT; Sponsorships Still Available 
20 Years. 20 Ways of Making a Difference
HDS and HomeAid: Teamwork Since Day One