HomeAid Houston and the Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA), were recently honored as the "2017 Groups of the Year" by Casa de Esperanza, a charitable organization that provides a safe and nurturing place for children in crisis due to abuse, neglect or the affects of HIV.
The awards were presented at Casa de Esperanza's "Building Hope for Children" gala on Sunday, April 23, 2017, at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. Both GHBA and HomeAid will also receive a ceremonial brick on Casa's "Path of Hope."
GHBA and HomeAid were chosen for the "Group of the Year" distinction because of their ongoing efforts to further the mission of Casa de Esperanza. Members and staff have contributed countless hours of volunteer service, along with thousands of dollars worth of donated materials and labor.
"It is the generosity of these volunteers that allows Casa de Esperanza to continue to grow and serve abused, neglected and HIV positive children and their families," said Shelley Star, Casa de Esperanza. "We cannot thank HomeAid and the GHBA enough for the work they've done to help our organization."
In October 2015, the GHBA Custom Builders Council (CBC), teamed up with HomeAid Houston to update and renovate a house that has been home to 94 children since it was built in 2007. In addition to the needed repairs, new appliances were purchased and installed. In April 2016, volunteers from the CBC once again showed up in full force to provide a landscape project for the Casa de Esperanza neighborhood. They returned again in September to remodel two more homes on the property as well as donating all new appliances.
Also in April 2016, the GHBA Remodelers Council (RMC), began remodeling the Fort Bend home that was donated to Casa de Esperanza by The George Foundation in 2001. This home has become the heart of the Fort Bend program and through its doors, more than 50 children have been in foster care.
Casa de Esperanza’s Fort Bend Program and Parent Case Work Coordinator Mary Scalise, manages Casa de Esperanza’s services for Fort Bend from this location and it is also the home to Mary’s family, including her special needs son, Luke who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Because it was so difficult for Mary to navigate the 2-story home with him, the RMC added custom features to help her lift, bathe and transport him.
Throughout the past year GHBA has continued to provide a number of maintenance and refurbishment projects for Casa de Esperanza. "It was an honor to receive this prestigious award," said Salty Thomason, president of HomeAid Houston. "There have been many CASA projects over the past several years, and it is always a true collaborative working with the professionals on the Custom Builders Council and Remodelers Council. We look forward to more opportunities to work with GHBA to help enhance the Casa de Esperanza campus."
HomeAid was started in 2003, and the first shelter was dedicated in 2005. Since then, 42 projects have been completed, adding over 437 beds and 12.6 million dollars in real estate construction and improvements to Houston’s homeless community. Annually, HomeAid's projects serve over 5000 homeless men, women, children and veterans in Houston.