Every January since 2001, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) has run a “Point in Time” (PIT) count on one night in January, giving all of us a one-night snapshot of the number of residents experiencing homelessness in the metropolitan Washington area. The numbers are sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes uplifting, and always insightful.
Overall, there were 9,794 sheltered and unsheltered literally homeless individuals counted on this year’s PIT Count – on January 23 – the lowest number of persons counted since the region began coordinating the PIT in 2001, and the first time the total has been under 10,000. Regionally, the number of persons experiencing homelessness decreased by seven percent, or 686 people, compared to 2018. The greatest reduction in the percentage of persons experiencing homelessness over the last year was recorded in Prince William County, where it dropped by 26 percent. Overall, the region counted 20 percent fewer single persons who were considered chronically homeless on the night of the enumeration, based on 2015’s count versus this year’s.
These are the kind of statistics that bring me hope. Our collaborative work with our partners and supporters is making a difference in the community and providing stability to so many of those who need it. But there is still work to be done; digging a little deeper into the report, we learn that there were 415 veterans counted in 2019 – down 28 percent from 2018 but still a sad reminder that our nation has to do better for our veterans. There were 678 transitional youth (ages 18-24), who make up seven percent of the entire literally homeless population. And there were 150 seniors aged 62+, more than double the number counted in 2017, and a total of nine people counted were over 80 years old. Three were unsheltered, two of whom were 85 years old.
Those are hard numbers to digest. But they’re also numbers that give all of us at HomeAid some extra wind in our sails, reminding us how important the work we are all doing in our community is … and how important it is that we continue our mission, day in and day out, to provide free or substantially discounted renovation and construction to our local service providers so they can continue to provide safe, stable and dignified housing and programmatic spaces for healing. Thank you for your continued support and for joining us in doing what is necessary!
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HomeAid’s 2019 Housing Forum brings national experts to discuss race, discrimination, and strategies for rewriting a national reality.
On Thursday, May 9, HomeAid Northern Virginia hosted one of the most powerful Housing Forums since we first started delivering this networking and educational program to housing and homeless service providers nine years ago. Developed with the idea of bringing nationally recognized experts to our housing partners at zero cost to them, this year’s program centered on “Leading with Racial Equity: Data and Beyond” and featured keynote speakers Regina Cannon and Jeff Olivet from The Center for Social Innovation.
“We know that everyone is working on tight budgets and time is at a premium,” said HomeAid Northern Virginia Executive Director and CEO Kristyn Burr as she welcomed the more than 130 service providers from 49 non-profit and governmental organizations in attendance. “Going to national conferences, which usually also require travel, isn’t possible for most of us … so we are pleased to bring the conversation to you, so that we can all benefit from high-level thought leaders who are all too often beyond our reach.”
Held at the Reston Community Center, the program got off to a fast start thanks to incredibly dynamic speakers who challenged the audience to take a hard look at racial inequity, face how it affects homelessness services, and talk about strategies for change.
“Racial inequity persists in every system and occurs across every dimension of our identifies,” Cannon said. “Reaching equity – where one’s identity no longer predicts, in a statistical sense, how one fares – is our Northern Star. To reach it, we need committed leaders who are bold enough to recognize blind spots, who can build organizational capacity for change by providing safe space for uncomfortable and challenging conversations, and who know how to balance change with action. Using data to illuminate the problem, this kind of leader opens colleagues’ eyes to inequities and reiterates that race shouldn’t determine one’s socioeconomic outcome.”
“We have a long history of marginalizing people,” added Olivet, who laid out a historical perspective on homelessness that dates back to the 1640s. Frontier wars between Native Americans and Colonials, slavery, the Indian Removal Act, Chinese Exclusion Act, and Japanese internment camps have all contributed to segregated communities and complacency with discriminatory federal and state policies. “Homeownership itself is one of the biggest drivers of multi-generational wealth accumulation that only adds to the problem. White families have historically had an easier time of getting into the housing market, leading to their ability to pass on their wealth and provide a safety net and financial buffer to future generations. And so the gap widens.”
