Building Hope Newsletter, March 2019

HomeAid Northern Virginia Executive Director and CEO Kristyn Burr (middle) attends the 2019 HomeAid America Board of Directors Meeting and Builder Show, along with HomeAid America Chapter Development Officer Robin Arnett (left) and HomeAid America Marketing & Communications Director Amanda Genakos (right).

I was recently appointed to the Chapter Advisory Council on HomeAid America’s Board of Directors, a position that I was excited to accept. In 2018, the 19 chapters that make up HomeAid America completed 40 shelter projects; 15 of those were Northern Virginia’s, illustrating how significant our impact here on the East Coast is. I don’t think one can truly know what they have gotten into until they’ve met the rest of the members and spent time listening, and I had that opportunity in February, at the first of two in-person Board of Directors meetings – held in Las Vegas, Nevada, in conjunction with the International Builders Show. Much like our own HomeAid Northern Virginia Board, the HomeAid America Board is made up of 30+ men and women representing companies and organizations across the U.S. that all play such an important role in the work all of our chapters are doing building and renovating housing stock and spaces for those experiencing homelessness in America. This meeting gave me an important macro perspective of HomeAid’s overall mission, visions, ongoing efforts, and, perhaps most importantly, reminded me that we are part of something far bigger. Over the course of my two-year term, I look forward to learning more about my Board colleagues, their roles and philosophies, and how we as a group plan to address the ongoing challenges we face as we continue to work hard to support the service providers who are doing so much to end homelessness and to help our fellow citizens get back on their feet. I also look forward to sharing our own success stories, local initiatives, and the differences we are making in our local community. May this first meeting be the start of an educational and inspirational journey!

With Gratitude,

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HomeAid Northern Virginia Executive Director Kristyn Burr (middle) accepts the ACTS Community Partnership Award on HomeAid’s behalf. Kristyn is joined by HomeAid Board President Gary Chandler (left) and ACTS Executive Director Steve Liga (right).

On February 28, HomeAid Northern Virginia’s Executive Director and CEO Kristyn Burr, along with Board Members Jerry Berman, Mike Sandkuhler, and Gary Chandler, accepted the Community Partnership Award on behalf of HomeAid at ACTS’ 50th Anniversary Gala at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Prince William County. ACTS presented five awards to organizations that have been significant partners, and HomeAid was recognized for its many years of partnering with ACTS on capital projects both large and small.

“Our facilities would not be nearly what they are today without the generosity of HomeAid and its cohort of builders, contractors, and suppliers,” said ACTS CEO Steven Liga. “Projects have ranged from new kitchens in our family shelter and domestic violence safe house to installing new floors and painting the townhouses we rent to low-income families, with the most significant project being the near-total remodeling of our Women’s Empowerment Center. With HomeAid’s help, the Center has become the crown jewel of ACTS’ 12 facilities, housing both our Rapid Re-housing program, which placed more than 150 homeless households in permanent housing last year, and our Empowering Women in Transition services, which will provide five households headed by someone with a behavioral health disability with long-term supportive housing.

“Not only does this beautiful facility allow us to provide vital case management and life skills training to clients,” he added, “but it gives a family-friendly home to single women and their children who would otherwise be nearly impossible to house.”

Thank you, ACTS, for this important recognition – and congratulations on your 50th anniversary serving the community. We are proud to be your partner!

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HomeAid Northern Virginia, Builder Captain K. Hovnanian Homes – Virginia, and a large team of trade partners have kicked off what will be a huge renovation and upgrade of the Catholic Charities, Diocese of Arlington’s Christ House in Old Town Alexandria. The building, which provides transitional housing for 14 men, a food pantry, emergency assistance, and a nightly soup kitchen that has served dinner every night since 1974, was built in 1810, challenging the whole team to stay true to the property’s historic nature while modernizing it and making it more appropriate for current living standards.

“We are very excited about this project,” said John Croft, program director for Christ House. “HomeAid originally came to look at remodeling our kitchen, where we serve an average of 60 homeless and low-income people every night, 365 nights a year. It’s a busy operation, with volunteers from the community and church groups coming in to prepare, serve, and clean up … but as we walked through the kitchen, HomeAid saw that the dining room and lobby could also use work. We ended up walking the entire building, and now we’re kicking off a top-to-bottom, three-floor facelift. This will be an enormous morale lifter for our staff and for the people we serve, as well as for the 14 men living in our transitional housing program as they work toward financial independence and self-sufficiency.”

