Building Hope Newsletter, December 2019

Kristyn Burr handing out winter essentials at a tent city in 2017.

In the “community” section of this edition of Building Hope, you’ll read about our new “Faces of Homelessness” video which we filmed and then released during our Gala last month. I am finding that it’s really sticking with me because the people we profile are so much like all of us, working hard to make each day better than the last one, and sharing the same hopes and dreams we all do. As we head into the holiday season, the realities shared through the video  really hit home. Whether we see it or not, everywhere around us, there are people, alone and struggling. People are dying of exposure in tent encampments. Housebound seniors are desperately reaching out to someone, anyone, for companionship. Foster and homeless children are watching classmates prepare for winter breaks full of family, gifts, and trips. Veterans who have served our country are discovering that the skillsets that worked for them on the battlefield aren’t translating. Formerly incarcerated Americans are working to update their skills and catch up to a world that’s passed them by. And through it all, the stigmas of what “causes” homelessness – addiction and mental health issues – remain, even though they are but two of the myriad reasons someone wakes up one day and finds themselves in a place they never imagined they’d be. This season, I hope we will all take a moment to look around us and find ways to spread kindness to those near and far. Check in on a neighbor, take your significant other out on a date, send a holiday card to a friend, play hooky with your kids, say hello to the doorman, smile at the person experiencing homelessness, pay the tab of the retired veteran you always see eating alone. Kindness and compassion are year-round needs, and I hope for all of us this holiday season, we will all kick off a year of connection.

With Gratitude,

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Catholic Charities of Arlington, Atlas Plumbing and Darren J. Martineau Honored

HomeAid Northern Virginia’s 18th Annual “Winter Nights”-themed Gala & Auction was another huge success, welcoming over 400 supporters into a glittering winter wonderland from the moment they arrived on November 9 at Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg. By night’s end, more than $440,000 had been raised to support HomeAid’s mission of renovating homeless shelters and supportive housing facilities. In addition to the funds received through sponsorships, ticket sales, and the silent and live auctions, $75,000 was raised during the always-popular Paddle Challenge, with not one, but two $50,000 match donations coming from Doug and Ann Smith and Steve and Marjie Alloy. Thanks to everyone that gave our “Builders for Babies” collection drive a kick-start by donating diapers and baby wipes at the Gala, which will be distributed in December to assist families in shelters and supportive housing programs.

With so many valued supporters sharing in the night of celebration, fundraising, and making an impact on homelessness in Northern Virginia communities, HomeAid also announced and honored three recipients for its prestigious Presidents’ Circle Awards. The 2019 Awards recognized the following organizations and individuals for their work in advancing HomeAid’s mission of building new lives for the homeless:

Rick Kaplar, Art Bennett, John Croft, and Catherine Hassinger accept the Nonprofit Service Provider Project of the Year Award on behalf of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington.

Nonprofit Service Provider Project of the Year Award: Catholic Charities’ Christ House
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington provides housing, counseling, job training, financial assistance, food, and meals to vulnerable communities throughout Northern Virginia. HomeAid, Builder Captain K. Hovnanian Homes Virginia, and 28 construction trade partners collaborated with Catholic Charities to renovate Christ House – a 200+ year old building in Old Town Alexandra that provides transitional housing for 14 men, a food pantry, and a nightly soup kitchen that has served dinner every night since 1974. The top-to-bottom, three-floor facelift included upgrades to the kitchen, dining room, lobby, residents’ rooms, and bathrooms. Throughout the building, new flooring, electrical, and lighting were installed. Staff offices, meeting rooms, and a chapel were also freshened with new paint, flooring, lighting, and window treatments. The Christ House soup kitchen’s evening meal – which feeds homeless men, women, and families 365-days-a-year – was continued every single day throughout the renovation. To bring extra life to the transformation of the project, HomeAid aired a video at the Gala that illustrated how a simple kitchen renovation turned into a three-story total upgrade of this important building.

Brian Turner and Tim Lear accept the 2019 Trade Partner of the Year Award from Gary Chandler (left) and Kristyn Burr of HomeAid Northern Virginia.

