Northern Virginia veterans coming out of homelessness have been given a hand up by Operation Renewed Hope Foundation with support from Fairfax County’s Department of Housing and Community Development.
A three-bedroom, 1½ -bath Alexandria property was recently renovated and reconfigured by HomeAid Northern Virginia into a four-bedroom, three-bath home to comfortably accommodate four individual veteran residents or a family.
“Our goal is to get veterans into housing as quickly as possible so that they can establish themselves, get back on their feet and regain stability,” said Operation Renewed Hope Foundation’s president and CEO Deborah Snyder, a U.S. Army veteran and retired lieutenant colonel.
“When we purchased this property, it was in need of substantial improvement inside and out,” she added. “With these beautiful, modern renovations, the 1960s-era house feels like a brand new home. It enables us to provide quality housing to even more of our nation’s veterans and serves as a physical ‘thank you’ for their service to our country.”
Snyder thanked HomeAid Northern Virginia and its building partners for their donations of expertise, materials and labor.
Twice-decorated U.S. Navy veteran Bryant Smith said Operation Renewed Hope Foundation saved his life. He had been living in his car, unable to afford housing with his part-time job. The foundation found him transitional housing, then a permanent home.
“Having a roof over my head improved everything about me,” said Smith, helping him to “get organized,” polish his resume and sleep through the night. Smith today remains stably housed, has a great job and is completely independent.
HomeAid Northern Virginia partners with nonprofits such as Operation Renewed Hope to build and renovate homes and programmatic spaces. Christopher Cos. served as HomeAid’s “builder captain” for the Alexandria project, mobilizing 27 construction trade partners to renovate and upgrade the shared living spaces, kitchen, flooring, electric and plumbing, light fixtures, roof, windows, exterior siding and landscaping.
Almost 11% of America’s homeless adults are veterans, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. More than 40,000 veterans are homeless on any given night, and 1.4 million other veterans are considered at risk of homelessness.
“No veteran in this country should be without a roof over his or her head,” said HomeAid Northern Virginia Executive Director and CEO Kristyn Burr. “Preventing homelessness requires community solutions and collaborations. … Secure, quality housing can change lives, enabling people to move forward to stability, healing and self-sufficiency.”
A substantial portion of the $150,000 renovation was donated by HomeAid, Christopher Cos. and the construction trade partners – electricians, plumbers, and a range of other subcontractors – participating on the project.