Building Hope – October 2015

In the Spotlight
HomeAid Northern Virginia Celebrates 100 Projects   

With three projects underway this fall, HomeAid Northern Virginia (HANV) has reached a very importantmilestone in our history: the completion of 100 projects, valued at $12 million, since we were founded in 2001! It would be a big accomplishment for any organization, but for us, it has also meant giving 73,000 people, nearly half of whom are children, a safe and stable place to make a meal; finish homework; get a restful night of sleep; or simply have the space to make plans, pursue their dreams, and grab hold of a second chance.

“In 2000, I was serving on the board at Alternative House, our region’s emergency shelter for runaway teens,” explained Steve Alloy, president of Stanley Martin Homes. “The shelter was almost always at capacity and needed significant repairs and renovations, but all of the nonprofits’ resources were going toward the youth rather than the facility. I knew that people in the building industry could help, and in discussing the situation with Don Knutson, the division president of Beazer Homes, he described an industry charity on the west coast that was successfully renovating shelters. We learned more about the HomeAid America model, and within months, the Northern Virginia Building Industry (NVBIA) created the first HomeAid chapter on the east coast-in Northern Virginia. Helping to launch HANV, and then see its tremendous accomplishments in completing 100 local projects has been an incredibly rewarding part of my career.”

HANV is now one of 17 local chapters of  HomeAid America. HomeAid America CEO Peter Simons commented, “HomeAid Northern Virginia is one of our most productive and active chapters, with a very impressive history of contributions from a strong community of homebuilders. They’re creating an incredible number of new beds and safe places for people who need them, and they’re a machine in getting these projects done.

“After seeing firsthand how HANV is run,” he added, “I attribute their success to a hard-charging staff, a powerful Board of Directors loaded with prominent builders, and a long list of partners who are willing to go for the ‘ask’ when it comes time to raising money. HANV is a well-run ship, and they’ve been able to make their cause resonate with their Board and with NVBIA. It is truly impressive … congratulations!”


In Your Neighborhood
HomeAid Renovation Doubles Capacity of Artemis House

The number-one cause of homicide in Fairfax county is domestic violence, and Artemis House is the only 24-hour domestic violence shelter in the County. Now, thanks to a $75,000 renovation project completed in September by HomeAid and first-time Builder Captain VM Home Solutions, a strategic partnership between Van Metre Homes and Home Design Elements, Artemis House can now provide a safe home to eight individuals facing life-threatening crises, instead of the three they could previously serve.

This doubling of capacity was achieved by adding a bedroom with safe egress from the basement, adding a second full bathroom, and dividing one overly large bedroom into two smaller bedrooms.

“I’m nearly without words to express how amazing this renovation is,” said Dani Colon, director of Artemis House. “It’s been such a great partnership, resulting in far more livable space, in a much smarter layout. Being able to serve eight people, or up to three families, is breathtaking enough, but everything is of such beautiful quality … the entire home was essentially gutted and rebuilt, using far superior finishes and products. Knowing that these families who are in such desperate need of a safe haven will have this beautiful home to get back on their feet is inspiring.”

Several extra components were unexpectedly provided to the shelter by trade partners, most importantly a whole-house alarm and four security cameras that allow staff to provide another layer of safety and security to residents, with 24-hour monitoring of the house, even from an app on their smart phones. Children living at the house will now also have a yard to play in, thanks to donated landscaping and sod, and families were welcomed with flowers, a Home Depot gift card, and a welcome basket full of cleaning supplies and other household essentials from Van Metre Homes. Lastly, because so much of the work was donated in full, the entire $6,000 grant provided by the MASCO Corporation Foundation will allow HomeAid to purchase beds to help furnish the home.