The speakers also shared a series of eye-opening statistics that illustrate inequity throughout the child welfare, health, juvenile justice, education, and economic development systems, further challenging workers in the field. Black Americans, for example, make up 13 percent of the general population but represent 43 percent of the homeless population, and this type of dramatic overrepresentation for people of color show up in virtually every area of the country. Meanwhile, management teams are predominantly white and, even amongst organizations that serve people of color, the leadership very rarely reflects the population they serve. “We cannot expect leaders of color to be the only ones noticing,” Olivet pointed out.
Following a networking lunch, the focus turned to a highly engaging and interactive session on breaking the cycle of inequity, with Cannon and Olivet suggesting that the key to following “courageous conversation protocol” is to start with data. “Data takes the emotion out of it,” Cannon reminded the audience, “and makes it easier to work through an analysis that leads to possible solutions. Be racially explicit and specific. Say the words ‘black’ and ‘white’. We need a shared vocabulary to get to better solutions, so don’t be shy. Talk about it by starting with the data, which will lead to discussions for solutions. Then, work on training.”
Both speakers also reminded attendees that diversity without inclusiveness is tokenism. That equality and equity are not the same: Equity recognizes that some people are starting from a different place. And that without personal experience with homelessness, an organization can only go so far.
“All organizations who struggle with racial inequity – which is pretty much all of us – would do well to hire people who have been homeless,” Olivet said. “Peer specialists in mental health do it … HIV support clinics do it. There are people in the homeless workforce who would really benefit from having that kind of perspective, and with training, there’s no reason we shouldn’t be embracing it.”
A complete summary of the 2019 Housing Forum is available here. In the meantime, check out photos from the event!
Thank you to Presenting Sponsor Bank of America Charitable Foundation!To find out more about The Center for Social Innovation’s “SPARC: Supporting Partnerships for Anti-Racist Communities,” a collaboration with partners and communities to understand and respond to racial inequities and to jump start implementation of racial equity strategies in homeless services, programs, policies, and systems, visit: www.Center4si.com/sparc/[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]Most studies show that single homeless adults are more likely to be male than female. In 2005, a survey by the U.S. Conference of Mayors found that single men comprised 51% of the homeless population and single women comprised 17% (U.S. Conference of Mayors).
Source: National Coalition for the Homeless[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 Northern Virginia, Builder Captain K. Hovnanian Homes – Virginia, and 28 trade partners have completed an $83,000 renovation and upgrade of the Catholic Charities, Diocese of Arlington‘s Christ House in Old Town Alexandria. The historic building – built in 1810 – provides the ultimate in full-service assistance to the community, providing transitional housing for 14 men; a food pantry; emergency rental assistance services; and a nightly soup kitchen that has served dinner every night since 1974.
“This was my first HomeAid project,” said K. Hovnanian Project Manager Matthew Glakas. “I’ve wanted to work on one for a long time, and I was really glad to have the chance. It’s been an interesting experience, particularly since this building is 200 years old! As we were pulling up multiple generations of flooring, I was struck by the fact that – as Christ House Program Director John Croft reminded me – this house was built when James Madison was president. It’s humbling to have this opportunity, not only to work on and care for such an old building, but also to contribute to the services that this multi-pronged charity provides. The history and the feel-good of our mission made for a really great experience.”
“The whole project is just amazing,” added Croft. “It’s beautiful, and they finished everything in just six weeks! The kitchen is a showplace now, with stone counters and upgraded lighting, flooring, and cabinetry … and our soup kitchen is now so much nicer for both our clients and the volunteers who eat and work there—it looks like a real dining room with a welcoming lobby area. And for the 14 men who live here, they are just really, really happy to have the opportunity to live in this fresh, clean, beautiful space.
