If HomeAid Northern California offers to help your nonprofit build or remodel a housing project, Rev. Dana Bainbridge of San Jose has some advice for you.
“Don’t wait! There’s no need to think about it!” said Bainbridge, who has partnered with HomeAid since 2010 on a set of improvements at a downtown homeless housing and healing center at the First Christian Church called Recovery Cafe San Jose. “You couldn’t find a more competent, a more generous or a more authentic kind of organization to work with.”
HomeAid, Irvine Company, William Lyon Homes and their trade partners donated combined $135,000 in materials and labor for a total renovation of a nine-bed shelter at the church in 2010 and the installation seven years later in the adjacent Recovery Cafe of a high-end pantry that features a large walk-in freezer and a cooler.
HomeAid also connected the nonprofit to organizations that provided tens of thousands of grant dollars including the Lennar Charitable Trust and the Danville-based Hedco Foundation. And through HomeAid, the Building Industry Association of the Bay Area and its members donated more than $100,000 to help the organization cover off-site operating expenses during construction.
Bainbridge especially credits HomeAid Executive Director Cheryl O’Connor for the successful partnership.
“HomeAid offers help in a way that that frees you up to do your work and not write reports,” she said. “I give Cheryl a lot of credit for the strong leadership at HomeAid. … The building industry is very complicated and Cheryl buffers the nonprofits from the complicated things by taking care of them on her end.”
Thanks to HomeAid and its partners’ contributions plus city dollars and other donations, Recovery Café San Jose patrons today enjoy the greatly expanded new commercial kitchen and coffee bar, updated and improved classrooms and Cafe space. Recovery Cafe membership is on the rise and the nonprofit is developing barista and commercial kitchen training that will lead to employment opportunities and potentially provide a source of income for the program.
“There is a certain amount of slog to being a nonprofit, where you just have to keep moving ahead and not get discouraged,” Bainbridge said. “But with partners like HomeAid, you begin to feel what’s possible if we all work together in ways where corporate entities and nonprofit foundations become more effective, impactful and timely.”
For more information, contact HomeAid Northern California Executive Director Cheryl O’Connor at firstname.lastname@example.org.