Leyvas: Goal should be to build a future without homelessness

By Sam Leyvas

When 150 volunteers from the home-building industry converged for a one-day painting marathon at the House of Refuge, a transitional housing campus for people experiencing homelessness in Mesa, it marked a significant milestone for us and, hopefully, for the entire Valley.

As the inaugural HomeAid Phoenix event for the local affiliate of our national organization, it was a prime example of what the home-building industry can achieve when we work together for the greater good.

HomeAid affiliates across the country focus on providing people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness with safe and dignified housing by doing what we do best: building, remodeling, refurbishing, design and construction.

It began in 1989 when a simple remodel of two small farmhouses for homeless families launched a national collaboration of local and national builders, trades, suppliers, financial institutions and community partners. Since then, HomeAid has built more than 1,000 projects valued at more than $250 million, of which nearly 50% was donated in-kind by the building industry.

In human terms, HomeAid has provided housing for more than 330,000 individuals who would otherwise have been homeless due to circumstances beyond their control.

Our ultimate goal to build a future without homelessness.

For the families at House of Refuge, volunteers painted 13 existing homes that needed a little TLC. It’s not unusual that painting is the first maintenance item to be removed from a non-profit’s operational budget, and House of Refuge had gone without it for a number of years.

Future projects with our nonprofit partners serving those experiencing or at risk of homelessness will be a diverse mix of size and scope ranging from building new capacity or bringing new housing online to improving existing community assets. Among them will be a project at the Sojourner Center in Phoenix on property adjacent to the safe haven for victims of domestic violence.

HomeAid Phoenix may be new to the Valley, but if the collective and palpable enthusiasm of our partners at House of Refuge is any indication, our impact will be quickly recognizable and widely impactful.

Our thanks go to participating companies from the recent project, which included Arizona Tile, Ashton Woods Homes, BrightView Landscape, Brookfield Residential, Gothic Landscape, Lennar, loanDepot, Mattamy Homes, Nally Construction Company, The New Home Company, Pulte Homes, PWI Residential, Shea Homes, Studio Dwell, Thomas Title & Escrow and Tri Pointe Homes. Sherwin Williams donated 400 gallons of paint.

For more information about HomeAid Phoenix, visit homeaidphoenix.org.

Editor’s note: Sam Leyvas is executive director at HomeAid Phoenix.

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