“Most importantly, we didn’t want to have to stop services during the renovation, and everyone – HomeAid, K. Hovnanian, and the trade partners – bent over backwards to ensure we wouldn’t have to. They worked around our clients’ needs, and we are so grateful. We did have to temporarily stop in-service meals by our soup kitchen, but we still could make and provide bagged lunches, so our ‘serving meals continuously since 1974’ record still stands! But truly, Christ House never stops. Every day, we have folks shopping for groceries; we sometimes have 90 people on our rental assistance list on a single day; 40 to 50 people line up for our soup kitchen every evening; hundreds of volunteers circulate in and out of the building every month; and, of course, our 14 residents come home to Christ House every day after work, ready for meals and meetings. The crew worked around all of it, and it was just amazing. Matt was here every day too, often late into the night, to the point that we started thinking of him as one of our own. This has been an enormous blessing.”
The building team focused on replacing and installing new cabinets and countertops; adding shelving and storage; and installing new appliances, flooring, plumbing, and electrical components in the kitchen areas. Throughout the building, new interior paint, flooring, vents, thermostats, electrical, lighting, and bathroom facilities were upgraded and replaced. And staff offices, meeting rooms, apartments, and a chapel was freshened with new paint, flooring, lighting, and window treatments. All of the materials were selected with an eye for higher quality, more durable products that will be easier and less expensive for Catholic Charities to maintain.
“We had a crew the size of what we’d have for any regular new-build,” Glakas added. “Our 20+ trades and suppliers were delivering an incredible amount of materials and manpower, with three to five people per company coming to help out. It was a huge team effort.”
Annandale Millwork & Allied Systems
B&K Distributors, Inc.
Capital Mechanical, LLC
Dominion Electric Supply Co.
Green Landscaping, Inc.
Interior Logic Group
LMO, Inc. Professional Carpentry
MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc.
McCrea Heating & AC
My Maids, Inc.
Sight & Sound Systems, Inc.
Southern Electrical Service Company
Virginia Marble & Granite
Virginia Cleaning & Punchout
Washington Lanehart Electric Company, Inc.
Pulling together a cohesive team of trade partners is always an integral part of any HomeAid project, and when a 200-year old building is the focus, Builder Captain K. Hovnanian Homes – Virginia knew they’d have to make their selections even more thoughtfully. So, when it came time to consider who could best handle floor replacement, Project Manager Matthew Glakas turned to Interior Logic Group.
“We’ve worked as partners with them for years, and we knew that with a building of this age, there was likely to be a lot of issues hiding under the floorboards. It’s one thing to set up schedules and think about needed materials and manpower during the planning phase, but once the project starts, there are always surprises. Interior Logic really went above and beyond, finding solutions to challenges we didn’t know we’d have when we first started working on the project. They played a big role in the success of this project.”
Keith Hodges, account executive for Interior Logic Group, agreed that once his team starting “peeling back layers of the onion,” there was a lot to diagnose and repair before being able to put everything back together.
“There were some definite challenges to work through with such an old building, but it was an awesome initiative to be a part of,” he said. “I’ve been in the flooring business since 1997, and anytime something like this pops up on my radar, I always want to be a part of it. While we often supply materials to projects like this, it isn’t often that we can get so personally involved and emotionally connected like we could at Christ House. I had the opportunity to be in on it from the start, measuring the project, working with Pia Harris at K. Hovnanian on finish selections, and seeing it through to completion. It was a great story to share with our suppliers, and once they found out what we were doing, they jumped in too. It was so encouraging to see them respond like that.
“This project gave me the chance to see first-hand ‘a day in the life’ of those served by Christ House, and the impact this facility and its staff are making. I saw men getting back on their feet after they’ve had a setback, and it helped me get really engaged from the start. And, because so many people played a role, the mantra of ‘many hands make light work’ ensured it never felt like a burden. I grew up in an environment where I needed help from others, and this was an incredible way to help give back. I’ve loved telling everyone around me about HomeAid, Christ House, and the work our industry is doing to help.”
