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Building Hope Newsletter, March 2022

Executive Director & CEO Corner

It was wonderful to see everyone at our GolfAid fundraiser last week. It’s hard to put into words the feeling of seeing 200+ supporters enjoying a beautiful warm evening as they golfed, renewed friendships, made new connections, and joined together to advance HomeAid’s mission of ending homelessness in Northern Virginia and beyond. I loved seeing so many of our constituents and donors – GolfAid kicked off what I’m confident will be a very successful year of programs and events for HomeAid.

As you’ll read in this issue, the event also raised $54,000 – money that, quite frankly, will help to sustain us throughout the year. Since we directly service other nonprofits, we don’t get a lot of government grant money, and our focus on building and renovating other nonprofits is not something many grantmakers are even designed to cover. As a result, fundraising events make up 27% of our entire budget, with four major annual events carrying the bulk of our efforts (GolfAid, Builders & Friends BBQ, Golf Tournament, and Gala & Auction). We spread them throughout the year and strive to make them inclusive to all, as well as a meaningful way to give back while having fun.

We depend on our events to introduce our organization and mission to people who aren’t yet familiar with us, allowing us to educate others about what we do for the community. I hope you will join us at one of our upcoming events and bring along a friend or colleague who might benefit from learning more about HomeAid’s mission. We are unique because no other organization in our region is dedicated to rebuilding other nonprofits to improve efficiencies, expand housing options and make a space more durable, safe and dignified.

I hope to see you at our next event, Builders & Friends BBQ, on June 16th, but in the meantime, if you want to learn more about HomeAid, I’m always a call or email away, so please feel free to reach out to me.

With gratitude,

In the Spotlight

Celebrating the Importance of Play

HomeAid Northern Virginia and Stanley Martin Homes have been partners since our founding in 2001, but this month, the homebuilding company built its first custom playhouse with us for The Kids Clubs of Northern Shenandoah Valley, in Winchester, Va., as part of the “Project Playhouse” program. Along with the playhouse, HomeAid will also be providing labor and equipment to install a brand-new playground for the Kids Club, which provides after-school programming and summer camps designed to increase academic performance including reading, writing activities, homework help, and games.

A team from Stanley Martin and four trade partners (VCI Construction, LLC, Dae Won Construction Co, Inc., John Darvish Construction and VEC) spent an afternoon building the playhouse on-site, and the result will now provide children with a place to explore, play, imagine, and grow with a space of their own. Stay tuned for more updates as, we hope to install the playground equipment in time for spring.

In Your Neighborhood

GolfAid 2022: Thank You!

HomeAid Northern Virginia’s 4th Annual GolfAid fundraiser was another sold-out success, with more than 200 golfers, networkers, and supporters turning out on March 3 for a great night of networking and fundraising at TopGolf Loudoun! Attendees raised more than $54,000 at the event, with all funds supporting the multiple renovation projects we’ve lined up for the year. Did you miss out on GolfAid but would still love to donate? It’s never too late! For those who were able to attend, be sure to relive the fun on our Flickr page, where photos from the night are posted. Thanks to the generosity of Bob Narod Photography for capturing the fun!

In Your Community

Volunteers and Donations Needed for Landscaping Improvements

Last year, HomeAid teamed up with volunteers from NVBIA’s Future Leaders of the Building Industry to provide much-needed cleanup and landscaping for six townhomes, all affordable housing units owned by Cornerstones Inc. The group – with support from landscaping companies and personal donations – trimmed, weeded, planted flowers, and mulched after raising enough funds to pay for 100 percent of the needed landscaping materials.

In May, we’re organizing the same effort – again with Cornerstones and NVBIA Future Leaders – and we would welcome your help! This is one of the best opportunities to engage with volunteers who don’t necessarily have homebuilding expertise but who can help weed, mulch, and beautify. Whether you can provide manual labor/tools, funding support, or work for a landscaping company that can help, we can together make a difference. Please contact Kristyn Burr for more information, and let’s get ready to make these outdoor spaces a beautiful place to relax, recharge, and play!

Cornerstones, a longtime HomeAid partner, was established in 1970 to address the need for affordable housing and has grown to become a significant human services provider and advocate for those struggling to make ends meet in Northern Virginia.

Did You Know?

In Virginia, the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,269. In order to afford this level of rent and utilities — without paying more than 30% of income on housing — a household must earn $4,231 monthly or $50,767 annually. Assuming a 40-hour work week, 52 weeks per year, this level of income translates into an hourly Housing Wage of $24.41.

