Home Builders Care Foundation

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About this project.

Located in Rockville, Maryland, Dorothy Day Place is a transitional housing facility for single unaccompanied homeless women. The twenty women who live in the shelter come from abusive situations, have been evicted, can no longer live with relatives and may or may not have substance abuse or mental health issues. The shelter is operated by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington.

In early 2003, Home Builders Care Foundation began a much-needed renovation project at Dorothy Day. All four bathrooms in the shelter required immediate major plumbing repairs. The lack of adequately functioning facilities was adding burdens on lives already in crises. Of particular concern was the handicap-accessible shower, where the bottom broke through to the floor below, making the shower totally unusable and uncovering the fact that the building's plumbing was improperly or poorly installed. In another bathroom, pipes under the floor are leaking, creating pools of water on the floor when walked upon. Further inspection found serious plumbing problems back to the main stack.

A cost estimate for the needed work was near $41,000. To meet the funding needs, a cost-sharing provision requiring the beneficiary to provide matching funds of up to $15,000 was included in the original construction agreement. The project was completed in June 2003. In July, the final invoices of the Dorothy Day project were paid by HBCF.

Thanks to the tremendous amount of in-kind assistance received by MNCBIA members and affiliates, total cash expenses paid by HBCF for the project amounted to only $11,330.17. With the value of in-kind contributions of materials and labor to the project (approximately $30,000) amounting to 71% of the total construction value, the HBCF board of directors voted in July to reimburse Catholic Charities for their share of expenses paid towards the project, effectively dismissing the cost-sharing requirement.

HBCF's success in completing the project at no cost to Catholic Charities certainly was a welcome surprise to the agency. The reimbursement of expenses allowed the agency to use funds earmarked for Dorothy Day project for additional improvements to the shelter's programs. In addition, because of the original matching grant requirement, Catholic Charities did make an appeal for the $15,000 match, and was successful in raising direct funds for the project from a long-time donor. Once the match was no longer needed, the agency's Vice President went back to the donor to ask permission to use his money on other needs at Dorothy Day Place. He agreed. She wrote us saying that by undertaking the project, HBCF not only allowed Catholic Charities "to complete a project we so desperately needed to do, but also leveraged additional money that allowed us to do more than we expected."

Click here for contact info at Dorothy Day or call 301-762-8314

Dorothy Day Place