Interior Logic Group is a national company, providing interior finishes installation, interior design, and design studio services. The company partners with builders to provide and install flooring, countertops, cabinets and window coverings, and strives to deliver exceptional service based on local market scale and relationships.[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]
The Barn at One Loudoun
(event parking at 44679 Provincetown Dr., Ashburn)
Thursday, June 20, 2019
4:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Ten years ago this summer, we hosted our very first Builders & Friends BBQ at the Dranesville Tavern in Herndon, Virginia, so that we could thank the more than 125 homebuilders and trade partners who attended for participating on HomeAid projects. Today, the event has grown to become one of our most popular events: more than doubling in size, moving to a larger venue, and becoming an important fundraiser. We look forward this year to welcoming hundreds more to the 10th Annual BBQ on Thursday, June 20, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at The Barn at One Loudoun—which is sure to be our best yet!
This event is a perennial success for good reason—it’s relaxing, informal, fun, and a great way to catch up with old friends and meet new colleagues—so don’t miss out! We’ll be offering our guests all-you-can eat BBQ, an open bar with craft beer from Old Ox Brewery and Lost Rhino Brewing Co., as well as mixed beverages, live music by the band Liberty Street, great raffle prizes, and cornhole games.
Registration is now open, and each $50 entry will get you all-you-can-consume food and drink, along with a raffle ticket for some great prizes. All 2019 trade partners, suppliers, or subcontractors that have participated on a HomeAid project this year will receive TWO FREE BBQ registrations! Please contact Cilda Pretorius to ensure you are registered. We look forward to seeing you on June 20!
Learn more about the history of this always-popular event in our Supporter Spotlight featuring Sal Migliore![divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]
The most common demographic features of all sheltered homeless people are: male, members of minority groups, older than age 31, and alone.
Source: US Department of Housing and Urban Development
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HomeAid Northern Virginia to host 9th Annual Night at the Ballpark
Saturday, July 20, 2019
Potomac Nationals vs. Fayetteville Woodpeckers
Pfitzner Stadium, Woodbridge, VA
Gates open: 5:30 p.m.
Game time: 6:35 p.m.
HomeAid’s Annual Night at the Ballpark has become one of our most popular summer events, and because the Potomac Nationals will be moving their operations to Fredericksburg next year, this will be our last summer hosting this fun and memorable event at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge. Please help us make our ninth and final year the biggest success ever, and ensure that hundreds of dads, moms, kids, and staff from local shelters and partner nonprofits can enjoy a night out together and make lasting memories!
There are two primary ways to help:
Sponsor the event: Your donation will help cover game tickets, concession vouchers, and parking passes for all of our guests. In return, you will receive complimentary tickets to the game; signage; recognition; and more, based on sponsorship levels.
Donate a backpack or coordinate a Backpack Drive! About a quarter of the homeless population that HomeAid’s non-profit partners serve are children, and this summer, we will once again give a brand-new backpack to every child who attends our Night at the Ballpark. We have a lot of resources to help you in your efforts, including this downloadable flyer, so please contact Cilda Pretorius at HomeAid if you would like to coordinate a drive or just donate on your own.
Thank you to our 2019 sponsor WALSH, COLUCCI, LUBELEY & WALSH!
[vc_custom_heading text=”Non-Profit Executive Directors: Bring your team!
Case Managers: Bring your clients!” font_container=”tag:h4|text_align:center|color:%232e7051″ use_theme_fonts=”yes”][divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]We would love to see client families, as well as your staff, from non-profit organizations take part in this year’s Night at the Ballpark! Please contact Cilda Pretorius (703.953.3525) at HomeAid to let us know how many tickets your organization will need. We pre-pay for this event and want to avoid “no shows” so that we can ensure maximum attendance by people who would love to take in a summertime ballgame.
Your clients will receive:
After the game, kids will be offered the opportunity to run the bases, and everyone who stays will enjoy the best fireworks show in the area!
