Building Hope Newsletter, May 2018

Friend Rhonda Wilson (left) and Joe Meyer, CEO of Shelter House (right), join Kristyn at the April yoga fundraiser for HomeAid Northern Virginia.

Our mission is building new lives for Northern Virginia’s homeless. More often than not that means building and renovating homes and shelters to ensure that Northern Virginia homeless residents have a safe, stable, beautiful space to call home. But it also means providing opportunities to the men, women and children we serve, through memory-making outings like our upcoming Night at the Ballpark this summer. Last month, thanks to donated tickets provided by Feld Entertainment, we sent a group of 50 parents and children from Shelter House and Catholic Charities to Disney on Ice.

I mention both not only because they are perfect examples of gifting our at-risk and homeless populations with a rare day out as a family, but also because they represent an enormously different way that our supporters can help us achieve our mission. As you’ll also read in this issue, a brand-new supporter of HomeAid just last month organized a benefit yoga class on our behalf, raising hundreds of dollars. As a passionate yogi myself, I was of course thrilled to hear from her – a benefit yoga class for HomeAid felt tailor-made for two of my top interests! But it also serves as such an important reminder that there are countless ways to support HomeAid. You don’t have to be a builder or tradesperson in the industry … you don’t even have to work in the industry. All that’s needed is creativity and the desire to give back to the community; we’ll work with you to find a way to make it happen.
I look forward to seeing many of you – especially now that spring finally seems to have arrived – at our upcoming Builders and Friends BBQ. We’ve already welcomed sponsorships from several brand-new supporters and long-time supporters, and we look forward to this important and fun event that is always a great way of saying thank you to all of our friends and supporters!

In Gratitude,

[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”][image_with_animation image_url=”15206″ alignment=”center” animation=”None” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”]Thursday, June 21
4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Location: The Barn at One Loudoun[divider line_type=”No Line”][nectar_btn size=”medium” button_style=”regular” button_color_2=”Accent-Color” icon_family=”none” url=”” text=”Register Here!”][nectar_btn size=”medium” button_style=”regular” button_color_2=”Accent-Color” icon_family=”none” text=”Be a Sponsor!”]Spring has been slow to arrive, but if you’re itching to enjoy some delicious barbeque, celebrate friendships, and welcome the new season, be sure to join us at HomeAid Northern Virginia’s 9th Annual Builders and Friends BBQ! This event is always one of the best opportunities to connect with industry colleagues – including our region’s top homebuilder executives, decision makers, and trade partners. Each $40 registration includes a ticket to some great raffle prizes, all-you-can-eat BBQ, an open bar, and cornhole games.

It’s always a crowd at HomeAid’s Builders & Friends BBQ – we look forward to seeing you on June 21 for our 9th Annual!

We will also announce the 2018 Trade Partner of the Year, recognizing a trade partner that exemplifies what it means to be dedicated, driven, and committed to improve housing facilities for the homeless and at-risk populations in Northern Virginia.

“The Builders & Friends BBQ is our way to give thanks to companies that have continued to help us build safe, stable housing for the homeless in our community, year after year,” said HomeAid Northern Virginia President Mike Sandkuhler. “We are so grateful to every single one of our builders and trade partners who so generously contribute their time, resources, and expertise, and we look forward to celebrating them – and thanking them – at this always-popular event. I look forward to seeing many of our stakeholders and supporters, and I hope you’ll join me in congratulating our Trade Partner of the Year and toasting our future success.”

Register today! (All 2018 trade partners, suppliers, and subcontractors that have participated on a HomeAid project this year will receive TWO FREE BBQ registrations; contact Kristyn Burr to ensure you are on the list!)

Many thanks to our event sponsors!

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Since 2010, supporters have raised nearly $130,000 for HomeAid Northern Virginia through the Builders & Friends BBQ. The funds help support our mission of building and renovating homes for the homeless and help support educational and awareness programs for our partners.
Source: HomeAid Northern Virginia

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Toll Brothers renovated 13 apartment units owned by Catholic Charities. The renovations included updated and upgraded kitchens and bathrooms, drywall repair, and new flooring. The top photo shows construction in progress; the photo above shows a finished kitchen. Toll Brothers covered approximately 70% of the costs.
Toll Brothers renovated 13 apartment units owned by Catholic Charities. The renovations included updated and upgraded kitchens and bathrooms, drywall repair, and new flooring. The top photo shows construction in progress; the photo above shows a finished kitchen. Toll Brothers covered approximately 70% of the costs.

