Third Annual HomeAid Care Provider Forum “Win-Win for All Who Attended”

Forty representatives from organizations that offer shelter to Northern Virginia’s homeless and those who support these organizations participated in HomeAid Northern Virginia’s Third Annual Care Provider Forum on March 24, 2010, held at the Gannett Company in their headquarters building in McLean, Virginia.

Networking was on the agenda for many of the 40 attendees of the Third Annual HomeAid Care Provider Forum“The number of homeless individuals across the Washington metropolitan area increased 5.4 percent in 2009,” said Christy Eaton, HomeAid Northern Virginia Executive Director. “With over 5,000 homeless individuals in Northern Virginia alone, the problem is much larger than one individual organization can solve. We bring care providers addressing the problem of homelessness in Northern Virginia together – not only to share, learn and network with each other but to also celebrate the successes of our work.”

Jewell Mikula, HomeAid Northern Virginia Board Member and Chair of the committee organizing the event, welcomed attendees and served as emcee.Continuing to Build Hope was the theme carried throughout this year’s Forum with presentations on building and maintaining resources, strengthening volunteer programs and a panel discussion on the challenges and opportunities facing Northern Virginia care providers and resources available to them. Information was presented by speakers representing the homebuilding industry, care providers, and local and state government. HomeAid representatives also provided the non-profit community with information about HomeAid’s programs that leverage the power and generosity of the homebuilding industry to build and improve places that care for homeless women, children and families.

Amy McDowell, Director of Communications for Reston Interfaith, shared her organization's experiences with social media and networking.“I came to the Forum to meet and thank the people who helped us become who we are today,” said Amy White, the new Director of Catholic Charities St. Margaret of Cortona Transitional Residences in Woodbridge referencing the 2009 HomeAid renovation of 14 apartments. HomeAid, Builder Captain Beazer Homes and 16 trade partners saved Catholic Charities about $420,000 on the $1,242,000 renovation. “HomeAid has had a tremendous impact on the lives of the people living there.”Lillian Garland, former Chair of the Cooperative Council of Ministries, decided to attend the Forum with a specific goal in mind – to learn how to structure a potential new shelter program in Prince William County and share that information with fellow board members. “I have met a lot of people today and made some wonderful contacts,” she said.

“HomeAid Northern Virginia’s Care Provider Forum is an outstanding vehicle by which the region’s care providers can access relevant information about what is happening in their markets by networking with their colleagues,” said HomeAid Northern Virginia Board President John DeZinno. “More importantly however, they have the opportunity to learn how HomeAid can help them improve their bottom line as they seek to improve the facilities they utilize to service their clients.  It’s a clear win-win event for all who attend.”