On November 16, HomeAid Houston, Partners in Building, Boys and Girls Country and dozens of volunteers and special guests gathered to celebrate the dedication of an 8100 sq. ft. cottage that will be home to eight children who have come from families in crisis. It has been named the Joanne H. Watford Cottage.
"Partners in Building has approached this huge construction effort with enthusiasm, commitment, and the professionalism that reflects their name within the building industry," said Cindy Hinson, president of HomeAid. "As we celebrate this amazing accomplishment today, we are also fulfilling HomeAid Houston's 2016 initiative of "Serving Children, Preserving Futures". The Joanne H. Watford Cottage is just one of several projects we've identified that will help children in crisis from all walks of life."
The day's event included several guest speakers on the agenda including Lou Palma, executive director, Boys and Girls Country; Jim Lemming, president of Partners in Building, Parke Patterson, president of the GHBA and Bette Moser, executive director of HomeAid Houston who also recognized the hard work that went into completing the cottage. Tom Frank, vice president of operations with Partners and Quintes Stark, director of operations with Boys and Girls Country were also acknowledged for their leadership qualities throughout the construction process.
"History was made today," said Lou Palma. "After years of planning and exactly 365 days from last year’s groundbreaking, we opened up the girl’s Watford Cottage. We are blessed by our Board, our investors, our “Partners in Builders”, HomeAid, all the vendors and providers and most of all, our kids, families and staff. Everybody assisted above and beyond and made this happen." Lou also announced that Lennar/Village Builders will be constructing the second cottage with the groundbreaking planned for the first quarter of 2017.
The Boys and Girls Country program is a non-profit that was established in 1971. The program is made up of a network of 11 cottages. The children live with a married "Teaching Parent" and any children they may have, as well as two single Teaching Parents who raise these children as their own. The campus can accommodate 88 children ages 5 to 18.
Before coming to Boys and Girls Country, many of the children come from families living in poverty and are functionally homeless. Boys and Girls Country addresses a child's well-being, helping to break the cycle of poverty for these children by providing a secure, stable Christian home environment with an emphasis on education, building healthy relationships and setting goals for the future.
“Our partnership with HomeAid Houston allowed us to help provide a safe, nurturing environment for some very deserving kids at Boys and Girls Country," said Jim Lemming. "Our vendors and trades were ready- and- able as partners on this project, and we are all honored today to celebrate with the entire team."
HomeAid Houston is one of 17 HomeAid chapters in the country. Since 2003, HomeAid Houston has completed 36 construction projects for homeless agencies, totaling over $10 million in real estate value and adding over 400 beds.