2018 Community Service Award Winners
At MBIA’s 2019 Installation Dinner, HBCF leadership was proud to recognize two organizations for their significant contributions in support of our Foundation’s efforts to help others in need of supportive and safe housing and shelter.
The first award of the evening was the Community Builder Award, presented in recognition of a builder member for outstanding community service and leadership that has promoted the spirit of charity and goodwill in the building industry.
The winner was Caruso Homes, who was recognized for their work with the Bowie Supportive Housing Corporation. Formerly the St. Matthew’s Housing Corporation, the Bowie program provides transitional housing for families, many who are victims of domestic violence and a crisis has left them homeless. Families are selected in consultation with local shelters and agencies and they are able to stay in the program for 12-24 months as they work towards ultimate stability in their lives.
Recently, the Bowie program was awarded a Domestic Violence Grant from the Prince George’s County Council to expand their transitional housing program. With these funds secured to help purchase a 1962 single family home from an estate sale, the group then turned to HBCF to help renovate the home in order make it more functional and better suited to their housing program.
Right around the same time, Caruso Homes made it known that they were looking for a way to give back during Jeff Caruso’s term as the 2018 MBIA President. He commented, “When I was installed as MBIA’s 2018 president, one of my goals was to volunteer for another project before the end of my term. By giving our skills and resources, we are strengthening our communities and improving the quality of life for others in need. Plus building goodwill in the state of Maryland too.”
Thus with help from the Caruso Homes team led by their Director of Production Dan Roys Sr., a scope of work was developed and the house quickly began to be transformed. With three new bathrooms, a full expanded kitchen, new HVAC and whole house flooring, the updated home was soon ready to welcome families in crisis and in need of safe shelter. The project marked the second time Caruso has stepped up to help HBCF in the past four years. A special ribbon cutting ceremony took place on October 6, 2018.
Thank you Caruso Homes for operating every day with a “We Care” attitude. Through your company’s volunteering and charitable giving, we thank you for being committed to supporting and strengthening the areas where you build to improve people’s lives and make the world a better place.
HBCF’s second award presented was the Tom Sawyer Award, bestowed in recognition of outstanding hands-on charitable efforts that make a difference in the lives of others in need.
The 2018 winner was MBIA’s own Future Industry Leaders Council, who was recognized for their key involvement with the Ulman House, a new facility that was once a block of six vacant rowhomes in East Baltimore. It has been transformed into a nine-unit supportive housing facility for young adult cancer patients with the FIL Council leading efforts to furnish and build the House’s beautiful new community kitchen.
The Ulman Foundation’s House project was brought to the attention of Home Builders Care by Adam Van Bevel with O’Neil Interactive. As an active FIL council member, Adam had also been networking with Ulman on some awareness campaigns. In December 2017, Adam and another active FIL member, Jeff Barba of Gnu Homes (and FIL’s new 2019 council chair) helped coordinate an HBCF site visit at the future Ulman House location near Johns Hopkins Medical Campus and Hospital. The Ulman Foundation was just starting the construction of its “home away from home for young adult cancer patients and their families". On the visit, FIL members helped assess the project’s needs and determine strategic ways the overall Association could contribute to the project.
With the project under contract and underway, the FIL council committed to equipping the 400 sq. ft. community kitchen. They reached out to MBIA members Kitchen & Bath Creations and Appliance Distributors Unlimited to source discounted energy-efficient and green products, as well as helped organize and host a successful Summer Charity Event at Diamondback Brewing to help cover some of the costs associated with the donation.
The project was officially completed in early fall 2018 and after a few more months of prep work, the Ulman House welcomed its first patient clients in January 2019. The completed transformation of what was once 6 vacant row homes into a multi-dimensional facility with 8 family suites for young adults while they are undergoing cancer treatments is now an asset to the East Baltimore neighborhood.
Upon accepting the award on behalf of FIL, Adam Van Bavel commented, “…Our Association’s got business opportunities, networking, advocacy and education, but get creative. We have an opportunity as a community to give back like this. And this to me was incredibly meaningful. …There’s a lot that can be done when we come together, and this is an incredibly powerful room of people that are here together. We can be doing things like this throughout the year so thank you and keep getting at it.”
The cooperation, dedication and spirit of these 2018 Community Service Award Winners are excellent examples of why the Home Builders Care program is successful in helping improve the lives of at-risk individuals and families in our communities. Congratulations and thank you to both of HBCF’s Community Service Award Winners.