The Catholic Charities Diocese of Arlington (CCDA) recently renovated and updated its 13-unit transitional housing property, St. Margaret of Cortona Transitional Residences, in Woodbridge, Va. - giving 12 families who have left domestic violence situations and/or emergency shelters a completely refreshed and updated home in which to continue their journey toward independence. The renovations were completed by HomeAid Northern Virginia, a local nonprofit that builds and renovates homeless shelters and supportive housing facilities via the donated expertise, labor and resources of local homebuilders - enabling nonprofit organizations such as CCDA to invest more of their budgets in supportive programs and services rather than building expenses.
“Our clients are thrilled. It’s hard to explain how excited they are by all of the overhauls these units got,” said Veronica Roth, program director for St. Margaret of Cortona Transitional Residences. “One family has a disabled child in a wheelchair, and the mother just can’t say enough about the new flooring; it’s so much easier to get her child around. The granite countertops and updated bathrooms are all so lovely – and such a luxury for people who haven’t had any luxury in their lives lately. We keep calling it ‘St. Margaret’s Makeover’! It’s really brought this building up to modern standards, and it will increase the longevity of the building’s ability to serve families.”
The CCDA housing program provides up to 24 months of temporary housing and support services, as well as an after-care program for those who need it. By accepting referrals from shelters located within the Diocese of Arlington, Catholic Charities reaches 21 counties in the D.C. metropolitan area. All of the families are referred to Catholic Charities from regional emergency shelters and domestic violence programs; the majority of residents are mothers with young children. St. Margaret of Cortona staff and volunteers offer life skills and financial literacy classes, employment training, and personal case management to residents. Participants recognize their worth and strengths in private apartments allowing them to move toward self-sufficiency in an environment that values their dignity.
HomeAid Northern Virginia, the project “Builder Captain” Toll Brothers, and 16 trade partners (sub-contractors such as electricians, plumbers, etc.) completed the renovation. Under this partnership, HomeAid and Toll Brothers covered 80% of the costs of the $126,000 renovation. Staged Interior - a home-staging company based in Chantilly - furnished many of the apartments to further add additional comforts to the residents of the upgraded properties.
In order to minimize disruption, HomeAid and its partners worked on three units at a time, rotating families to local hotels until their units were completed before moving on to the next three in the schedule. While it meant a longer timeline for completion – and a more difficult project management process since each unit had differing levels of needed repairs – the team’s focus remained on the families’ comfort throughout the three-month renovation process.
Some common repairs to all units included drywall repair, interior paint, and new flooring, with most units also getting new kitchen and bathroom cabinetry, countertops, and electrical and plumbing work. Other common issues included HVAC repairs, upgraded lighting, new refrigerators, and upgraded door locks for security.
Thanks to Toll Brothers and to the trade partners who contributed labor and resources to the project:
American Disposal Services
Atlas Plumbing, LLC
B&K Distributors, Inc.
Buhl Electric Company, Inc.
Doug Construction, LLC
Falcon Heating & Air Conditioning
L & P Carpenter, LLC
Mid South Building Supply, Inc.
Poe Porcelain Repair
Precision Drywall Services
T.A.C. Ceramic Tile, Co.
Titan Erosion Control