Trade Partner of the Year Award: Atlas Plumbing
HomeAid’s trade partners are those in the home building industry who play meaningful roles in HomeAid Northern Virginia’s construction projects by donating materials, time, labor, and expertise. Since 2009, Atlas Plumbing LLC has lent its services to 14 HomeAid projects and has donated more than $75,000 in labor and materials. Through the years, Atlas Plumbing has helped HomeAid Northern Virginia make meaningful improvements to group homes and townhomes, program spaces, and multi-unit buildings, including the ACTS Women’s Empowerment Center and a new residence for teens at Youth for Tomorrow. Recently, Atlas Plumbing oversaw upgrading of kitchens and bathrooms in 12 units at Catholic Charities’ St. Margaret of Cortona Transitional Residences in Woodbridge, a renovation that Catholic Charities staff and residents affectionately termed “St. Margaret’s makeover” based on the impact it had on the building and the quality of life for its residents.

Katie Martineau, Denise Mulholland, and Michelle Martineau accept the 2019 Presidents’ Award on behalf of their father and husband, Darren Martineau.

Presidents’ Award: Darren J. Martineau (awarded posthumously)
The HomeAid Northern Virginia Presidents’ Circle Awards recognize those in our community who have gone the extra mile to further HomeAid’s mission of building new lives for the homeless. Builders Floor Service’s Darren Martineau exemplified that role in his 20+ year career there, starting as production manager and most recently as vice president. Darren and Builders Floor Service have participated on more than 10 shelter projects, including ACTS Women’s Empowerment Center, Pathways Homes and New Hope Housing. Darren and his team provided labor, resources, and materials towards enhancement and improvement of these shelter, supportive, and transitional housing facilities. The world sadly and unexpectedly lost Darren this September at the age of 52. His legacy will live on through that which he did for others and the lives he helped rebuild.

Noble Construction, Inc. served as the presenting sponsor of the event, with nearly 50 additional event sponsors joining in. Thank you to all for making this year’s event the enormous success that it was!

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More Photos Online!

Missed this year’s event? Know that there will be some great photos from this year’s Photo Booth? Be sure to check out the hundreds of professional photos taken this year!

[image_with_animation image_url=”20247″ alignment=”” animation=”Fade In” border_radius=”none” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”][image_with_animation image_url=”20246″ alignment=”” animation=”Fade In” border_radius=”none” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”][image_with_animation image_url=”20249″ alignment=”” animation=”Fade In” border_radius=”none” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”][image_with_animation image_url=”20252″ alignment=”” animation=”Fade In” border_radius=”none” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”][divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]The holidays often conjure up sweet thoughts of family, but for some at-risk youth in our communities, “family” isn’t always permanent or accessible: Approximately 5,000 children are in foster care in Virginia. Of these children, 1,700 have the goal of adoption, and more than 600 of are waiting for adoptive families. These children are from all cultural and socio-economic backgrounds and are most frequently school-aged children, ages 5 to 14, and are part of sibling groups.
Source: Adopt US Kids[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”]

The Closet of Greater Herndon currently accepts donations in an open area behind the building, subjecting volunteer workers – and the donations themselves – to all kinds of weather, year-round. The planned structure will provide much-needed climate control and protection from the elements.

HomeAid Northern Virginia and Builder Captain Richmond American Homes are excited to kick off a unique project this winter, as we finalize plans and go through the permitting process for the construction of a climate-controlled structure for donations and an ADA access ramp for The Closet of Greater Herndon, a nonprofit thrift shop in the heart of historic downtown Herndon.

“This is a different project than perhaps what is ‘typical’ for our work with HomeAid,” said Jack Gallagher, division president, Mid-Atlantic region, for Richmond American Homes. “But The Closet is a partner organization in need of construction support, and their general mission is well aligned with the same community we serve. By helping streamline their ability to improve the lives of others through our project, we’re also contributing and giving back to the community at large. We’re helping them help others, and we’re improving conditions for the volunteers who are so integral to any successful nonprofit.”

On paper, the project is a 600 square foot structure that will cover the facility’s donation area, which is currently an uncovered, unprotected area behind the building where citizens drop off their donations and where volunteers sort, tag, and work to bring donations inside to the retail shop. Richmond American will also install climate control features, such as heat and ceiling fans, for the donation area and replace a stairwell and handicapped ramp so that the retail area will be ADA compliant for the first time since its opening.

In reality, the project will be game-changing.

“I started working here two years ago,” said Pat Rhoads, manager of The Closet, and ever since then, I’ve noticed the men and women out back, sorting through our donations and working in deplorable conditions of rain, snow, ice, heat, and bitter cold. We don’t have sufficient space inside to handle all of the items already organized for retail as well as all the donations that come in every day, so we rely on our outdoor receiving area. But without cover, it also means that sometimes, really nice donations get ruined by the weather if we can’t get them inside fast enough, and that feels sickening. We want our community to know that we’re putting their donations to their best use, and we want our volunteers to have comfortable, safe space in which to work. This project will achieve both goals, in addition to just looking a whole lot nicer!

