September 20, 2018

HomeAid Houston, a Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA) charity was joined by David Weekley Homes at the ceremonial groundbreaking of The Village at Gracewood - Next Step Project, the first four of eight duplexes that will house mothers who need additional time on the Gracewood campus to finish their education or certification program.  This groundbreaking marks the 50th HomeAid Houston project in its 15-year history.


Gracewood is a Children at Heart ministry that provides housing for mothers and their children who need a safe haven from crisis situations.  These units will give them the ability to learn to live independently while still being able to access counseling and other services on the Gracewood campus.  This is part of a larger campus expansion project that includes the completed construction of a volunteer center and a community center that is in the planning stages.  The David Weekley Homes construction team is being led by Brian Underwood, Mark Welch and Nancy Reid.  Mark Atkins with MASA Studio is the project's architect.


After an inspirational gathering at the site that included the David Weekley Homes and HomeAid teams, as well as representatives from Gracewood, GHBA and numerous vendors and guests, gold shovels marked the site in tribute to the upcoming construction. 


Representing David Weekley Homes were Mark Welch, land acquisition manager and Randall Rowlett, construction manager; HomeAid representatives were Patrick Mayhan, vice president of purchasing for Westin Homes and the 2019 HomeAid president, Bette Moser, the soon-to-retire executive director of HomeAid and Carl Salazar, the new incoming executive director, and GHBA’s Casey Morgan, CEO.  Also in attendance from Children at Heart Ministries was Todd Roberson, CEO and from Gracewood were Larry Bertrand, chairman; Jenny Rice-Cotton, president and Gracewood client, Rachel Lockett and Freeman Marshall.  Mark Atkins with MASA Studio was also on-hand.


Also part of the celebration were board members and staff from HomeAid Houston and Gracewood and vendors who are donating their materials and services. 


“The groundbreaking ceremony has been a much anticipated event for the whole team,” said Patrick Mayhan.  “It's an important day for many reasons, especially for the mothers and children of Gracewood who are working hard to change their lives.  It also a time for HomeAid to celebrate our 50th project in our 15 years of serving the homeless of Houston."


HomeAid has been a long-time partner with Gracewood.  The three existing 7000 + sq. ft. homes on the Spring Branch campus were built through HomeAid who partnered with MHI on the first two, and with Legend Homes/Princeton Classic Homes on the third home.  The homes were finished out with donated furniture and appliances by a number of companies in the Houston area.


"A thousand thank you’s cannot express our gratitude and thankfulness enough for the help and commitment HomeAid and all our partners have provided to make today a reality," said Jenny Cotton.


Since 2001, Gracewood has helped vulnerable Houston children and their single mothers reclaim hope and independence through transitional housing, case management, counseling, life skills and parenting training, and a range of trauma-informed services that equip families toward long-term stability.