Building Hope Newsletter, March 2020

Brian Davidson, Kristyn Burr, and John Buhl celebrating a job well done at our 3rd Annual GolfAid Fundraiser.

Last week’s GolfAid fundraiser is one of my favorites of the year, because it always brings in so many new faces. I love having the opportunity to introduce HomeAid, share our mission and successes, and help answer questions about the need for services in Northern Virginia – it’s often something that many assume isn’t really necessary, in this wealthy region. This year was no different, as we welcomed 230 people to TopGolf, several of whom I’ve already had one-on-one meetings to talk about additional opportunities with HomeAid.

One company has already signed on to sponsor our other events this year. Another is going to host a third-party fundraiser for us. Yet another has invited me to participate in a podcast. It’s exciting to see how far – and how organically – our reach can extend through just one fundraiser, and it’s a great reminder that for so many individuals and companies, it’s not a hard decision to support us and our mission – people just need to learn about us! And, as we’ve expanded our reach, I’m excited to report that for the first time in our history, we’re expanding into brand-new territory!

Up to now, we’ve always shared the same footprint as NVBIA, who helped launch our chapter in 2001, but as you’ll read about in this issue, we’ve accepted a project in Winchester, VA, and will look forward to growing our presence there, as well. It’s an enormously important step for us, as we continue to illustrate the value we bring to the table, leverage the overlapping territories that our Builder Captains and trade partners share, meet new non-profits that need our help, and ultimately broaden our impact in Virginia. I’m honored to have YOU as a supporter, and I know that you’ll help me welcome our newest supporters to the HomeAid family.

With Gratitude,

[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]HomeAid Northern Virginia’s 3rd Annual GolfAid event was another hole-in-one winner, with over 230 golfers, networkers, and supporters turning out on March 5 for a great night of business-building and fundraising at TopGolf Loudoun!

Co-hosted by HomeAid Northern Virginia, Brian Davidson, Van Metre Homes, and John Buhl, Buhl Electric Co., attendees raised over $60,000. All of the funds raised will go toward our mission of building and renovating homes for those experiencing homeless and at-risk populations, as well as supporting programming that provides critical life-skills and self-sufficiency training.

Extending the benefit of GolfAid …

Did you miss out on GolfAid but would still love to donate? It’s never too late!

Check your golf form and relive the fun of our GolfAid event on our Flickr page, where photos from the night are posted. Thanks again to the generosity of Bob Narod Photography for capturing the fun!

[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]People with serious mental illness account for a disproportionate number of suicides, homelessness, violence, and incarceration.
Source: Mental Illness Policy Org[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”]When Worth Jenkins, division president for Dan Ryan Builders, joined the HomeAid Northern Virginia Board of Directors, he knew it wasn’t customary for a brand-new member’s company to take on their first project as Builder Captain, but that’s exactly what happened.

Kristyn [Burr] and Mike Sandkuhler had been recruiting me for a while to get involved with HomeAid,” Jenkins said, “and I felt like it was a really good time for me to give back. When I heard about the Winchester Rescue Mission project, I knew it was a perfect fit. Dan Ryan Builders has projects in Winchester, so we have people on the ground there already. I live in Leesburg, which is only 30 minutes away. I believe in the mission of the organization, and the scope is a good size for our first venture. It was an easy ‘yes.'”

Winchester Rescue Mission

The project also represents our first in Winchester; HomeAid Northern Virginia was started by NVBIA and, until now, our footprint has matched theirs. However, with many of our Builder Captains now building in Winchester, it made sense for HomeAid to expand our territory into an area where there is also a lot of need.

The project, which is still in the planning stages, will center around renovating a 1930s building in the downtown historic area of Winchester, where the Rescue Mission provides sleeping quarters for 33 individuals, as well as meals, job training, and medical care. The Mission also serves between 50 and 80 meals a night, with 20 additional families regularly coming in for groceries. In addition to updating and refreshing the space through new flooring and paint, Dan Ryan Builders and trade partners also plan to add storage and make other improvements for the long-term use of the building.

“Having this work done on our building will be absolutely amazing,” said Winchester Rescue Mission Executive Director Brandan Thomas. “This facility is critical to carrying out our mission of supporting individuals who are experiencing homelessness, and some of our programs – such as providing meals and offering laundry and shower facilities for resident- and community-use – are components that we feel can keep others from becoming homeless. There are so many in our community who are on the verge, and losing our ability to serve would be truly devastating. We haven’t been able to make any updates to the building since 1985, so this renovation will be a gamechanger.”

