Building industry volunteers transform grounds at Atlanta facility for homeless families
More than fifty HomeAid Atlanta volunteers gathered at Jerusalem House for a Care Day on September 20. HomeAid Care Days provide free-of-charge maintenance and repairs for nonprofit facilities serving Atlanta’s homeless population. Jerusalem House is an Atlanta nonprofit that provides permanent supportive housing for low-income and homeless individuals and families affected by HIV/AIDS.
HomeAid’s Care Day volunteers represented four organizations: BankSouth Mortgage; CBRE; Professional Women in Building – Atlanta Chapter; and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. The groups joined forces to tackle several projects at Jerusalem House’s Family Program including repairing a brick retaining wall, painting exterior furniture, planting flowers, adding mulch and pine straw around the facility, putting down rubber mulch in playground area, and cleaning up debris.
Volunteer Joy Dyess, BankSouth Mortgage VP, Special Projects Manager said, “Our BankSouth Mortgage team really enjoyed our HomeAid Care Day experience. The most moving part of our day was hearing from a current resident about how the services provided by Jerusalem House had positively impacted her life as well as the lives of her grandchildren. Hearing about her experience and the amazing things she’d overcome was inspiring and meaningful. We were happy to help support the important work done by Jerusalem House. Thank you for this opportunity!”
Meridian Brick and Masonry Supply generously donated cement blocks, bricks, and mortar for repairs to the retaining wall. These donations and the work of volunteers provided a savings of $12,000 for Jerusalem House. Instead of facility maintenance, Jerusalem House can use savings like these to focus on providing hope and a home for people like Larry. Larry was working for a software company when he became extremely sick with AIDS. As the disease ravaged his immune system, Larry spent weeks in the hospital and lost his job and apartment. He arrived at Jerusalem House “looking for a place to die,” not knowing it would become his saving grace. Jerusalem House gave Larry access to new, life-saving medications. Within months, Larry was able to move back to independent housing. He now owns a thriving pet-sitting business and served on the Jerusalem House Board of Directors from 2009-2013. Larry speaks and volunteers regularly in the community to educate others about issues facing individuals living with HIV/AIDS. “Jerusalem House is extremely appreciative to the HomeAid volunteers from CBRE, Wells Fargo, BankSouth, and Professional Women in Building for their efforts in helping to beautify the environment at our Family Program,” said Charlie Frew, Executive Director of Jerusalem House.
HomeAid Atlanta is a nonprofit organization founded in 2001 that builds new lives for homeless families and individuals through housing and community outreach. HomeAid builds, renovates, and maintains facilities for nonprofits serving people experiencing homelessness. HomeAid has completed over 120 projects at locations for victims of domestic violence, teen mothers, veterans and more, utilizing connections with building industry professionals and community organizations. HomeAid also provides essential items like diapers, wipes, and hygiene products to those affected by homelessness. HomeAid is the designated charity of the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association. Learn more at www.homeaidatlanta.org.