“This house was in pretty bad shape,” said Jim Kannar, president of Home Design Elements, “and we wanted it to be a nice place to come home to. Once we learned what Artemis’ vision for the project was, it was a matter of expanding the scope so that we not only increased capacity, but we upgraded with granite and hardwood and appliances everywhere we could. The majority of our costs are in getting ‘guys and goods’ on-site, so the incremental cost of choosing high quality products is far outweighed by the enormous difference it makes in livability. It’s worth it, and we were proud to be involved.”

Artemis House, operated by Shelter House, leases the property from Christian Relief Services. Home Design Elements is the general contractor that Van Metre Homes uses for its remodeling company, VM Home Solutions.

Thank you, Van Metre Homes, Home Design Elements, and VM Home Solutions, and the following trade partners, for making the Artemis House cottage a welcoming, safer, and more spacious home for families facing life-threatening crises!

Alliance Contracting Group
Atlas Plumbing
Builders Floor Service
Buhl Electric
Burgess Lighting
Color World

Mosaic Tile
Old Dominion Tile
Sight & Sound
Springfield Marble


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Artemis House is the only 24-hour shelter in Fairfax serving survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and sex trafficking. Artemis can only take in those whose lives are in imminent danger, making security at the home a critically important priority.

So when it came time to renovate the property, Builder Captain VM Home Solutions, with Van Metre Homes and Home Design Elements, reached out to longtime partner Sight & Sound Systems, to see if they would be willing to donate and install a security camera and house alarm.

“The system wasn’t originally scoped for the project,” said Jim Kannar, president of Home Design Elements, “but we’ve worked with Sight & Sound for many years. They’re a trusted partner who always does a great job, are easy to work with, and are very connected to the community. This seemed like a great fit.”

Sure enough, Sight & Sound Systems President Kris Kaymanesh agreed to contribute immediately, adding, “When they called us looking for contributions to this HomeAid project, it was an easy ‘yes’ for us to provide surveillance cameras and alarm system. We like to contribute to good causes, especially locally, and wish we could do more. But we’re glad that our systems will help keep these residents even safer. It was a great way for us to give back.”

Founded in 1994, Sight & Sound Systems is headquartered in Dulles, Va., and provides integrated services, including home theaters, lighting, audio and video, and smart home systems, in addition to security and surveillance systems.


In Your Community
Follow the Yellow Brick Road…to HomeAid’s 14th Annual Gala & Auction
Strap on your ruby slippers, dig out a witch’s broom or a tin funnel hat, and travel to Oz with us for HomeAid Northern Virginia’s largest fundraiser of the year – the 14th Annual Gala & Auction on Saturday, November 7! We’ll be at a new location this year-the Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles in Chantilly-with valet parking to get you to your final destination that much faster. As a nod to the 75th Anniversary of the real Wizard of Oz, we’ll also be serving up a signature ice luge drink (the “Ruby Sipper”), auctioning off a hot air balloon ride, dodging flying monkeys, and stirring up a surprise tornado event. Print
A live band will entertain guests during cocktail hour, and we’ve brought back our always popular cocktail-hour shrimp bar and raffle prizes. A live and silent auction will also offer something for every budget, including tickets to the Redskins-Dallas game, Four-Diamond Club level seats to a 2016 Washington Nationals game; a private brewery tour; overnight stay and breakfast for two at the Westfields Marriott; and a private tour of the Washington Zoo’s Amazonia. Guests’ donations can also help send families from local shelters to a Disney on Ice show and a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus. Dress is “Kansas Kasual” (casual business attire, but please feel free to come in “Ozian” costume too).
There’s no place like HomeAid, and we can’t wait to see you there!
John Darvish to be Honored with Presidents’ Award john darvish2_rev
Congratulations to John Darvish, president of John Darvish Construction, who has been named the 2015 Presidents’ Award honoree! The Presidents’ Award is our most prestigious annual award for individuals, leading HomeAid President Brian Davidson to say, “John always goes above and beyond what is asked, whether he’s participating in shelter projects through roof work, building sets for our Gala events, or promoting our golf tournament. He’s always there, always involved, always positive.”
John has been an important Gala committee member for more than five years, has served on the HomeAid Northern Virginia Board for eight years, and is a major contributor to many of our shelter care projects. And, as one of our major donors, he is—not surprisingly!—an inaugural member of our 1st Annual Golf Tournament Committee. In 2013, John Darvish Construction was named HomeAid’s Trade Partner of the Year.
Builders First Source, a long-time supporter and frequent participant in HomeAid projects, has been named the 2015 Trade Partner of the Year.
Both awards—along with the Nonprofit Service Provider Project of the Year Awards, which is announced on-site—will be presented at the Gala. 