Thank you to First-time Builder Captain Dan Ryan Builders, and welcome to our community, Winchester Rescue Mission! We look forward to working with both of you, we are excited to begin the first of what we hope will be many projects in Winchester, and we look forward to sharing progress on this important project in the coming months![divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]43 million of the U.S. population over age 18 has ‘any’ mental illness. 250,000 mentally ill are homeless – equivalent to the population of such cities as Dayton, Ohio; Des Moines, Iowa; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Providence, Rhode Island; Richmond, Virginia; or Salt Lake City, Utah.
Source: Mental Illness Policy Org[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”]

Mindful Junkie Founder Gina White will address HomeAid’s Housing Forum, focusing on empowering caregivers to better regulate the stress and trauma that is part of their everyday lives.

HomeAid Northern Virginia’s FREE Housing Forum – scheduled for May 14, 2020, at the Reston Community Center – continues to take shape, with a second confirmed speaker: In addition to Keynote Speaker Kevin Hines, a best-selling author, global public speaker, and award winning documentary filmmaker, we will welcome Gina White, a mind-body practitioner. Gina is the daughter of two first responders and founder of Mindful Junkie, a non-profit dedicated to empowering first responders with mindfulness strategies to be safe, healthy, and emotionally regulated and deal with stress and trauma.

The two speakers will provide different – but equally important and powerful – sides of a familiar story: In 2000, Kevin attempted to take his life by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge – and became one of the one percent to survive. Kevin now travels the world sharing his story of hope, healing, and recovery. Gina, on the other hand, is a mindfulness educator and researcher, and her programs teach first responders how to manage reactions, notice impulses, and work through emotions – in the moment, and when they go home.
Best-selling author, public speaker, and filmmaker Kevin Hines will keynote the 2020 HomeAid Northern Virginia Housing Forum.

“Those of us who work with populations who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness are faced every day with extreme highs and lows,” said HomeAid Northern Virginia Executive Director and CEO Kristyn Burr. “We know the joys of seeing a family beat the odds, but we also see devastating circumstances that sometimes can feel like we’re powerless to control. Being able to care for others means having to take care of ourselves, too, and Gina’s focus on first responders is a tack that is equally important for us all to remember and act on. We are excited to learn from her and make self-care as much of a priority as the care we provide to others, so that we can all be more effective and mentally healthy.”

It’s a Housing Forum you cannot miss: Save the Date and watch for registration information soon; registration is free, but capacity is capped at 250 people. Stay tuned!

[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]At any given time, there are many more people with untreated severe psychiatric illnesses living on America’s streets than are receiving care in hospitals. Leaving mentally ill people to live on the streets costs $22,372 per person per year.
Source: Mental Illness Policy Org[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”]This spring, HomeAid Northern Virginia and partners will start renovating and updating a circa 1930s building owned by the Winchester Rescue Mission, where they provide shelter, meals, medical care, and job training to 33 residents, and life-giving support for dozens more in the community who are at risk of or are currently experiencing homelessness.

But the important renovation project is not the only way the Mission hopes to make a lasting difference this year for the people of Winchester and for those struggling to beat the odds as they face mental illness: In February, Winchester Rescue Mission Executive Director Brandan Thomas debuted a four-minute trailer at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Winchester, which Executive Director & CEO Kristyn Burr attended, with the goal of raising monies to fund production of a feature-length documentary that would raise awareness of the undeniable tie between mental illness and homelessness.

The trailer features scenes from Thomas’ 2019 brainchild, a 12-day, 14-city cross-country motorcycle journey, whereby Thomas and 10 local motorcyclists traveled cross country, stopping to visit rescue missions and share live-stream videos of those they met along the way. The trip raised $92,000 and helped fund the addition of a dedicated mental health specialist to the staff of the Winchester Rescue Mission.

Thomas told the Winchester Star, who profiled him and the movie trailer on February 24, that “he believes the impact of the ‘American Rescue’ documentary could be even more profound than the Rescue Ride itself, bringing awareness to the fact that approximately 568,000 people in the United States — the majority of them with untreated mental illnesses — are currently homeless.”

For more information about the Rescue Ride and documentary effort, to view the “American Rescue” trailer, or to make donations, visit[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]There is evidence that those who are homeless and suffering from a psychiatric illness have a markedly elevated death rate from a variety of causes. This is not surprising since the homeless in general have a three times higher risk of death than the general population and severely ill individuals have a 2.4 times higher risk of death during any year.
Source: Mental Illness Policy Org[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”][divider line_type=”No Line”]

Melissa Elliott

Sherwin Williams is one of HomeAid’s long-time trade partners, regularly pitching in on both large shelter projects and our Turnover Program Projects, donating all of the paint and supplies needed. We of course always appreciate that level of support from a national company, and sometimes, it leads to another, equally wonderful partnership. In the case of Sherwin Williams, that partnership came through an employee who perhaps didn’t expect to get quite so involved … but then, after a few projects and after realizing that everyone can have an impact, she decided to jump in with both feet. Meet Melissa Elliott, Sherwin Williams’ new residential sales representative, who works with many of our non-profit partners, Builder Captains, and other trade partners to make sure that every project is the best it can be.