HomeAid Northern Virginia, Builder Captain Toll Brothers, and trade partners have completed a $96,000 renovation on 12 individual apartments and a children’s activity center at Catholic Charities’ St. Margaret of Cortona Transitional Residences, giving 12 families a completely refreshed and updated home in which to continue their journey toward independence. All of the families are referred to Catholic Charities from regional emergency shelters and domestic violence programs; the majority of residents are mothers with young children.

In order to minimize disruption, HomeAid and its partners worked on three units at a time, rotating families to local hotels until their units were completed before moving on to the next three in the schedule. While it meant a longer timeline for completion – and a more difficult project management process since each unit had differing levels of needed repairs – the team’s focus remained on the families’ comfort throughout the three-month renovation process.

“Our clients are thrilled. It’s hard to explain how excited they are by all of the overhauls these units got,” said Veronica Roth, program director for St. Margaret of Cortona Transitional Residences. “One family has a disabled child in a wheelchair, and she just can’t say enough about the new flooring; it’s so much easier to get her child around. The granite countertops and updated bathrooms are all so lovely – and such a luxury for people who haven’t had luxuryin their lives lately. We keep calling it St. Margaret’s Makeover! It’s really brought this building up to modern standards, and it will increase the longevity of the building’s ability to serve families.”

Some common repairs to all 13 units included drywall repair, interior paint, and new flooring, with most units also getting new kitchen and bathroom cabinetry, countertops, and electrical and plumbing work. Other common issues included HVAC repairs, upgraded lighting, new refrigerators, and upgraded door locks for security.

Scott Canan, division vice president for Toll Brothers, first started planning the project at the end of December 2017, with construction beginning the first week of February. “It’s been a non-stop schedule. We had only one day that we had to deviate from the schedule due to snow. All of the trade partners have been fantastic and really good to work with. Everyone has been equally focused on making sure we do this right. We thought the building was on a slab, for instance, but when we found out it had a crawl space, we went ahead and replaced the rotten subfloor. The condition of the building had really degraded over the years, and it feels so great to give these families a beautiful space to move back into. We’ve had a lot of happy people; it’s been a great experience.”

The housing program provides up to 24 months of temporary housing and support services, as well as an after-care program for those who need it. By accepting referrals from shelters located within the Diocese of Arlington, Catholic Charities reaches 21 counties in the D.C. metropolitan area.

Thank you, Toll Brothers and the following trade partners, for giving 12 families recovering from domestic violence a safe, stable home!

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American Disposal Services
Atlas Plumbing, LLC
B&K Distributors, Inc.
Buhl Electric Company, Inc.
Doug Construction, LLC
Falcon Heating & Air Conditioning
GE Appliances

L & P Carpenter, LLC
Mid South Building Supply, Inc.
Poe Porcelain Repair
Premier Services
T.A.C. Ceramic Tile, Co.
Titan Erosion Control

[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]While no project is ever truly straightforward, the renovation of an apartment building owned by Catholic Charities’ St. Margaret of Cortona Transitional Residences really tested the flexibility and project management expertise of Builder Captain Toll Brothers and the 15 trade partners who worked on the building. With 12 apartments and a children’s activity center to renovate on a rotating schedule, and a widely varying scope of work needed for each unit, the only constant for the project team was a long schedule of multiple trips. And one trade partners in particular, Atlas Plumbing, was in from the beginning.

“They were the first contractor in and had probably the largest responsibility of any,” said Scott Canan, division vice president for Toll Brothers. They started by unhooking all the appliances, including a gas range, dishwasher, kitchen sink, and bath vanity, as well as removing the toilets. They later returned in the final stages to re-hook up everything and run new lines, including refrigerator water lines and new water and waste lines to the kitchen and bath. And, they had to repeat it six times! There never once was a complaint, even when we made a scheduling error that resulted in a wasted trip for their crew. Chris Shirk was simply great to work with and did whatever was needed to make this project a success. He and his team were a pleasure to work with, start to finish.”