Make a Difference: Plan to Take Part in Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Month
Fall is a season of abundance, with its overflowing cornucopias, bulging bags of Halloween candy, and family gatherings around tables groaning with Thanksgiving feasts. But for the 2.3-3.5 million1 Americans who experience homelessness for at least a few nights during the year, and the 48 million2 more without reliable access to nutritious food, the season can be a very different experience. To help raise awareness and make it even easier to help, HomeAid Northern Virginia, along with other HomeAid America chapters, have named November “Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Month.”

The campaign, which builds on the National Coalition for the Homeless’ National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week, encourages our supporters and stakeholders to get involved and take part in making a difference:

  • Attend our Gala & Auction on November 7—and be a part of our biggest fundraiser of the year!
  • Enjoy “sips and sweets” while you shop at the Kendra Gives Back Party, an in-store shopping event with 20% of all sales benefiting HomeAid.
  • Donate a “Welcome Basket,” filled with grocery gift cards, kitchen and bath items, and other necessities for individuals and families moving in to recently completed projects.
  • “Fill the Fridge” with food and pantry items for any of the three shelter projects HomeAid will be completing this fall.

Make November the month YOU give a homeless family something to be thankful for. Please contact Christy Eaton at 571.283.6320 to coordinate a basket or food drive.

Sources: 1) Urban Institute; 2) Feeding America.



Rina Peng, who graduated from George Mason University with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in May 2015, has joined HomeAid’s staff as our shelter program intern.

“After I graduated from college, I needed some real work experience, and I wanted to be in a place where I felt like I was having a positive impact on people; I wanted it to be purposeful work,” she explained. “Not only have I found that sense of purpose here, but I’m also gaining experience in project and cost analysis, both of which I’d like to do in my future career.”

“Interning at HomeAid doesn’t mean sitting in an office and entering data,” she added. “Everyone on staff is vital to advancing HomeAid’s mission, and I’m working every day with colleagues, checking on the progress of a project or preparing for upcoming events. I’ve been surprised by how much this small office can do, but it’s incredibly collegial, with a team of knowledgeable and organized people. It’s a great experience.”



Thank You
…to our recent donors. Names in red donated $2,500 or more.

American Building Systems of Maryland
BC Consultants
Burgess & Niple
Bush Construction Corporation
The Christopher Companies
Classic Homes of Virginia
Contech Engineered Solutions
Downey & Scott
Environmental Consultants & Contractors
Fox Point Designs
The Graham Companies
Greco Masonry
HomeTeam Pest Defense
Ironstar Building Company
Legacy Contractors Group
Luck Stone Corporation
McCandlish & Lillard

Moment Engineering + Design
MR Project Management
New Dimensions
Pro-Lift Garage Door
Rinker Design Associates
The Roof Center
Shelter Systems Limited
Simpson Unlimited
Snead Custom Homes
Stanley Martin Homes
Sterling Mirror and Glass
TemPower Generator Rentals
UrbanVibe Residential
Washington Gas
Winchester Homes

*Monetary contributions, August 15-September 14, 2015

READ:  HANV Celebrates 100 Projects, Renovation of Artemis House Complete, 14th Annual Gala & 2015 Presidents’ Award, Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Month, Welcome, Rina