Q: What inspired you to get involved with HomeAid?

 A: Supporting our communities has always been an important part of Sherwin Williams business. Since 1866, our founders were active leaders, stressing that part of being a strong business meant giving back to those who need us the most. That tradition continues to this day, with employees across the globe sharing our founders’ commitment to community.

Q: How did you get involved with volunteering with HomeAid?

A: My original reason for volunteering was to build a relationship in the community for my business, but I was personally inspired by the results of HomeAid’s projects. I don’t have money to donate, but I can offer my time and expertise in the right paint coating for the job … so I can contribute to projects in my own way. I love that I can see my small contributions make an impact on building better lives for families, and I have seen the success through multiple projects that HomeAid truly creates a dignified, safe, and stable space that fosters healing and growth.

Q: If someone was on the fence about volunteering with HomeAid, what would you tell them?

A: That the need in our communities is great – so much more than they can imagine – and that even what might seem like small contributions really make an impact.

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

A: Their courage. Before becoming a volunteer for HomeAid, I felt uncomfortable by the homeless. I did not believe I could be part of a solution. I now think of how it would feel to start each day with uncertainty, coping with shame, grief, the inevitable threat of violence, and possibly an untreated mental illness … and I realize the perseverance it would take to face each day.

Q: Tell us about your work with Sherwin Williams. What do you love most about your career?

A: My main responsibility at Sherwin Williams is to create partnerships with builders and ensure the consistency and quality promised is executed by the painter. I also work directly with painters to provide knowledge and support in application while partnering with their business to promote growth. In addition, I am responsible for ensuring that new homeowners’ experience is met by the 70 plus stores in our area with our touch-up program. Sherwin Williams is a big connection, and, because of that, I am able to help businesses both large and small solve problems and meet their goals. I love that I can be an important part of so many success stories and have the opportunity to mentor young employees in my company. My hope is that I can help them build similar relationships, so that my expertise and knowledge will be part of the business long after I’m gone.[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]Special Delivery
On Friday, February 28, 2020, the much-anticipated custom playhouse, built by HomeAid Northern Virginia, Van Metre Homes, and Van Metre BASE through our Project Playhouse program, was delivered to a townhome owned by Second Story. The playhouse, which meets HOA standards and features its own little front porch, is now welcoming the children of single moms enrolled in the Second Story for Young Mothers program. Interested in participating? Contact HomeAid Northern Virginia Executive Director and CEO, Kristyn Burr for more information.

Work Hard, Play Hard
It’s no easy job to plan HomeAid Northern Virginia’s Annual Gala & Auction, and this year, the hardworking Gala Committee combined business with pleasure when, on Thursday, February 27, the group went to see Phantom of the Opera at Synetic Theater in Crystal City, VA – the perfect inspiration for this year’s masquerade-themed Gala!

Shop & Support
Save the planet and support HomeAid! For the month of March, each time a reusable $2.50 Community Bag is purchased at the Giant Food stores located at 13330 Franklin Farm Road and at 2425 Centreville Road in Herndon, $1 will be donated to HomeAid Northern Virginia (unless otherwise directed by the customer through the Giving Tag). This is a great way to raise awareness, support the environment, and fundraise for our cause. Please help us spread the word by letting everyone you know in the Herndon area that now is the time to purchase reusable Community Bags! To learn more about this program, please visit

In Search of Summer Interns
Do you know someone looking for real-word experience with a busy office? Please send them HomeAid’s way; we are looking for summer interns in our marketing, events, and shelter program departments. Because we’re a small office, our internships mean that students do the real, boots-on-the-ground work. This isn’t a filing and photocopying internship! Find out more – and apply – on our website!

Save the Date

NVBIA Meet the Builder Thursday, March 19, 2020, THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED – NEW DATE TBD, Waterford Springfield (note new location), Springfield, VA

Brunch with Benefits – Sunday, April 19, 2020, Lost Rhino Brewing Company, Ashburn, VA (10% of proceeds go to benefit HomeAid Northern Virginia!)

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

11th Annual Builders and Friends BBQ – Thursday, June 18, 2020, 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!)

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
GolfAid 2020: Thank you for your Support!
HomeAid Northern Virginia, Dan Ryan Builders, and Winchester Rescue Mission Form New Partnership
HomeAid Northern Virginia’s 2020 Housing Forum: Addressing the Mental Health Crisis
Documenting Homelessness through the Power of a Rescue Ride
Big Help, in Many Small Ways