Atlas gives back to the community a lot, Shirk explained, but Catholic Charities was just his second project with HomeAid. “I’ve heard the stories and seen the struggles, and I’m glad to be able to help out this way. I’ve kept the same crew on both projects for continuity, and the communications with both projects has been great. The project went well, and it’s so good to hear that the families are happy. It’s such a great way to help make a difference for someone.”

Atlas Home Services, LLC, provides a full range of plumbing services to homeowners throughout the Northern Virginia area. AHS is led by master plumbers and staffed by highly trained, licensed plumbing professionals. Its sister company, Atlas Plumbing, LLC, has plumbed and provided plumbing services to major home builders and homeowners in Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Prince William County, Arlington County, the City of Alexandria, Stafford County and northern Spotsylvania County since 1981.

Staged Interior furnished six apartments with donated and purchased furniture at Catholic Charities’ St. Margaret of Cortona Transitional Shelter.

In 2016, Staged Interior – a home-staging company based in Chantilly – completely furnished and accessorized a 5,000 square foot, seven-bedroom home that HomeAid Northern Virginia and Toll Brothers built for Youth For Tomorrow. In 2017, they did it again, outfitting seven apartments – including 15 to 20 bedrooms and seven living rooms, dining rooms, and kitchens – for Community Lodgings after HomeAid and a consortium of four homebuilders renovated the building top to bottom. And now, the company has teamed up with HomeAid again, furnishing and accessorizing six apartment units for families who have left domestic violence situations and emergency shelters and who will be moving into the recently renovated Catholic Charities apartment building.

“We’ve been so blessed by our connection with HomeAid, which started through our affiliation and membership with NVBIA,” said Young Kim, business manager for Staged Interior. “I completely trust both NVBIA and HomeAid, and we are confident that whatever they’re working on is a worthy project. We want to contribute as much as we can, but it’s always a challenge in the midst of the spring real estate market when our regular business of staging homes for sale is really hot. The fact that the schedule for this project is on a rotating basis, as the renovation crew works on three units at a time, has been a really good fit for us. It is working out so well to have some breathing room between each phase!”

Staged Interior also recently finished up another project for Homestretch – a frequent HomeAid partner as well – following their philosophy of giving back and contributing whenever they have the opportunity.

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An interactive format allowed for lively discussion between attendees and presenters throughout HomeAid Northern Virginia’s 2018 Housing Forum.

More than 100 housing and homeless service providers from 50 non-profit and governmental organizations filled the conference room at Brookfield Residential last week, turning out for what has become the region’s best networking and educational program for individuals and organizations serving the homeless – HomeAid Northern Virginia’s Housing Forum.

Keynote Speaker Norm Suchar, director of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Special Needs Assistance, kicked off the morning with an insightful, high-level overview of trends and policies affecting homelessness and an examination of what’s working and what’s not. He also shared with the group his hope for streamlining future services and programming, with a goal of reducing red tape and paperwork.

A panel discussion on the “State of our Union,” moderated by Joe Meyer, executive director of Shelter House, featured Dean Klein, director, Fairfax County Office to End and Prevent Homelessness; Jessica Lurz, director, City Of Alexandria’s Department of Community and Human Services; Tony Turnage, division chief, Homeless Services, Prince William County Government; Nicole Harmon, bureau chief, Housing Assistance, Arlington County Department of Human Services; and Jennifer Hope, coordinator, Loudoun County Continuum of Care, Department of Family Services. The panelists—through anecdotes and examples of their daily work—illustrated the diversity of our region and addressed concerns that are both unique to the different counties and common challenges for all.

Following the panel discussion, the Forum turned to a series of short training sessions, with Meredith McKeen, NVFS’s Youth Initiatives and Multicultural Center, addressing trauma-informed care; Kendall S. Cloeter, Virginia Department of Housing & Community Development, discussing how to implement low-barrier services; and Dr. Eleanor Vincent, Pathway Homes, Inc., and Libbie Rozofsky, Fannie Mae, making a joint presentation on removing barriers to permanent stable housing.

Overall, the Forum was overwhelmingly rated by attendees as valuable to very valuable, with attendees saying, “It was the best Forum I have attended that addresses the reality of the issues and the challenges we face” … “the presentation on removing barriers to permanent stable housing was FANTASTIC” … “interesting and eye opening” and “very valuable; the Forum gets better each year.”

