The Rachuba Group
At MBIA’s 2020 Installation Dinner, HBCF leadership was proud to recognize three 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 The Rachuba Group, who was recognized for their long-standing work with Bridges to Housing Stabilty, a Howard County charity whose mission is to provide a path to self-sufficiency to prevent and end homelessness through affordable housing solutions and advocacy.
Established in 1990, Bridges works to prevent evictions and rehouse displaced households by working closely with Howard County’s Coordinated System of Homeless Services. The growing nonprofit also owns and operates affordable rental homes (workforce housing) in Howard County.
In 2019, Bridges served 688 individuals, including 268 children, rehoused 126 households and helped 149 households remain in stable housing. It also provided 40 affordable rental units for working, low-income households. Also in 2019, Bridges was thrilled to take title to a donated vacant condominium in Columbia, but upon inspection they soon discovered the unit needed serious work before it was to become inhabitable. They turned to Home Builders Care.
A few weeks later, Chris and Ray Rachuba and their team stepped up and began work to transform the unit. It was not the first time the skilled Rachuba team took on a project for Bridges. After sizing up the work the unit was completely gutted. Soon afterwards, everything became new - a brand new kitchen, a revamped bath, new whole house flooring, new HVAC systems, improved electric and much more. Now the unit is part of the nonprofit’s Bridges Alliance, an income-based rental housing program with a unique system of mutual support. All the work was done at no cost to Bridges and now a single father and his son have a place to call home.
The father commented, “I’ve been given an opportunity to make positive strides toward living, instead of just surviving. For someone with nothing, someone who is not able to get on their feet, sometimes all you need to get out of that hole is opportunity.”
The next awards presented were Tom Sawyer Awards, bestowed in recognition of outstanding hands-on charitable efforts that make a difference in the lives of others in need. Our two honorees are Royal Building Products and TW Perry. Their incredibly generous in-kind donations to our most recent project made a world of difference.
These two winners were both recognized for their key involvement with Patriot Point a retreat center for Veterans and their caregivers in need of recovery and healing. Located near Cambridge, Patriot Point provides a relaxing and safe environment to enjoy outdoor recreational activities for our nation’s wounded, ill and injured service members and their families. Groups that work with Veterans such as the Yellow Ribbon Fund, USO, and Operation Second Chance, all take turns bringing groups to the retreat center as part of their programs. Approximately 500 guests visit each year from Memorial Day through the fall. Patriot Point turned to Home Builders Care in 2018 for help with a large-scale renovation on a 95 year old structure that had been added onto multilple times. To minimize disruption for its guests, the project was taken on in phases.
In 2019, the first phase to renovate the Main House at Patriot Point was completed with our two Tom Sawyer award winners playing major roles in the renovation. The house, built in 1925 and once owned by silent movie star Clara Bow, needed many exterior improvements – including a complete roof replacement, as well as new decking, windows and siding. The roof and the deck were priorities.
A major boost to the project took place when Royal donated all of their beautiful Zuri Premium Decking and other exterior trim products to the renovation. Additional key donations were secured from TW Perry, a long-time partner of Patriot Point. All of the batten & board siding and railings were donated by TW Perry who also supplied the identical product to other buildings on the property.
As with many renovation projects on older homes, there were more than a few surprises found after work began, especially under the multi-leveled roof. But thanks to the expertise and direction of project manager Ted Smart, MDC Services LLC, working in partnership with Patriot Point leaders, problems were clearly identified and rather quickly resolved. And the donated building materials, which reduced the cost of the project by about 40%, were installed and made the finished product structurally sound and beautiful.
Upon presenting the awards, Steve Beck, President of the Military Bowl Foundation who owns Patriot Point commented, "I've been involved in a lot of things over the years but this is truly special. I can't tell you how much it means to have your support."
A 16-year Army veteran who was twice wounded, recently visited Patriot Point with his family commented, "Patriot Point is a special place. It's very liberating. It takes all the stress and anxiety away. (For me) the physical recovery is nothing compared to the invisible wounds that I feel that comes with post-tramatic stress and tramatic brain injuries. That has a profound impact on my life and my familiy daily. There's a lot of places like it but this is the only one built specifically for us Veterans. There's something about being around other combat Veterans...that pain, that crushing pressure that I was feeling just lifted. That feeling gave me hope. It showed me that I don't have to numb the pain. there's other things i can do to treat the pain when it comes. Coming out here and spending time on the water with the kids..its a chance for us to create new memories, create bonding experiences..and you start feeling better."
The cooperation, dedication and spirit of these 2019 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 all of HBCF’s Community Service Award Winners.