In four major projects since 2001, HomeAid members have contributed $1.2 million in time, money and materials toward the high-quality construction of 30,000 sq. ft. of facilities valued at $2.8 million. BIA|Bay Area members also frequently donate to Shepherd’s Gate the proceeds of their annual toy and baby essentials drives. Up next, HomeAid is helping the faith-based non-profit develop a Brentwood campus to support and expand the services it provides there.
“As Cheryl (O’Connor, HomeAid Executive Director) would say, we are lifetime partners,” said Shepherd’s Gate CEO Carol Patterson. “Without HomeAid, we would not have been to develop as quickly our programs.”Shepherd’s Gate helps women and children who have experienced homelessness, addictions, sexual exploitation and domestic violence with shelter, counseling, job and life skills training. Its Livermore campus houses 70 women and children while its Brentwood residential facility is home to 18 people.
It was HomeAid’s longest-serving board member Layne Marceau of Shea Homes who brought the two organizations together back in 2001. On an acre of land within the Shepherd’s Gate campus, Shea built five two-bedroom cottages where women and their children stay while they rebuild their lives. Shea employees did more than build houses, too. For example, they donated a catered meal for the residents and donated arts and crafts supplies for children to make presents for their mothers.
HomeAid would go on to construct three more expansion projects at Shepherd’s Gate in Livermore with builder members Shea, William Lyon Homes, Pulte and Big D Construction. The largest was completed in 2004, an 11-bedroom residence hall that houses 40 women and children. The builders and an estimated 100 trade partners contributed $869,000 in time, money and materials toward the $1.9 million project.
Patterson praises the quality of the construction and the importance of providing a safe and beautiful environment for the dignities of the women working so hard to rebuild their lives.
“I see the kids running home from school with their friends,” Patterson said. “They aren’t embarrassed to be living at Shepherd’s Gate because it is so nice.”
She describes the staff of HomeAid’s builder and trade partners as welcoming, kind, willing to listen and ready to offer their expertise on everything from utility installation to project budgeting. She is equally effusive in her thanks to those same people and companies who donate generously during BIA|Bay Area’s baby essentials and toy drives.
“On any given night, a woman and her children could show up at Shepherd’s Gate with only the clothes on their backs,” Patterson said. “I am so grateful for HomeAid. It is hard to put into words. When I see Cheryl and her builder partners, I see genuine people who want to help and they want to bring their experiences and their connections to help, too. We really are partners for life.”
For more information, contact HomeAid Executive Director Cheryl O’Connor at firstname.lastname@example.org.