A complete summary of the 2018 Housing Forum as well as photos from the event are available.

Thank you to Presenting Sponsor Bank of America and to Venue Sponsor Brookfield Residential!

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Since 2008, Fairfax County has achieved a 47% reduction in overall homelessness and a 50% reduction in the number of homeless families. Over the past seven years in Alexandria, homelessness has decreased by over 46%. In the past year, Prince William County has seen the number of homeless individuals drop by 7%. And in Arlington, homelessness has dropped by 54% in the 10 years since its Plan to End Homelessness initiative was launched.
Source: 2018 HomeAid Northern Virginia Housing Forum 

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Sunni Ford raised hundreds of dollars for HomeAid Northern Virginia through a Karmic Giving yoga class in Woodbridge, Va., in April.

The ways you can give back to the community are limited only by your imagination, and lucky for us, Sonjia (Sunni) Ford is as creative in thought as she is in life. Sunni is working toward her certification in yoga and as part of that journey needed to select a charity and raise funds for it. Called “Karmic Giving,” the effort is just one aspect of yoga certification; she also must earn 200 hours of training!

“I originally chose the Boys and Girls Club because it was familiar to me,” Sunni said, “but I decided to go in a new direction … I quite randomly started searching for terms like ‘giving back’ and ‘Northern Virginia,’ and HomeAid popped up. I clicked through and learned more about its mission of helping the homeless, and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this is right in my backyard!’”

Little did Sunni know when she emailed HomeAid Northern Virginia Executive Director Kristyn Burr that she would be reaching out to another yogi; Kristyn teaches multiple classes—including weekly classes every Wednesday for incarcerated men and women at the Fairfax Adult Detention Center.

“It’s like it was fate,” Sunni added. “The minute I heard back from Kristyn, my stress level went way down and I knew I was where I was supposed to be. HomeAid agreed to co-brand the promotional flyer I had created to encourage donors to attend my class. Kristyn even came to my class, along with Joe Meyer, CEO of Shelter House, and HomeAid supporter Rhonda Wilson. It was so inspiring to meet them and learn about what they do for HomeAid. I was so glad that Kristyn took the time to share some words with the class about what HomeAid is and what they do. It really made the whole event come to life for us.”

Best of all, Sunni raised $600 for HomeAid Northern Virginia, and she was reminded that fundraising doesn’t have to be intimidating or scary. It just means finding something meaningful to you and helping in any way you can, whether that’s through time, money or talent.

“You can be who you are, and you can connect in a way that works for you,” she said. “Yoga is my passion, and it connected me to HomeAid. I’m so grateful.”

Thank you to Sunni for organizing this benefit class; to My BodYoga in Woodbridge, Va., for hosting the event; and to Soul Cakes by Tanya for providing delicious post-class cupcakes! For more information about how YOU can give back to your community, please get in touch![divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]

Scott Canan, division vice president for Toll Brothers

Scott Canan, division vice president for Toll Brothers, is finishing up a renovation project with HomeAid Northern Virginia and already looking forward to the next opportunity to partner with the organization his company has long supported in a myriad of ways. Whether they’re buying a full table at our Annual Gala & Auction, attending the Builders & Friends BBQ, or leading a project—in 2016, they built a 5,000 square foot, $650,000 home for Youth For Tomorrow with HomeAid—Toll Brothers has been an important partner. Now, Scott serves on our Board of Directors and continues to advance Toll Brothers’ vision of being one of the most actively philanthropic companies in the region. Read on to find out how they chose HomeAid—and what Scott enjoys most about his role!

Q: How did you get involved initially with HomeAid, and what attracted you to serve and volunteer with the organization? 

A: Our group president at Toll Brothers was looking for volunteers, and I was familiar with HomeAid and what they stood for through our involvement with NVBIA and through homebuilder colleagues. I wanted to be a part of it, so I volunteered to represent Toll. What I’ve really enjoyed is that HomeAid has a much larger purpose than most charitable organizations; the donations go to the people who really need it. And, knowing the caliber of people who serve on the board or as partners of the organization really makes me want to volunteer. I’ve seen first-hand how everyone really go all out, and I am all in when it comes to giving back to society.