After running a space utilization review in the kitchen, the building team will replace and install new cabinets and countertops; add shelving and storage; and install new appliances, flooring, plumbing, and electrical components. Throughout the building, new interior paint, flooring, vents, thermostats, electrical, lighting, and bathroom facilities will be upgraded and replaced. Staff offices, meeting rooms, apartments, and a chapel will also be freshened with new paint, flooring, lighting, and window treatments.

“This building has been incredibly well taken care of, but it’s a very busy place, with a lot of people using it daily – the food pantry, evening dinners, the gentlemen who live there, the volunteers … it gets a lot of wear and tear, and it really was overdue for a refresh and update,” said Larry Gorman, vice president of construction for K. Hovnanian. “We as a company try to do at least one HomeAid project every year or two, so we are glad to be able to take this one on. With an eye to the future, we’re also planning to replace everything at Christ House with higher quality, more durable products that will be easier and cheaper for Catholic Charities to maintain.

“As always, it’s a team effort for us,” he added. “Matt Glakus, our project manager, will be dedicated to the project full time once it’s in full swing. Mike Crow, director of homeowner service, has been intimately involved since the start. Katya Kroz, vice president of purchasing, is lining up all of our manufacturers and coordinating the donation of all the materials, such as the appliances, cabinetry, flooring, and plumbing. And Pia Turner, our director of home design gallery, will coordinate colors and is working with Christ House on paint colors and carpet, countertop, and cabinet colors and designs. We really enjoy working on these projects, and we look forward to seeing this one through to completion!”

“We’ve worked with HomeAid in the past on some of our other housing properties,” added Catherine Hassinger, director of community services for Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington, “and when it came time to take a hard look at upgrading Christ House, we thought of HomeAid. It’s a beautiful old building, and we knew we’d need a team who would respect its history but who would also understand the unique demands we place on our buildings. Our transitional housing program helps 14 men break out of the cycle of homelessness every year, while our nightly meal program brings thousands of volunteers and diners through our doors year-round. Our food pantry serves about 200 people every month. Our emergency financial assistance program brings many more.

“This building is used heavily every day, but we don’t want an institutional or clinical look – we want to provide a dignified, comfortable home environment that any one of us would want to live in,” she said. “This project is going to be truly life-giving for the employees, volunteers, and clients who depend on our services. We are so grateful to HomeAid and partners for this enormous effort!”

Nearly 100 percent of the $100,000+ project is expected to be donated, an exceptional feat for a project of this size. The renovation should be completed by mid-April.

[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]HomeAid America – in its 30th year – has grown to 19 chapters, with HomeAid Utah launching in December. In 2018, the organization collectively completed 40 projects, creating nearly 400 beds, and currently has 50+ projects in planning and development across the country.

Source: HomeAid America[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”]

HomeAid America CEO Peter Simons (left) and the 2018 HomeAid America Board Chair Scott Stowell (middle) convene the first HomeAid America Board Meeting of 2019.

Working to end homelessness requires creativity, hard work, grit, and leadership … and perhaps nowhere else can we find kindred spirits all working toward the same goal than at HomeAid America’s Annual Board Meeting, where HomeAid Northern Virginia Kristyn Burr now holds a seat. HomeAid’s efforts also depend on the organizations’ ability to educate the homebuilding community to ensure that prospective Builder Captains and trade partners understand our mission, respect our efforts, and feel inspired to join us.

So over the course of three days in February, HomeAid Northern Virginia Executive Director and CEO Kristyn Burr did her part to achieve both goals, joining HomeAid America’s meeting, which was co-located with the NAHB International Builders’ Show and NKBA’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Show during “Design & Construction Week®.” The combined events brought together more than 80,000 building industry professionals from around the globe, with a dedicated HomeAid booth on the trade show floor and countless networking opportunities ensuring that attendees left with a far greater understanding of HomeAid’s work.

“I am one of four HomeAid executive directors on the Board,” Burr said, “which make up the chapter advisory council, and we’re joined by members of all of the industries that play such a critical role in our success. It’s an honor to represent HomeAid Northern Virginia, and it’s enlightening to hear how other chapters industry professionals are approaching the homelessness challenges in their regions. As HomeAid America celebrates their 30th year, it was also exciting to hear about possible new initiatives, the evolution of our mission, and our role in working to end homelessness over the years to come.”

