Dining room renovations completed
HomeAid National Capital Region, the organization responsible for the renovation of the dining room in the basement of our building, hosted a re-opening of the space on Thursday, November 30.
The most visible changes in the dining room are newly painted walls, new flooring and lighting, and new laundry, bathroom and shower areas. But there are other improvements and updates made to the space, which had not been updated in decades. Some of the improvements even spilled out of the dining room to stairways, including the one used most often inside the 16th Street entrance to the building, where the landing immediately inside the door has been repaired and walls have received a fresh coat of clean, bright paint. All of these changes are ones that we could not have afforded to do ourselves!
These renovations will most directly benefit Thrive, one of the nonprofit space users of our building that serves a significant population of unhoused people in the city, and our own Loaves and Fishes ministry, which uses the lower-level kitchen and dining room for serving prepared meals on weekends and federal holidays. The parish and the community will also benefit as parishioners, outside groups and organizations can now utilize this more modern and welcoming space for meetings, celebrations and gatherings.
HomeAid, the main organization behind the renovation, is a national nonprofit. Its National Capital affiliate is based in Chantilly, but it had never completed a project within D.C. before. HomeAid’s mission is to carry out these types of renovations and other work on the facilities – housing and other buildings – belonging to charities that help people who are homeless. HomeAid plays the role of securing in-kind donations of labor and materials for these facilities projects from companies in the building industry.
For our dining room renovation, HomeAid worked with Knutson, a homebuilding company in the DMV, and Knutson, in turn, had 12 subcontractors that donated supplies and labor related to lighting, paint and other areas. The electrical company, Southern Electric for example, gave 100% of its materials and labor to our project as a donation. In all, the project cost $155,000, and 80% of that was donated by the contractors and by HomeAid. Another portion of the costs were covered by the Bou Family Foundation, which has been a longtime supporter of Loaves and Fishes.
On the parish side, Elizabeth Finley (at the suggestion of parishioner Michele Lewis) contacted HomeAid in December 2021 and completed the application for the renovation. Elizabeth and Jon Bolduc from Thrive served as the point persons with HomeAid for the renovation, troubleshooting with other space users and their staff and clients and on the occasions when access to the building was a problem due to construction.
The executive director and CEO of HomeAid National Capital Region, Kristyn Burr, hosted the brief and informal ceremony, attended by representatives from HomeAid, Knutson, and many of the construction contractors who worked on the project. Leaders of Loaves and Fishes (Claudia Pabo) and our parish’s Vestry (Erin Hutson) also attended and spoke, thanking HomeAid and the contractors for their excellent work and generous contributions. It was noted by several speakers how modern and hospitable the renovated space is now, which reflects the way HomeAid and the organizations that use the space want to treat people in need—with dignity.
Feel free to check out the renovated dining room yourself!
Renovation celebration on November 30 with representatives of St. Stephen's/Loaves & Fishes, Thrive DC, HomeAid National Capital Region, and Knutson