“The architect has made such an aesthetically pleasing design,” she added, “and we’ll be able to slide panels closed in the winter, open them in the summer, and have heat and fans to help us regulate the temperature. Donations will be safe from the elements. This little shop has really blossomed, and our community loves it and depends on it. We are so excited about this project – it will be so fabulous and really bring us to the next level. We can’t wait!”

Richmond American Homes hopes to have the project completed by February.

The Closet was founded in 1974 by a handful of churches to assist low-income families by selling used clothing at nominal prices. Over the years, the shop has expanded to also include household necessities and dedicates its profits to supporting other community programs, such as Cornerstones, Fellowship Square, the Herndon-Reston FISH, Meridians Recovery, Mobile Hope of Loudoun, South Lakes High School PTSA Food Pantry, and Herndon Woman’s Club.[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]According to a recent study, LGBTQ young people are 120% more likely to experience homelessness than non-LGBTQ youth. It’s also estimated that about 7% of youth in the United States are LGBTQ, while 40% of youth experiencing homelessness are LGBTQ.
Source: True Colors United[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 9,794 individuals experiencing homelessness in the D.C. region, and all of them are people just like us. Some are struggling through no fault of their own. Some regret a choice they made once, with lasting repercussions. Others are children. Grandparents. Veterans. Their backgrounds and faces are as unique as all of us, and their stories remind us of a key truth: homelessness can happen to anyone.

In a moving and enlightening video HomeAid first shared at its 18th Annual Gala & Auction on November 9, viewers will realize that although the issue of homelessness may feel worlds away, it affects many right here in our community who, like many of us, never thought it would happen to them. The people profiled share their stories, and all are relatable, painful, and inspiring. Homelessness is an experience and doesn’t define a person; take a moment to meet some of your neighbors, and find out how HomeAid’s work helps people heal, helps close funding gaps, and changes lives. People are so much more than their circumstances.[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]An estimated 15,000 young people run away from home per year in Northern Virginia. Many return home, many don’t. But given the right support, an average of 95 percent of the young people who come to Second Story, a youth safe center in Vienna, VA, return to their families, with supports in place after they leave.
Source: Second Story[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”][divider line_type=”No Line”][divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”][divider line_type=”No Line”]We’ve been building hope and changing lives throughout Northern Virginia since our founding in 2001, and with another year behind us, it’s always gratifying to look back and see how far we’ve come. Thanks to our Builder Captains, trade partners, nonprofit partners, sponsors, and individuals and companies who continue to support us through funding, time, and a passionate commitment to paying it forward, 2019 was another outstanding year. Whether we were cutting a ribbon brand new space, treating families to a memory-making day out, or coordinating a collection drive, we changed lives:[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”]

Gary Chandler, HomeAid Northern Virginia Board President

Gary Chandler, division president, Virginia region, for K. Hovnanian Homes, has served as HomeAid Northern Virginia’s president for the past year, following two years of service on HomeAid’s Board of Directors and after partnering for nine years with HomeAid as part of K Hovnanian’s Builder Captain team. A dedicated and committed partner since he first joined the HomeAid family, Gary knew that the position would require additional hours, but the year was a rewarding and enjoyable one, capped by gratifying projects and by the support of the HomeAid Northern Virginia Board and staff. Find out more about Gary’s experience as he helped lead HomeAid over the past year!

Q: What are you most proud of achieving this year with the Board?

A: That we were able to continue the work of HomeAid at the same high level of service to the community, as we completed several projects throughout the region – including a men’s shelter, which is somewhat rare. I’ve also been proud to see the Board makeup and participation remained strong, as did fundraising efforts … which leads to the third and perhaps most important thing: that we could continue to do our part to improve the lives of people in need and be part of the collaborative process that brings it all together.

Q: If someone was unsure about whether to step up and accept a position on HomeAid’s Board of Directors, what would you tell them?

A: We should all do our best to give back when and how we can. Doing so with HomeAid means that you will have the support of a large, engaged, and talented Board, as well as a great HomeAid management team and staff. The structure and resources are there to make an impact in people’s lives in a very meaningful way, and the time commitment is quite manageable. The rewards are many. I first got involved because I felt it was a noble cause, and I’ve loved meeting the beneficiaries of Home Aid’s work over the years … the Board is full of really good people who put in the work, and as a Board member, you’re a participant. It’s an honor to serve and help even more people in our communities through volunteerism.

