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HomeAid Inland Empire Dedicates Renovated US Vets Facility

            RIVERSIDE, CA (February 18, 2015) ---   HomeAid Inland Empire (HAIE) and the United States Veterans Initiative (U.S. VETS) recently dedicated five newly-renovated apartments that will provide temporary housing for homeless veterans at the U.S.VETS emergency and transitional living facility at March ARB in Riverside

         HomeAid America CEO Peter Simons, U.S. VETS CEO Stephen Peck, and Bank of America Inland Empire Market President Al Arguello were among the dignitaries who spoke at the dedication ceremony. Riverside County Building Industry Association (BIA) CEO Bill Blankenship, HAIE Executive Director Ray Osborne, and U.S. VETS Inland Empire Executive Director Eddie Estrada, as well as veteran facility residents James Andrew and Manny Sanchez also participated in the dedication ceremonies.
          HAIE raised and contributed more than $30,000 in construction cost funding, and secured an additional $27,500 in in-kind donations of labor and materials for this multi-phase homeless facility renovation project. As a result of HomeAid’s fundraising and in-kind donation efforts, U.S. VETS saved over 85% on the total cost for the initial renovation phase that provides 18 much-needed transitional living beds for disabled and homeless veterans as they work to rebuild their lives. The total U.S.VETS cash contribution to the phase one renovation was $6,000, plus the purchase and in-kind donation of some new furniture and appliances.
         “U.S. VETS is thankful for the outstanding work that has been done by HomeAid in the past few months to help us provide a comfortable and safe place for the veteran clients we serve at this facility, and for the opportunity they provided to have five of the resident veterans here involved with doing some of the renovation work,” commented U.S. VETS CEO Stephen Peck. “We are looking forward to continuing to work with HomeAid Inland Empire in the months ahead to make additional improvements to the facility,” he added.
        Bank of America also continued to strengthen its partnership with HAIE and HomeAid America by providing the organization with a $10,000 grant.

          “Bank of America partners with community revitalization leaders such as HomeAid to provide critically-needed shelter and social services,” said Al Arguello, Bank of America Inland Empire Market President. “This grant to HomeAid brings additional resources to U.S. VETS for its ongoing renovation of housing at this location, along with counseling and job training for veterans in the Inland Empire.”
       “U.S.VETS is an incredible organization that does such great work to help our veterans once they get back home. HomeAid is honored to be able to partner with them in updating and upgrading the apartments at this facility,” stated HomeAid America CEO Peter Simons in his remarks at the dedication. “We are also very appreciative to our partners at Bank of America and the Lennar Charitable Housing Foundation for providing significant grant funding for this important renovation project.”                
             General contractor Fred Agudelo worked at the direction of HomeAid Inland Empire as the Builder Captain and Project Manager to supervise the renovation work at the U.S. VETS facility. The Lennar Inland/LA Division and KB Home each provided subcontracting labor and materials donations for the renovation, including contributions from Next Level Door and Trim, as well as from Jeff Geiger and Brian Crawford of Premier Plumbing.
            Five U.S. VETS veteran residents were hired to do some of the construction work involved with the renovation, including drywall repair and painting, as well as flooring and tile installation, as part of the ongoing job training program at the facility.
            The Lennar Charitable Housing Foundation (LCHF) gave HAIE and U.S. VETS a generous $25,000 grant to help cover a large portion of the construction costs for first phase of this renovation project. HAIE also utilized some of the shelter development grant funding that the non-profit received from Bank of America, Union Bank and US Bank to help complete the initial renovation phase at the March ARB facility.
        Behr Paint donated all of the paint needed for the apartment interior renovation; and in-kind donations of flooring, plumbing fixtures and vanities to HAIE from Home Depot were used on the project.
        Founded in 1993, U.S. VETS has served more than 40,000 homeless veterans nationally over the past 22 years. Through the U.S. VETS Veterans In Progress (VIP) work re-entry program, more than 80% of the veterans in the program have successfully moved back into the workplace, and 65% of the veterans served by U.S. VETS have achieved self sufficiency that includes transitioning into permanent housing for themselves and their families.
        The U.S. VETS Inland Empire chapter reports that there are more than 1,100 veterans living on the streets or temporarily housed in homeless shelter facilities throughout Riverside and San Bernardino counties. In addition, 91% of these veterans earn below the poverty income level, and 45% are physically or mentally disabled, according to U.S. VETS statistics. In 2014, U.S. VETS Inland Empire served 470 veterans with meals, job training, counseling and various administrative services, as well as providing temporary housing.
        HomeAid Inland Empire, the non-profit charity of the Riverside County and Baldy View Chapters of the Southern California Building Industry Association (BIA), is currently working with 14 homeless service provider partners, like US VETS, to renovate or build quality shelter facilities that provide emergency and transitional housing for those who are temporarily homeless.
        “The mission of HomeAid Inland Empire is to build new lives for homeless men, women and children in Riverside and San Bernardino counties through housing and community outreach. The renovation of this U.S. VETS facility is a prime example of the work we do to serve the community and help end homelessness,” said HAIE Executive Director Ray Osborne in his dedication remarks.
            Since 1990, HomeAid Inland Empire has renovated or built 32 homeless shelters, providing 831 beds, to help provide for the needs of more than 2,500 homeless individuals and families annually in the two-county area.  The value of the shelter facilities that HomeAid has helped create is over $17.1 million, with more than $6.4 million in funding and in-kind donations of labor and materials coming from members of the Inland Empire BIA chapters through its HAIE non-profit charity. 
              For more information about HomeAid Inland contact HAIE Executive Director Ray Osborne at or visit the organization’s website at to volunteer or make a donation.
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