Contact: Nicholle Granger
NOVEMBER 8, 2023 | DURHAM, NC
On November 10th and 11th, Volunteers of America Chesapeake & Carolinas (VOACC), The Home Depot Foundation, and Michael & Son Heating & Air are teaming up to help 17 formerly homeless veterans living at our Maple Court Veteran Housing apartments in Durham in honor of Veterans Day.
On November 10th, Team Depot, The Home Depot’s associate volunteer force, will refresh six apartments and the outdoor areas at the Maple Court. Volunteers will paint, landscape and, with the support of Michael & Son Heating & Air, replace HVAC units to keep the veteran residents warm during the winter. The Home Depot Foundation will also host a Veterans Day breakfast at 8 a.m. on November 11th, where they will surprise each veteran by funding their rental payment for the month of December.
In North Carolina, nearly 800 veterans are without a place to call home on any given night of the year (United States Interagency Council on Homelessness: 2020 Homelessness Statistics). There are a number of reasons for why veteran homelessness is common. When service members return home injured, it is often their families who care for them. But if you’re a veteran without a family to return to and are sent away from a hospital following treatment, finding housing and employment on your own can feel like a difficult feat.
Life-threatening and traumatizing experiences are the norm of combat and war. When returning home, those experiences have a massive impact on a veteran’s mental health and emotional well-being. This can make it harder for them to keep a job, maintain relationships, and simply trust themselves.
Finally, it is not uncommon for veterans who returned home to find job opportunities that pay much less than they earned during service. Physical injuries and mental illness that limit their ability to find and keep jobs that pay well adds to this challenge.
As part of The Home Depot Foundation’s national Operation Surprise campaign Team Depot is partnering with Volunteers of America affiliates across the country to provide relief to the most vulnerable veterans in our communities while honoring their service to our country. The Home Depot Foundation’s efforts in partnership with VOA Chesapeake & Carolinas and local contractor Michael & Son Heating & Air will impact the lives of 17 formerly homeless veterans, many of whom are also living with mental health and substance use recovery challenges. The team will replace 3 HVAC units, repaint the interior of several apartments and improve the landscaping at Maple Court.
“VOACC has enjoyed managing the ACS shelter over the past 6 years and supporting vulnerable clients in attaining safe and secure housing. I am proud of the work of the entire team and the partnerships and relationships we have developed to meet the shelter’s mission. I am committed to working with Carpenter’s Shelter on a smooth transition of shelter management for both the clients served and the dedicated sTo see organizations partner and come together to serve our veterans is such a beautiful thing. I’m grateful to be a servant of those that have served us and placed their lives on the line for our freedom.”
-Dr. Ron Flack, Vice President of Carolinas Region
“Michael & Son has always given back to the same communities that have embraced our family-owned company from the beginning. The Michael & Son Helping Hands program was founded in 2011 with the goal of providing essential home services for community members in need. This Veterans Day, we want to thank those who have given everything, and we are honored to be a part of this partnership to provide units to these veterans. When you call Michael & Son for service, you’re calling a company that keeps its promises to hundreds of customers every day. Founded in 1976, Michael & Son is the home service company you can rely on to tackle any job anytime, to your complete satisfaction””
-Dania Rizkallah, Marketing/Community Outreach at Michael & Son Heating & Air
Using a Housing First approach, the Maple Court Veteran Housing program has been providing 24 single veteran apartments, personalized supportive services to ensure housing stability, community integration and independence for veterans most in need since 2009. In response to the growing need for more affordable housing for low-income veterans, Maple Court officially shifted from a transitional housing model to a permanent housing model on October 1, 2023.
Funded by the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) and the Durham County Department of Veteran Services, Maple Court provides crucial support for veterans facing chronic homelessness and complex challenges such as mental health and substance use disorders (SUD), and poverty. Veteran housing is subsidized through HUD.
Maple Court uses a trauma-informed and whole-person approach to ensure the long-term success of veterans within the program. Services offered include personalized case management, employment support, and ministry support. Veterans are also seamlessly connected with the Durham VA Medical Center services; the Durham County Department of Mental Health, Substance Use Disorder, and Developmental Services; and other partners.
About The Home Depot Foundation
The Home Depot Foundation, the nonprofit arm of The Home Depot (NYSE: HD), works to improve the homes and lives of U.S. veterans, support communities impacted by natural disasters and train skilled tradespeople to fill the labor gap. Since 2011, the Foundation has invested more than $475 million in veteran causes and improved more than 55,000 veteran homes and facilities. The Foundation has pledged to invest half of a billion dollars in veteran causes by 2025 and $50 million in training the next generation of skilled tradespeople through the Path to Pro program. To learn more about The Home Depot Foundation visit HomeDepotFoundation.org and follow us on Twitter @HomeDepotFound and on Facebook and Instagram @HomeDepotFoundation.
About Volunteers of America Chesapeake & Carolinas
Volunteers of America Chesapeake & Carolinas (“VOACC”) is a faith-based, nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire self-reliance, dignity, and hope through housing, health and human services.
At VOACC, we have been helping to create Healthy Communities for All for over 127 years by aligning housing, health and human services. We actively pursue health equity by filling the gap in housing and care for underserved populations, including those who are experiencing homelessness, low-income, underinsured or uninsured, justice-involved and veterans. By offering integrated housing and care, we address the social determinants that impact the long-term stability for those in need.
Through a dedicated team of management, staff and volunteers who are guided by our Core Values – Visionary, One Body, Integrity, Compassion, Excellence, and Faith – we are the safety net for thousands of men, women and children each year across Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia and the Carolinas. We operate over 49 programs focused on 8 areas of service: homeless services, affordable housing, mental health, substance use recovery, intellectual/developmental disabilities services, community re-entry, veteran services and workforce development.
VOACC has over 900 staff members and more than 2,000 volunteers. The organization helps over 10,600 individuals and families every year from Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia and the Carolinas. For more information on VOACC, please visit www.voachesapeake.org.