Attendees were also treated to Meyers Research’s 2019 National Housing Market Outlook, featuring keynote speaker Frank Nothaft, chief economist at Corelogic. The popular session benefited HomeAid America; Meyers Research has over the years raised more than $527,000 for HomeAid from these educational events.[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”]

More than 215 supporters turned out for HomeAid’s 2nd Annual GolfAid event, raising $60,000+ and enjoying a great night of networking, golfing, and refreshments in climate-controlled bays.

HomeAid Northern Virginia’s Second Annual GolfAid came up aces last night, with more than 215 supporters joining us for a fun night of golfing, fundraising, and business-building at TopGolf Loudoun! Once again hosted by HomeAid Northern Virginia, Brian Davidson, Van Metre Homes, and John Buhl, Buhl Electric Co., attendees raised over $60,000. Our new strategy of offering an all-inclusive option of three hours of unlimited golf, networking with home builders and trade partners, great food, and an open bar – all in climate-controlled hitting bays – and a networking-only option for non-golfers proved very popular, and we plan to offer the same options next year!

All of the funds raised will support the multiple renovation projects we’ve lined up for the year, helping at-risk kids take advantage of educational and safe after-school options; giving struggling moms the support and training they need to regain independence; giving single men a dignified place to call home while they work toward self-sufficiency; and providing intellectually disabled adults who would otherwise be at a high risk for homelessness the gift of self-esteem that can come from a stable, beautiful home.

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With the projects completed in HomeAid America’s first 29 years, more than 333,000 previously homeless Americans have been given a safe and dignified place to get back on their feet.

Source: HomeAid America

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MidSouth employee owners gather for a company meeting.

MidSouth Building Supply, a wholesale supplier of siding, cabinetry, and windows, prides itself on being 100 percent employee owned and 100 percent customer committed. The company’s employee owners also believe that their company’s success in the region means that they, in turn, should give back to the very communities who support them, and they for decades have consistently taken part in charitable partnerships, including with HomeAid Northern Virginia.

A valued trade partner on almost 10 projects, HomeAid honored MidSouth in 2012 for its dedication with the Trade Partner of the Year Award. In 2019, the company will work on the soon-to-launch, 9,400-square-foot buildout of the third floor of the Arlington Mill Community Center on Columbia Pike for Aspire! Afterschool Learning. Learn more about this unique company from the perspective of Julie Maoury, builder sales & design for MidSouth.

Q: Tell us a bit about MidSouth and how it’s different from other companies in the industry.

A: Our biggest difference is that we are 100 percent employee owned – known more widely as an ‘ESOP,’ or employee stock ownership plan – which means every single employee shares in our success. With that kind of buy-in, we all share in our belief that giving back is part of our responsibility as corporate citizens. We have seven locations – our corporate office is in Northern Virginia, but we have additional facilities in Winchester, Charlottesville, Richmond, Ashburn, and Midlothian, Va., as well as one more facility in Camp Hill, Pa. We’ve been an ESOP for 33 years, and we have 137 employees. Company-wide communications is really a priority for us, because we feel an urgency to make sure that everyone is involved, invested, and aware of what we’re doing at every level of the organization. Our employees care because we all share ownership. It makes a big difference in how we face every day at work – it’s our company, and its success is our success!

Q: How did MidSouth first get involved with HomeAid?

A: We’ve worked on so many projects over the years, we can’t say for sure how we initially got started … but we’ve partnered with many, many builders with whom we work on a daily basis – companies like Stanley Martin Homes, Madison Homes, Brookfield, Toll, HITT … and others who called us through a referral. Our family-oriented atmosphere really leads to that desire to be involved in our community at every level and to give back in our daily lives. We feel like it’s our responsibility, so working with HomeAid feels very natural for all of us. Our Director of Operations and Employee-Elected ESOP Board Member Steve Earle also plays an enormous role in keeping us informed, involved, and on board. He’s a great leader, and his knowledge of the ESOP structure is invaluable in helping us figure out how to do things – like working with HomeAid – on behalf of our company. He’s a guiding force and our cheerleader!

Q: Do your staff have any favorite HomeAid projects?

