It was a cold, drizzling morning and I was about to spend the day outside getting dirty and very damp, but I didn’t mind, as it’s not every day that I get to trade in my desk for some power tools! In partnership with the Home Builder Foundation, TRI Pointe Homes assembled a team of about 10 volunteers to reconstruct an accessibility ramp for Hope House, and I got to be part of this team!
The Home Builders Foundation (HBF) is a metro-Denver based nonprofit that modifies homes to make them accessible so that individuals living with a disability can live safe, independent lives. I’ve been involved in a couple of ramp builds with the HBF and each one has a unique story behind it. It’s a humbling moment when you realize how big of an impact these modifications have on the individuals lives and how accessibility and independence can sometimes be taken for granted by some who haven’t experienced living with a disability first hand.
Like the others, the ramp at Hope House has its own unique story. Over the past 14 years, the original ramp saw the soles of many shoes and the rubber of many wheels. Many teen moms carried their newborn babies up this ramp and pushed their strollers with young children. This ramp provided much-needed accessibility, but for the teen moms, it was also a path towards shelter, support and ultimately self-sufficiency.
“We are thrilled that Home Builders Foundation is partnering with TRI Pointe Homes to replace the ramp into our Residential home,” said Lisa Steven, Founder & Executive Director of Hope House. “With so many teen moms coming in with their little ones in strollers and our elderly volunteers and visitors who need to access the house, the ramp will be used all the time and will keep everyone safe. It’s also a full-circle blessing as Home Builders Foundation helped us build our original ramp in 2005!”
I took a break from the power tools to take a tour of Hope House’s community center, where they provide free self-sufficiency programs to teen moms across the Denver area. They also have a residential program which provides a safe, stable home to teen moms experiencing homelessness or an unsafe environment. While I was on the tour I was suddenly overwhelmed by all the employees, volunteer hours and financial contributions that were made by people who believe in this cause and believe in these teen moms, it’s pretty amazing.
I ventured back out into the chilly, damp afternoon air to help our amazing building crew, consisting of employees from TRI Pointe Homes, TRI Pointe Connect as well as VanDyk Construction (one of TRI Pointe’s valued trade partners). Painting, cutting material, drilling deck screws, securing handrails and spindles are all very important tasks that the rest of us worked hard on but we couldn’t have done it without the framing expertise of the VanDyk team. They made sure the structure of the deck was cut, built and assembled appropriately for stability and safety.
“Thank you to Home Builder Foundation, VanDyk Construction (and) Thoutt and Sons Concrete, for their donation of time and material, and again TRI Pointe Homes for letting us come build this ramp,” said Drew Johnson, TRI Pointe Homes Area Manager.
Giving back to the community is a core value for TRI Pointe Homes and employee volunteer days are highly encouraged. As a company, TRI Pointe Homes supports many local organizations like Home Builders Foundation, SafeHouse Denver and HomeAid Colorado. In addition, as an employee benefit, TRI Pointe provides every employee with 16 hours of paid time off to participate in volunteer work.
“It’s pretty awesome that TRI Pointe is willing to give back and willing to give us time off to come out and do this!” said David Seitler, TRI Pointe Homes Customer Care Representative.
We all have worthy causes that we want to support and TRI Pointe provides the opportunity for us to give time and attention to the organizations and that we are passionate about. And I’m sure you can all tell, this one is definitely one of mine!
Stephanie Graham, TRI Pointe Homes Digital Media Manager