All questions and requests for tickets must come through Case Managers and Executive Directors. [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”]
The ways to help and grow an organization are limited only by one’s imagination, and with supporters like Sal Migliore at our side, we are a lucky organization indeed. Sal, a longtime HomeAid Board member; a Builder Captain; a co-founder of our Builders & Friends BBQ; and vice president, land, for Beazer Homes, is one of our most stalwart supporters, and this month, we take a closer look at why the idea for the BBQ was conceived and what it is about HomeAid that keeps him coming back for more!
Q: What inspired you to help develop the Builders & Friends BBQ?
A: The BBQ was originally a way for the builders to say thank you to our trade partners and honor them for their service. We rely so heavily on our friends in the building trades to help us renovate and refresh homeless shelters and homes that our HomeAid service provider partners use for their clients, and they have never wavered in their support of doing the projects. In fact, in many instances, even if the shelter was able to help finance the work, the trades have refused to take payment after seeing the good it does to help a family keep a roof over their heads.
As we reflect back on our tenth year of hosting the BBQ, it is amazing to see how this event has grown and how the building industry as a whole has collaborated to make this one of the year’s premier events, with several hundred people attending every year. Given that all of this is ultimately to help support the folks who need it the most – and give back to our community – makes being a part of this very fulfilling.
Q: How did you initially get involved with HomeAid, and what made you say ‘yes’ to working with the organization and serving on the Board?
A: I initially got involved through Beazer Homes and a shelter project in Loudoun County for women who have survived domestic violence. The more I got involved in the project, the more I saw the difference that we were able to make in these women’s lives, and it was transformational. To know that I could make a difference in someone’s life and possibly help break the chain of homelessness or domestic violence was amazing, and, after that, I wanted to be a part of HomeAid in whatever capacity I could to try and help those in need as best I could.
Q: What have you enjoyed most about your involvement with HomeAid?
A: I have personally been involved in six different HomeAid projects over the years and I was asked by my peers to serve as president of HomeAid, during which time I met many of the shelter groups and helped find homebuilding partners who could renovate their shelters. In all of the projects I was involved in, one thing became clearly evident: As the team worked on the shelter and got to meet the folks who would benefit from the work, a bond of human kindness and respect developed, and what would have just been work and time away from “real work” became a much higher calling and purpose. It was if the people doing the work were forever changed, and I think that is why we see folks continue to be part of HomeAid and to give so willingly.
Q: You’ve been involved with HomeAid for a long time; what do you think of where the organization is today and where it’s heading?
A: I am always in awe of our many board members. As a past president, I know the amount of time and effort that goes into making such an organization run as well as it does. Yet, we continue to see board members do more and be involved in so many beneficial events. With Kristyn Burr, Gary Chandler,Brian Davidson, and John Buhl – just to name a few – leading the charge, I feel we are heading in the right direction. We have also expanded our efforts to help provide food and supplies to tent cities and are working with Final Salute to help those in the military, in addition to the shelter renovations. We are always in search of any effort that will help end homelessness in Northern Virginia, and I am proud to be part of HomeAid. I would add that if you haven’t volunteered to be a part of a shelter renovation, then you should … it will change your life.
Q: What do you love most about your career?
A: The people I have met along the way. I have worked in homebuilding all my adult life, and I have worked in every department – from construction, purchasing and sales, through to land. I even ran a company or two. With all that said, the accomplishments have been nice, but the friends and coworkers I’ve met along the way are the lasting memories that stay with me over time.[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”][divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”accent-color”]Thank You
Supporting our mission of ending homelessness in Northern Virginia just got a little easier, thanks to a very generous $10,000 grant from E*TRADE. Thank you!
Enormous thanks to NVBIA’s Women in the Building Industry, who collected household essentials during their recent spring networking event at Paradise Springs Winery! The items will all go in HomeAid “Welcome Home” baskets, which are given to HomeAid’s partner’s clients moving into to recently renovated homes and shelters to help ease the expense and stress of moving.