Q: What would you like to see HomeAid achieve in the future?

A: To continue on our current path of serving the shelters and programs that make the most difference. Perhaps also slightly expanding our geographic footprint would be beneficial, as well.

Q: How did you get in the homebuilding industry, and what has kept you?

A: I come from a family of builders, and once it gets in your blood, you are hooked for life. Growing up, I saw the relationships built and the lives touched when building a home for a family. That has always stayed with me, and that feeling never gets old.[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]

Scott Canan with Toll Brothers (second from left), presents HomeAid President Gary Chandler and CEO and Executive Director Kristyn Burr with a $60,000 check for HomeAid.

Thank You
Join us in putting two hands together for Toll Brothers, which – in addition to serving as a Builder Captain and supporting us throughout the year in other ways – presented a $60,000 check to HomeAid at our Annual Gala, all resulting from their 2019 charity golf event proceeds. This kind of support makes a major positive impact on our ability to carry out our mission of ending homelessness in Northern Virginia, and we are grateful. Thank you!

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, thank you – to everyone reading this – for your support, cheerleading, guidance, expertise, insights, time, and love. We are awed by all of you and grateful to you. When we say ‘we couldn’t do this without you,’ we really mean it.

From left to right: Shane Lanehart, John Darvish, Kristyn Burr, and Gary Chandler.

Shane Lanehart, president of the K. Hovnanian Homes Trade Partner Council and president of McCrea Heating and Air, presents a $25,406 check to HomeAid Northern Virginia’s Board Member John Darvish, CEO and Executive Director Kristyn Burr, and 2019 President Gary Chandler, at the Trade Partner Summit in November. The funds are proceeds from the Council’s Annual Golf Tournament.

Representing HomeAid
In November, HomeAid Northern Virginia CEO and Executive Director Kristyn Burr attended the 2019 Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference in Hampton, Virginia. Virginia’s largest housing event was packed full of educational sessions led by experts in housing, finance, and community development, as well as amazing networking opportunities with colleagues from across the Commonwealth.

End-of-Year Giving
Make a difference for our littlest humans … diaper collection for our Builders for Babies initiative will continue through December 13! Larger sized diapers, including Pull-Ups, are most in need by our shelter partners. To coordinate a drive, drop off donations, or request a pick up, contact us!

Looking to make some final charitable donations before the end of the year? Choose HomeAid Northern Virginia’s Annual Campaign! We know that our supporters come from every corner of our community: Some have more time, some have more expertise, some have more financial resources. All are welcome.

A listing in the Catalogue of Philanthropy – the region’s only locally focused guide to giving and volunteering – is gold, and HomeAid is happy to announce our listing (and their recognition of our work!) has been renewed. Not only does that mean we gain more visibility through the Catalogue, but it also demonstrates that we’re a vetted and approved nonprofit, evaluated for excellence by a team of over 120 local experts who assess each organization for impact, community need and financial transparency. Thanks to all who have made HomeAid a nonprofit worth believing in!

Save the Date

The HomeAid Northern Virginia office will be closed from Dec. 24 to January 2, 2020.
Happy Holidays!

NVBIA Custom Builders Council Holiday Mixer – Thursday, December 5, 2019, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. 13890 Lowe Street, Chantilly, VA 20151 (Collecting diapers and baby wipes for Builders for Babies initiative.)

NVBIA President’s Ball – Saturday, January 25, 2020, Hilton McLean Tysons Corner, McLean, VA

3rd Annual GolfAid Fundraiser for HomeAid Northern Virginia – Thursday, March 5, 2020, Top Golf Loudoun, VA – Registration will open in January!

Housing Forum – Thursday, May 14, 2020, Reston Community Center, Reston, VA – This event is geared towards those who work in the field.

11th Annual Builders and Friends BBQ – Thursday, June 18, 2020, The Barn at One Loudoun, Ashburn, VA

6th Annual Golf Tournament – Friday, September 18, 2020, Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club, Leesbury, VA

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

In this newsletter:
Executive Director & CEO Corner
Annual Gala & Auction Raises $440,000+ for HomeAid Northern Virginia
HomeAid, Richmond American Plan Project for The Closet of Greater Herndon
When You’re So Much More than Your Circumstances
2019 By The Numbers
Gary Chandler, a Dedicated and Committed Partner