A: All the projects are very special to us, but the general consensus is that building the Youth For Tomorrow house with Builder Captain Stanley Martin Homes really stands out. It was in 2015, and we built a brand-new, 5,000 square foot girls’ home along with 90 other trade partners. It was such a huge effort, for such a great cause, that makes it really memorable and made everyone here at MidSouth feel very proud. While not everyone on staff can be physically involved in building these projects, we are all very much aware of them: We have monthly, internal employee newsletters that go out to the full company, we share articles and social media posts about our involvement, we enjoy the thank you luncheons, the HomeAid plaque is displayed in our office … it all helps us feel ownership and pride. We also coordinate things like food drives, running contests among our branches to see who can collect the most, and every year we fulfill wish lists over the holidays, run toy drives and coat drives … everyone participates in those, and it’s another way we can all give back even if we can’t all work on a home project. It feels great for all of us to be part of something so much bigger than just us.[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]The top constituencies served by HomeAid include:

Source: HomeAid America[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”]New Year, New Baby, New Life

It’s not unusual for full-time workers to find themselves facing homelessness, and it happened to Sara, pregnant with her first child. In this Fairfax County Times article, find out how HomeAid and Community Lodgings gave new hope to Sara and inspired her to say, “For so long, I was worried about where I was going to go. When I walked into the apartment, I felt born again. It was a new beginning for me.”

Golfing for Good

Our sincerest thanks to John Buhl, Brian Davidson, and Rick Rabil for raising thousands of dollars for HomeAid through your 2018 “Golf for Skins” initiative. Your commitment to always making our mission one of your missions is truly remarkable. Thank you.

Thank You Once Again!

Feld Entertainment gave the gift of creating happy family memories through their generous donation of 50 tickets to Marvel Universe Live at Eagle Bank Arena on March 22. The tickets will be distributed to children and their families living in HomeAid partner shelters, and we know that everyone will have a great time at this show. Thank you!

HomeAid in the News

Meet some of the women whose lives have been changed by the services and second chances provided for them at Friends of Guest House, where HomeAid Northern Virginia will renovate one of their properties in Alexandria, Va., this spring. Their stories remind us all why our work matters!

Madeline Walker


Madeline Walker and Jana Benz have joined HomeAid’s staff as our program and communications specialist and our communication and events intern, respectively. Originally from Michigan, Madeline moved to the Washington, DC, area in 2013 after earning her B.S. in marketing and advertising from Central Michigan University (2010) and her M.A. in flute performance from the University of Iowa (2013).

Jana Benz

Over the past six years, Madeline has worked within the marketing departments at several non-profit organizations throughout the DC and VA areas, including Artisphere, Levine Music, Synetic Theater, and The Cathedral Choral Society.

Jana, a junior at George Mason University, is majoring in events management and selected HomeAid because of her connection with our mission – and because the opportunity allows her to combine both of her passions: event planning and helping others!

“HomeAid’s mission of helping to build new lives for Northern Virginia’s homeless struck a chord with me because of my passion for helping others,” Madeline said. “I am excited to bring my marketing skills to an organization where I can make even the smallest difference in someone’s life.”

“I hope to learn more about HomeAid to better understand how non-profit organizations plan events and what resources are important to implement these events,” Jana added. “I also hope to learn more about marketing – a new topic for me – as I think that those skills will be beneficial in the future. While I haven’t decided yet what I would like to do as a career, I know that I love planning events that benefit many people, I’m very open-minded, and I enjoy learning new things. This internship will give me the chance to learn more about event planning and how for-profit and non-profit events differ.”

HomeAid has additional internship positions available; if you know someone looking for real-world experience in a busy office, please encourage them to apply!

Save the Date

NVBIA Meet the BuilderThursday, March 21, 2019, 4:00 p.m., Waterford Fair Oaks, Fairfax, VA

2019 Annual Housing Forum – Thursday, May 9, 2019, TBD

NVBIA Food Truck Festival – June 6, 2019, Ferguson Enterprises, Chantilly, VA

10th Annual Builders & Friends BBQ – Thursday, June 20, 2019, 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., The Barn at One Loudoun, Ashburn, VA, 20147

9th Annual Night at the Ballpark – Saturday, July 20, 2019, 5:00 p.m., Pfitzner Stadium, Woodbridge, VA

5th Annual HomeAid Golf Tournament – Friday, September 20, 2019, 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club, Leesburg VA

HomeAid Northern Virginia 18th Annual Gala & Auction – Saturday, November 9, 2019, 6:30 p.m., Lansdowne Resort and Spa, Leesburg VA