In what was an enormously successful public-private partnership, HomeAid Northern Virginia celebrated the completion of a $250,000 renovation of an eight-unit transitional shelter on June 10. HomeAid partnered with Loudoun County and Volunteers of America Chesapeake to renovate the apartments, which are used by the Loudoun Transitional Housing Program as housing for homeless families and single women. Builder Captains Miller & Smith and Winchester Homes, along with 32 trade partners, helped the shelter realize an 87 percent savings on the cost of the renovation.
The facility was first opened in 1991. “It was a unique project event then—a joint effort between the County and the building industry—with the County donating the land and the building industry donating the materials and labor,” said Hope Stonerook, deputy director of the Loudoun County Department of Family Services. “In the years since, the units have seen a lot of wear and tear and really needed maintenance and updating.”
All eight apartments now feature entirely new kitchens with granite countertops, seating and custom-designed tables with peninsula tops; upgraded bathrooms with custom shelving; laminate hardwood flooring in the entry and living areas; improved light fixtures, electrical systems and plumbing work; built-in storage by each bed; bedding, doors, blinds and wire closet shelving systems; and interior furnishings.
An interior design team led by Carlyn and Company Interiors + Design also maximized functionality of the relatively small apartment spaces, focusing on storage and reconfiguring the living space. “We were honored to take part in this project,” said Holly Polgreen, president and co-founder of the company. “The biggest requirement was making the spaces more efficient, and we achieved it by creating storage and making it easy to maintain with durable, sturdy materials that look as beautiful as they are functional. We wanted to turn these apartments into homes that residents could feel proud of.”
Both Miller & Smith and Winchester Homes have served as Builder Captains multiple times for HomeAid Northern Virginia, with Miller & Smith having coordinated nine renovation projects and Winchester Homes completing six.
“This renovation is a vision that [HomeAid Executive Director] Christy Eaton and I shared,” said Russell K. Snyder, president of Volunteers of America Chesapeake, “with HomeAid and VOA being all about changing lives and giving people independence. So many people in our communities are living on the edge, and they’re thankful for whatever they have … but we knew that they could have a much better experience through this renovation. They’ll be happy to come home now.”
“The fact that it was achieved through the tireless efforts of the County, private builders and tradesmen, the Department of Family Services, and HomeAid—at no cost to the taxpayers—is icing on the cake. We couldn’t have imagined the transformation made possible by this partnership,” Snyder added.
See more photos of this project.
Kitchens are the heart of a home, and thanks to the generous donation of the materials and labor made by Granite Source President Nicholas Draper, all eight kitchens in the Loudoun Transitional Housing Program feature new granite countertops and backsplashes, as well as new sinks.
“We’ve worked with Granite Source on multiple HomeAid projects,” said Brian Phebus, director of production for Builder Captain Winchester Homes, “and they always step up to the plate. Even when designers get involved and might select the highest-grade granite, Nick doesn’t mind. He’s always all-in. Per square foot, they installed the most expensive product in these units, and Nick always commits whatever resources he needs to get the job done.”
“The economy has been hard for construction trades,” Draper said, “and while many of us in the industry haven’t been able to give as much monetarily, what hasn’t changed is our ability to give what we’re good at. In our case, that’s stonework. We can repurpose stone left from a larger project or we can custom-order it, but regardless, we’re using our skills to make a difference, and I’m happy to do it. Everyone on our staff gets involved in these projects, and it’s nice for our company as a whole—we work toward a common goal knowing that we’re helping people in a powerful way.”
Learn more about Granite Source.
Signature Kitchens has been Miller & Smith’s primary cabinet supplier for their production homes for more years than Chad Collie, Signature’s production homes division manager, has worked for the company. But he doesn’t see Miller & Smith as a customer; he sees them as a partner. So when it came to donating and installing all of the kitchen cabinetry and some bathroom finishes for all eight units in the Loudoun Transitional Housing Program, it was an easy ‘yes’ decision.
“Miller & Smith has been very loyal to us, and in turn we work incredibly hard for them,” said Collie. “They’re very active in a philanthropic way, which we appreciate … we really like helping them out on HomeAid projects. It’s a win/win for us, because we’re providing a beautiful finish for these homes, and it’s a pleasure for us to provide something like that for people in need.”
“Cabinets are a big ticket item,” said Scott Alford, vice president of production for Miller & Smith, “and Signature always puts in so much legwork prior to every job. The design, coordination and installation work means these are never one-day jobs for them, and we appreciate their willingness to donate such a high volume of man hours, resources and labor.”
Learn more about Signature Kitchens.