We believe all Coloradans deserve safe, stable and dignified housing. Our mission is to build new lives for Colorado's homeless through housing and community outreach. With a home, anything is possible.
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HomeAid America, a national nonprofit provider of housing and resources for the homeless, announces the launch of HomeAid WORKS, a workforce development program that will allow people experiencing homelessness the chance to pursue careers in the homebuilding industry. HomeAid WORKS is made possible by a $500,000 grant from the Lennar Foundation, the charitable arm of Lennar Corporation, provided as seed funding to create the new program.
HomeAid WORKS (Workforce Opportunities for Rebuilding through Knowledge and Skills) will provide technical construction training, education and job opportunities in the homebuilding industry for men, women, youth and veterans who are experiencing homelessness, at risk of homelessness or coming out of homelessness. The new program will be an extension of services provided through the organization’s main housing development and community outreach programs.
“We are blown away by the generosity of the Lennar Foundation,” said Peter Simons, CEO of HomeAid America. “The answer to ending homelessness is to provide the necessary housing, but it must be in conjunction with opportunities for ongoing work at a livable wage to create self-sufficiency. We will be able to use this funding to help move people from homelessness to having well-paying careers in homebuilding. It’s a win-win-win for the homeless population we serve, the building industry that supports us and the communities we operate in.”
HomeAid’s program identifies nonprofits working to help the homeless and builds additional housing facilities on their behalf at a deep discount through the in-kind donations of builders, their trades and suppliers. These cost savings are reinvested into life-changing programs such as job and life skills training, financial counseling and physical and emotional support. HomeAid WORKS will further expand the options available to residents as they work towards self-sufficiency. Job loss and the lack of affordable housing are two leading causes of homelessness, so giving those facing these challenges the chance to learn skills that can provide secure, well-paying jobs is critical to escaping the cycle of homelessness.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states there are over seven million construction jobs currently available, marking the highest employment level for the industry in a decade, however, nationwide the homebuilding industry is impacted by a significant shortage of trained laborers. According to the National Association of Home Builders, 87 percent of home builders stated finding workers to be a problem in 2017, compared to 13 percent in 2011.
With job vacancy at its highest in a decade and people in need of work opportunities to advance their careers and earning potential, HomeAid will collaborate with partner nonprofits providing services to the homeless and connect them to training opportunities to learn skills such as framing, drywall, concrete, plumbing, electrical and carpentry and place them in a construction career after successful completion of the program.
The HomeAid WORKS program will be kicked off at a recruitment luncheon in Denver, the pilot market for the program, at the Colorado Homebuilding Academy on April 17. After Denver, three other HomeAid markets and will be rolled out this year and will be announced shortly.
Support from the Lennar Foundation comes at a pivotal time as HomeAid enters into its 30th anniversary and celebrates the success of completing over 560 projects that have housed more than 335,000 people who would have otherwise been homeless. Through the HomeAid model, more than $230 million of housing has been developed with a cost savings of over $120 million.
About HomeAid America
HomeAid, founded in Southern California in 1989, is a nonprofit provider of housing and resources for the homeless that operates through a network of 18 chapters in 12 states. Celebrating “30 Years of Building the Way Home,” HomeAid has completed over 560 housing projects with a value of more than $230 million, of which nearly 50 percent was donated by the building industry. HomeAid has added over 10,500 beds that have housed over 327,000 previously homeless individuals. For more information about HomeAid, call 1-888-3HOMEAID or visit www.homeaid.org.
About The Lennar Foundation
The Lennar Foundation was created in 1989 as the vehicle for Lennar to give back to the communities in which Lennar does business. The Lennar Foundation supports underserved children, education, homeless rehabilitation, medical research and the elderly.
Emil Wanatka toured the Volunteers of American Southwest Safehouse planning to do repairs last year, but what he saw inspired a complete renovation of the home.
“They didn’t need to fix the loose cabinet door in the kitchen,” he said, “they needed a whole new kitchen.”
Wanatka, president of Timberline Builders, heard about the construction needs at the Safehouse, which serves victims of domestic abuse, through HomeAid Colorado, a chapter of a national nonprofit that builds housing for the homeless. He later received a list of 120 maintenance projects needed at the Safehouse, such as fixing a hole in the wall and installing a new toilet.
HomeAid Colorado, Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA), and Village Homes have joined together to build five new apartments for Boulder’s transitionally homeless. With this new construction, named 16th Street Transitional Housing, the number of EFAA apartments for qualifying families rises to 58.
"Finding stable and affordable housing is a critical challenge to families, particularly for the most vulnerable who might find themselves homeless otherwise" says Julie Van Domelen, EFAA’s executive director. “This project is one way that EFAA is working to meet the increasing need for transitional housing in Boulder.”