My philanthropic philosophy is very much in line with Toll’s. I have been given this leadership opportunity for a reason: to involve our company with community and national charities. We are giving back more now than ever before, and I am grateful for that. I pretty much have full autonomy, to a certain extent, to grow our charitable interaction as far as we can take it.

Q: Why did you decide to step up to a leadership position on the Board? 

A: Being on the board allows me to make more of an impact on the community. As vice president for Toll Brothers, my voice on the board is heard and recognized; Toll is a leader in the homebuilding industry, and people listen to our perspectives. The reverse is true too: Having a say in how Toll can give back and contribute toward assisting others is hugely appealing to me. Together we can make a huge impact in the community, not to mention enjoy the ecstatic satisfaction of giving back. I’ve also really enjoyed meeting and getting to know the other Board members, and it’s extremely rewarding to help others get back on their feet. Just knowing we’ve helped several families through the Catholic Charities project we just finished, for example, is an incredibly rewarding feeling.

Q: What would you tell other prospective Builder Captains about the process and payback of working on a HomeAid project?

A: For me personally, the process is easy, especially when you consider the cause. The payback is watching someone in need get back on their feet and knowing you made a positive impact in their life. For Toll as a company, the payback is similar—we feel the same satisfaction that we made a difference in someone’s life—but it goes beyond that too. There is so much good about being a Builder Captain; for my team, we are setting an example to others that life is not easy and people do get down on their luck … but there are people out there to assist them when they’re in need. This teaches them about team building and how to support others. Going through life without helping others is selfish, and I appreciate that our involvement with HomeAid sets such a good example for our team at Toll Brothers.


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Thank You!

Many thanks to M/I Homes for stepping up to lead a new HomeAid project with Pathway Homes, which provides non-time-limited housing and supportive services to adults with serious mental illness and co-occurring disabilities in Northern Virginia. This upcoming renovation project will help serve three men in Fairfax, Va.

Pictured above (from left to right): Maryam Kaymanesh, of Sight & Sound Systems; Kristyn Burr, executive director of HomeAid Northern Virginia; Jenn Keesling, of Van Metre Homes; Lauren Kaymanesh, of Sight & Sound Systems; and Soledad Portilla, of Stanley Martin Homes.

Work Hard, Play Hard

Planning the HomeAid Northern Virginia’s Annual Gala & Auction is no easy feat, and the hardworking Gala Committee decided to combine business and pleasure with an outing to Cirque du Soleil last week, where they picked up ideas for this year’s Gala and simply enjoyed each other’s company with a fun night out on the town!

More Services for More Women

Pictured (left to right) are Richard Clark, Van Metre Homes; Regis Arnold, Van Meter Homes; Mike Sandkuhler, HomeAid Northern Virginia president; Kristyn Burr, HomeAid Northern Virginia executive director; and Brian Davidson, Van Metre Homes.

HomeAid Northern Virginia celebrated Builder Captain Van Metre Homes and 19 trade partners for the completion of the ACTS Women’s Empowerment Center, with an Open House on April 10.The Center houses two programs for women: The “Empowering Women in Transition” residential program for women and families, and the ACTS Rapid Re-Housing Program focused on getting homeless individuals and families into permanent housing, as well as classrooms that will hold classes and trainings for the wider community.

Cold Ice, Warm Hearts

Thank you, Feld Entertainment, for providing 50 free tickets to Disney On Ice at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax. Children and grownups from local shelters are looking forward to a rare night out as they enjoy this year’s “Follow Your Heart” show together. We appreciate your generosity in always remembering that at least 25 percent of the population we serve are children.

Save the Date

NVBIA Parade of Homes – May 5-6, 2018
NVBIA Scramble Golf Tournament – May 21, 2018, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., River Creek Club, Leesburg, VA
9th Annual Builders and Friends BBQ – June 21, 2018, The Barn at One Loudoun
8th Annual Night at the Ballpark – August 3, 2018, Potomac Nationals Pfitzner Stadium, for families living in local shelters.
4th Annual Golf Tournament – September 21, 2018, Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club
17th Annual HomeAid Northern Virginia Gala & Auction – November 10, 2018, Lansdowne Resort & Spa