Honolulu, HI (June 17, 2015) – HomeAid America, a national non-profit provider of housing for homeless families and individuals for the past 26 years, has established a chapter in Hawaii with the creation of HomeAid Hawaii (HAH). The chapter was established using an initial grant from the Ward Village Foundation, and will be co-located at the offices of the Building Industry Association of Hawaii (BIA – Hawaii), with whom it has established a formal partnership.
"We are thrilled to be in the state of Hawaii," said Peter Simons, CEO of HomeAid America. "HomeAid has a long history and successful track-record of helping the building industry give back to the community by building housing for organizations helping the homeless across the country. With the creation of a new chapter in Hawaii, where homelessness has become a major issue, we believe this work will be well received and meet with great success."
HomeAid was founded in California by the building industry in 1989 as a way to give back to the community by addressing the issue of homelessness. According to the National Law Center on Homelessness, each year over 3.5 million Americans experienced homelessness at some point. Nearly 1.5 million of them are children. In Hawaii, the homelessness problem is particularly acute, with the highest per capita rate of homelessness in the nation. HomeAid's program identifies charities in the community working to help the homeless that need additional facilities in which to house people and provide programmatic resources such as job skills training and financial counseling, as well as physical and emotional support. HomeAid then finds builders who are willing to take on these projects and build them at a deep discount by enlisting their trade partners to give their time and materials as in-kind donations.
The Hawaii chapter of HomeAid was established by a founding grant from the Ward Village Foundation, a nonprofit corporation by The Howard Hughes Corporation® (NYSE: HHC), developers of Ward Village®, an urban master-planned community in Honolulu. David Striph, Chairman of the Ward Village Foundation, and Sr. VP of Hawaii for The Howard Hughes Corporation, said, "Homelessness affects our entire community, and organizations such as HomeAid provide an opportunity for local developers and the building industry to participate in aiding this issue. Ward Village Foundation is proud to play a role in bringing HomeAid America and its newly created chapter to Hawaii, which we believe will help to address the statewide challenge of homelessness in Honolulu."
HomeAid Hawaii has already formed a partnership with BIA-Hawaii whereby the building industry association will partner with HAH to identify builders and their trade partners willing to help with the construction of projects for homeless organizations. BIA-Hawaii CEO Gladys Quinto Marrone said, "There is a great need to address the rising homeless population in Hawaii, and the building industry wants to give back to our community by doing what we do best: build housing. We are proud to support HomeAid by donating their first year of office space at our Construction Training Center of the Pacific facility and look forward to creating united efforts to build housing facilities for charities helping the homeless in our area."
HomeAid Hawaii will be operated locally under the direction of a local board of directors, chaired initially by Jeffrey Prostor, president of Brookfield Residential Hawaii. "I am excited to be part of this effort by the building industry to help in the fight against homelessness in Hawaii," said Prostor. "HomeAid has a proven 26-year track record on the mainland, and with the significant support we have already attracted locally, I am sure it will be a great success in Hawaii as well." HomeAid Hawaii has hired Nani Medeiros as its executive director. Mederios has a strong background in affordable housing in Hawaii, having served as director of nonprofit organization Housing Hawaii and worked extensively on housing issues with the Lingle administration.
In addition to the Ward Village Foundation, HAH is also receiving its initial financial support from First Hawaiian Bank, Brookfield Residential, Gentry Homes, Stanford Carr Development, Alexander & Baldwin, and OliverMcMillan. Other building industry companies will also be represented on the initial Board of Directors of HAH, which will be responsible for the oversight of the organization.
About HomeAid America
HomeAid is a leading national non-profit provider of housing for homeless families and individuals. Through the generosity of builders, their trades and their suppliers, HomeAid has completed over 400
housing projects nationwide at a value of more than $200 million, of which nearly fifty percent has been donated by the building industry. Nearly 220,000 people have been sheltered by these housing projects over the past 26 years. HomeAid currently has over 50 additional projects in development across the country through HomeAid's network of 17 chapters in 12 states. For more information about HomeAid, call 1-888-3HOMEAID or visit www.homeaid.org. For more information about HomeAid Hawaii, visit www.homeaidhawaii.org.
About Building Industry Association of Hawaii
The Building Industry Association of Hawaii (BIA) is The VOICE of the Construction Industry. The BIA promotes our members through advocacy and education, and provides community outreach programs to enhance the quality of life for the people of Hawaii. The BIA is a not-for-profit trade organization chartered in 1955, affiliated with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
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