2012 Community Service Award Winners
Builders First Source
The award is presented annually to individuals or organizations affiliated with the local home building industry in recognition of significant contributions to the community through unselfish efforts and dedication in support of projects that help the poor and disadvantaged in our communities. The awards were presented by HBCF President Liza Bowles of Newport Partners.
The first award of the evening, a Tom Sawyer Award for in-kind assistance, was presented to Builders First Source, who played a valuable role on HBCF’s renovation project for the ABH Boys Cottage in Derwood, MD. The ABH Boys Cottage is a Montgomery County-based transitional group home that offers extensive therapeutic care and needed refuge to teenage boys with history of mental health issues and family life struggles.
Staffed by a team of professionals from Adventist Behavioral Health, the Cottage offers troubled adolescents a caring, supportive living environment in which they can address their psychological treatment issues while becoming reintegrated into the community. Nearly all the eight teenagers in residence are referred to the Cottage following a stay in either a residential treatment facility or a psychiatric hospital.
The goal of the renovation project was to improve and make safe the home's two heavily used areas – the kitchen and the backyard. In the yard, the scope of work included removing old pool equipment and fencing, followed by the construction of a new gazebo which could be used for private counseling sessions. Another task item was to remove the existing deck and replace it with a larger expanded deck with stairs that could provide direct access to the backyard.
With a growing list of needed lumber and materials amidst a tight budget, the cost of the project was getting daunting - until Builders First Source answered the call for help. Through Kevin Hennessy and Toby Vance, they offered to donate the entire list of lumber materials needed to the Boys house project. About a week later, delivery was made and construction in the backyard began. And just before the holidays, the new deck and gazebo were completed, along with the new kitchen.
The Community Builder Award was presented to one of Home Builders Care Foundation’s most consistent and generous supporters. In both good years and in lean times, the Pettit Family Charitable Foundation has demonstrated their support of the mission of Home Builders Care to build for our neighbors in need. But not only have the Pettits been our long-time supporter, they have also – for years - supported numerous other charities throughout Montgomery County.
As long-time Montgomery County residents, the Pettit family truly “Give Where They Live.” The family business, Pettit Companies, has provided excellence in Commercial Property Management & Leasing, Home Building, Land Development & Excavation Services in Maryland & Virginia since 1963.
Since 1989, the Pettit Family Charitable Foundation has also been working locally - mainly in the areas of housing, food and shelter. They have long been actively involved in many community organizations such as Montgomery Hospice, the Shady Grove Adventist Hospital Foundation and the Bernie Scholarship, which assists low-income citizens in County-subsidized housing with college tuition.
The list of local nonprofit organizations in gratitude to the Pettit’s is extensive. And longer still is the list of local citizens benefitting from the family’s investment in our community and its residents over the years. Currently, Mr. Dick Pettit serves as Vice-Chair of the Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless who help provide shelter to about 1,000 homeless people who were recorded in the County last year.
The final award of the evening was the Directors Award, presented in recognition of leadership and support in broadening the vision of Home Builders Care.
Mitsubishi Electric Heating and Cooling played a key role in HBCF’s HomeAid DC energy retrofit project for Community Connections, a Washington DC based non-profit mental health agency serving men, women and children in the nation's capital.
Community Connections (CC DC) has long been committed to innovative and compassionate mental health, addictions, and residential services for the District of Columbia's most vulnerable citizens. In 2012, CC DC provided permanent supportive housing to nearly 250 consumers throughout the city, with many living in 1 or 2- bedroom apartments that are clustered in small buildings.
The HomeAid DC retrofit project took place in a 6-unit brick building constructed in 1956, with old furnaces and electrical panels probably dating back to the 60s. Each apartment also had multiple window AC units. An energy audit conducted by Newport Partners confirmed that the building was a prime candidate for an energy retrofit and it became HBCF’s HomeAid DC chapter’s second Environmental Sustainability Program (ESP) construction project.
ESP is HomeAid America’s national program funded by the Walmart Foundation. Its purpose is to retrofit existing shelters with energy efficient upgrades, allowing the agency operating those facilities to increase client service capacity by reducing their operating costs. The target metrics are to save at least 40 percent in annual utility costs and to recover the cost of the energy saving retrofits in five years.
When contacted about the project, Mitsubishi Electric stepped up to contribute new low-profile, wall-mounted mini-split, ductless heating/cooling systems, some of the most technologically advanced heat pump systems in the industry. Over $20,000 worth of equipment was donated.
Thus far, this small apartment building has proven to be an excellent application for these “most efficient” products. Both staff and residents are happy with the new HVAC system and all are thrilled to have more storage space in the kitchen where the old furnaces used to be. Additionally, the project has caught the eye of EnergyStar specialists within the Federal government. The building’s energy use and CC DC’s savings will be monitored for two years and initial results are very promising.
The cooperation, dedication and spirit of these 2012 Community Service Award Winners are excellent examples of why the Home Builders Care charitable construction program succeeds in helping end homelessness by improving the lives of at-risk individuals and families in our communities.
The mission of Home Builders Care Foundation, the principal community outreach organization of the Maryland-National Capital Building Industry Association, is to complete construction projects, with particular focus on shelter-related projects, by leveraging the industry’s specialized building construction skills and by collaborating with community service providers serving the homeless and other at-risk populations.