At NVBIA’s Annual Crawfish Boil, HomeAid also benefited from a portion of all proceeds raised at the event, and we very much enjoyed attending this always-festive and fun event! Thank you!
HomeAid in the News
Our very own Kristyn Burr spent a morning with VA Delegate Kenneth R. Plum last week, discussing our mission, our impact across the region, and how we are supporting the area’s housing/service providers and those experiencing homelessness. Their conversation will be aired on Plum’s show, Virginia Report, on Reston Comcast Channel 28 (Verizon Channel 1981) on Tuesday, May 14, at 7:30 p.m. and repeated on Wednesday, May 15, at 10:30 p.m. You can also view the program online.
A staggering 50 percent of all homeless women report that domestic violence was a contributing factor to their homelessness: Find out how one woman and her children got a fresh, safe start at a HomeAid-renovated home operated by partner Shelter House through this story that recently ran in the Fairfax County Times.
Change of Command
Drees Homes has been a long-time supporter of HomeAid, and the company’s Skip Causey has been lending us his expertise and counsel for nearly seven years as a valued member of our Board of Directors. Skip has retired, and we wish him the very best along with our heartfelt thanks for his service! And, with Alicia Cox Skoug, also with Drees, recently named the 2019 NVBIA president, we are excited to see our strong partnership with Drees continue. Congratulations, Alicia![divider line_type=”No Line” custom_height=”20″]2019 Point in Time Count
On January 23, 2019, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) ran its Annual “Point in Time” (PIT) to provide a one-night snapshot of the number of residents experiencing homelessness in the metropolitan Washington area. Highlights and the full report are available online.[divider line_type=”No Line” custom_height=”20″]Congratulations!
Kudos to CEO and Executive Director Kristyn Burr, who was nominated as an Emerging Leader of the Year for the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s Greater Washington Good Business of the Year Awards. From corporate social responsibility champions to nonprofit organizations that help solve the region’s greatest challenges, the Greater Washington Good Business Awards honors purposeful community leadership, efforts that make a positive impact, and those who do good. Way to go, Kristyn![image_with_animation image_url=”18871″ alignment=”” animation=”None” img_link_target=”_blank” border_radius=”none” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%” img_link=”https://www.mwcog.org/documents/homelessnessreport/”%5D
NVBIA Scramble Golf Tournament – Monday, May 20, 2019, River Creek Club, Leesburg, VA, 8:00 a.m.
10th Annual Builders & Friends BBQ – Thursday, June 20, 2019, 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., The Barn at One Loudoun, Ashburn, VA
Toll Brothers Charity Golf Event – Monday, June 24, 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Belmont County Club, Ashburn, VA (All proceeds benefit HomeAid Northern Virginia!)
9th Annual Night at the Ballpark – Saturday, July 20, 2019, 5:00 p.m., Pfitzner Stadium, Woodbridge, VA (For individuals and families served by our non-profit partners.)
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
NVBIA Crab Fest – Thursday August, 22, 2019, The Farm Brewery at Broad Run, 3:30 p.m.
K Hovnanian Golf Tournament – Friday, September 13, 2019, VA (All proceeds benefit HomeAid Northern Virginia!)
5th Annual HomeAid Golf Tournament – Friday, September 20, 2019, Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club, Leesburg, VA, 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
NVBIA Food Truck Festival – Monday, September 23, 2019, Ferguson Enterprises, Chantilly, VA
HomeAid Northern Virginia 18th Annual Gala & Auction – Saturday, November 9, 2019, 6:30 p.m., Lansdowne Resort and Spa, Leesburg, VA
In this newsletter:
Executive Director & CEO Corner
From Inequity to Equity, through Data, Change, and Training
HomeAid, K. Hovnanian Homes Complete $83,000 Renovation of Christ House
Trade Partner Spotlight: Interior Logic Group
HomeAid’s Builders & Friends BBQ: Celebrating 10 Years!
Backpacks & Ballgames – Summer Must be Coming!
Transforming Lives is a Two-Way Street