Source: National Low Income Housing Coalition

Making It Count

2021 Impact Report Now Available Online

HomeAid Northern Virginia had a lot to celebrate in 2021, which marked our 20th year of service to our region and completion of 160 projects. Last year, we invested $1,234,513 into the communities and renovated nearly 20,000 square feet of space for more than 1,200 people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. With the cost of the majority of our 2021 projects donated in full, our non-profit partners had tens of thousands of dollars to redirect toward programs and services directly serving people instead of capital improvement projects. We helped provide housing; increased precious storage space; built a custom playhouse; donated backpacks, household essentials, and diapers and wipes; and raised enough funds through special events and third party fundraisers to ensure we can continue to advance our mission.

Read all about it in our just-published 2021 Impact Report, now available online!

Did You Know?

Virginia’s minimum wage is $9.50 per hour. That means one would have to work 103 hours per week at minimum wage to afford a 2-bedroom home at Fair Market Rate (FMR) or 88 hours per week at minimum wage to afford a 1-bedroom rental home (at FMR).

Source: National Low Income Housing Coalition

Making It Count

Rick Cole’s Balancing Act: Building Reserves While Planning for Expansion

Rick Cole, chief financial officer with JD Long Companies, has served as treasurer on our Board of Directors for more than 15 years. A life director with NVBIA, a former president of HomeAid Northern Virginia, and the recipient of HomeAid’s 2020 Presidents’ Award, Rick is the “behind the scenes” keeper of HomeAid’s financial stability. What inspires him and has kept him focused for so long? Find out with this conversation with Rick!

Q: What made you say ‘yes’ to working with HomeAid’s Board and taking on a leadership position?

A: I was an active member with NVBIA for many years, and I knew many of the people who were instrumental in getting HomeAid started up in Northern Virginia – Steve Alloy, Doug Smith, Russ Rosenberger, Don Knutson, Clark Massey … They’re all such well-respected leaders in the homebuilding industry, and I figured if they were investing their time and resources in HomeAid, it must be a worthy organization. I’ve been involved with a lot of community groups, and while I’ve never had a negative experience, I’d never felt as personally excited by an organization’s mission, and I’d never seen any accomplish its goals as efficiently as HomeAid. Everyone is so eager and passionate to get the work done, and the non-profits are so appreciative. It’s energizing, particularly for me; I’m a CPA by training and work for a land company. While I can’t build shelter, knowing I can contribute by providing my financial expertise is really meaningful. I’ve been involved for close to 20 years, and I’m enjoying working with the next generation of leaders.

Q: HomeAid is financially stable but still in constant need for donations. Can you talk about that balancing act?

A: At HomeAid, we’ve done a great job of putting ourselves in a position so that if lean years come, we can further our mission without having to drastically slow down. That said, we want to continually expand our mission: Whether it’s the size of a project or the number of projects, there are always more requests than there is money. So, we need to always be bringing in more funds. The marker keeps moving as we expand into new regions and as land, materials, and rezoning and permitting fees get more expensive. If a nonprofit is fronting the soft costs associated with a project, they’re going to have ever-tighter margins to support the project itself, which is where HomeAid comes in.

Q: What do you love most about your career?

A: In 1983, I realized very quickly that being a professional lacrosse player wasn’t going to support me. The JD Long Companies was one of my clients back when I was working for a CPA firm in Alexandria, and I’d built up a great working relationship and friendship with the founder and his son and, once the timing was right, joined the firm as the CFO. I love what I do, especially the variety. Working with income-producing properties, growing lender relationships, buying and selling land, and negotiating contracts are just a few of the things that occupy my time. The charity I’m most involved with – HomeAid – is something my job allows me the time to do. Nothing is missing – it’s been a great career with incredible people.

Announcements

Spreading the Word with NVBIA

NVBIA’s Meet the Builder event is next week and we are looking forward to getting to meet and reconnect with builders, remodelers, and trade partners as everyone circulates through the room for five-minute “speed dating” sessions at each exhibit booth. Stop by our booth to say hello and learn more about how you can get involved with HomeAid’s mission.

Women in the Building Industry

One of NVBIA’s biggest committees is their Women in the Building Industry (WBI) group, which is dedicated to promoting career advancement and leadership skills of women in the homebuilding industry. With one of their key goals focusing on community service, we work with WBI members frequently, and we were honored to attend WBI’s 2022 kick-off event on February 22.

Save the Date

Builders and Friends BBQ

Thursday, June 16, 2022 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

The National Botanic Garden

Register Now!

HomeAid Golf Tournament

Friday, September 16, 2022 8:00 AM

Rasberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club

HomeAid Gala and Auction

Saturday, November 12, 2022 6:30 PM

Lansdowne Resort and Spa