For 15 years HomeAid has connected Colorado homebuilders with respected nonprofits like EFAA to help make sure every Coloradan has access to quality housing.
“We’ve admired the work EFAA does since our first project with them in 2006 and are excited to be able to add more housing for the many families in need who will call these units home,” says Laura Brayman, HomeAid Colorado’s executive director. “This collaboration between EFAA, Village Homes and HomeAid is a perfect example of what we do best.”
Rental costs are up 9.2% on an annual basis in metro Denver and Boulder. While home prices and rent continue to drastically, the wages needed to pay for housing remain stagnant. The northern Front Range boasts one of the nations’ best performing economies, but the supply of homes and apartments affordable to low- and even middle-income families is shrinking.
EFAA, one of Boulder’s oldest nonprofit organizations, serves families, seniors and people with disabilities in need by providing short-term and transitional housing, assistance with food, utilities and other basic necessities to help them on their path to financial stability and self-sufficiency. First partnering with HomeAid in 2006 to build three new townhomes, EFAA has again connected with HomeAid, seeking assistance to create much needed affordable housing for the families they serve.
This time, under the expertise and construction of builder captain, Village Homes, a four-townhome complex will be built, consisting of two 2-bedroom units and two 3-bedroom units, with an additional 1-bedroom carriage home. Expected to be completed by fall 2015, the property will add an additional 25 beds for EFAA’s housing assistance program. Village Homes has generously donated 100% of their costs to this project and, as builder captain, will be seeking additional in-kind donations from the building trades and industry partners.
In addition to the generous support from HomeAid and Village Homes, the construction project is also funded by Boulder County Worthy Cause, the City of Boulder, the State of Colorado’s Department of Local Affairs, Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Colorado, the Gates Foundation, and individual local donors.
Like all EFAA homes, 16th Street Transitional Housing will include support services for its residents. Strengths-based case managers work with each EFAA client to help them move toward self-sufficiency.
With 67 percent of teen moms living below the poverty line and over 4,000 babies born to teen moms in Colorado every year, Hope House of Colorado has a waiting list for its free self-sufficiency, residential and educational programs.
With the goal of helping teen moms become economically self-sufficient, Hope House served 165 teen moms and 245 children last year – and its current rental facility is operating at maximum capacity.
"We are thrilled to break ground on our new Resource Center in Arvada, which will allow us to significantly expand the number of teen moms we empower every year," said Lisa Steven, Founder & Executive Director of Hope House.
Hope House launched a capital campaign two years ago to raise the funds to build their own Resource Center that will allow the organization to ultimately triple the number of teen moms and children served annually.
The campaign gained momentum through a partnership with HomeAid Colorado, a nonprofit provider of housing and services for Coloradans experiencing homelessness.
When Hope House was selected as its 2017 beneficiary, Meritage Homes stepped in as volunteer builder captain of the project, managing the construction of the facility and assisting in securing trade partners to provide in-kind labor, materials and services.
“HomeAid Colorado has been partnering with quality service agencies helping those most in need for 17 years. We are excited for the opportunity to bring together an agency with the heart, passion and experience to help teen mothers and their babies reach self-sufficiency with a skilled and generous home builder. We consistently witness that much more can be achieved with great collaborations,” said Laura Brayman. Executive Director of HomeAid Colorado.
Building the new Resource Center comprises Phase 1 of the project; an Early Learning Center will be built during Phase 2 to provide quality childcare and early learning lessons to the children of the teen moms who are in class at Hope House. Once both phases are complete, Hope House will be able to triple the number of teen moms served annually.
“Meritage is proud to partner with HomeAid and act as the volunteer builder captain of the Hope House project,” said Rusty xxx, title of Meritage Homes. “HomeAid and Hope House are dedicated to reducing the number of homeless mothers and improving the quality of life for so many in our community. We are honored to be part of this extraordinary project and look forward to breaking ground.”
The new facility will be located in Arvada, and a Groundbreaking Ceremony & Pancake Breakfast is scheduled for Sat., Jan. 28, at 9 a.m. at 6475 Benton Street, Arvada. City of Arvada Mayor Marc Williams will officiate.
"This project would not have been possible without our amazing community as well as HomeAid Colorado and Meritage Homes,” said Steven. “Their investment will change the future of teen moms and children from across the Denver-metro area for generations to come.”
Hope House of Colorado is metro-Denver's only resource providing free self-sufficiency programs to teen moms, including Residential, GED and College & Career Support services. Additional supportive services include parenting and life skills classes, healthy relationship classes, financial literacy workshops and certified counseling, all designed to prepare them for long-term independence.
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