Today, The Home Depot® Foundation announced a pledge of $30 million over three years to address veterans' housing issues. The Foundation's financial commitment will be amplified by associates from The Home Depot, who will volunteer their time and home improvement know-how skills to projects across the country.
"Our nation's veterans have made great sacrifices for our country, yet the statistics show that many of them face severe housing needs due to disability, lack of affordable housing and unemployment," said Frank Blake, chairman and CEO, The Home Depot. "Their plight is very personal to all Home Depot associates because we have more than 35,000 veterans who work for us and an estimated 1,500 associates serving on active duty at any given time."
The Foundation's initiative will kick off immediately by providing a total of $3.1 million to Fisher House Foundation, The Mission Continues and Volunteers of America to repair and rehabilitate facilities and homes serving veterans of all ages. In addition to funding, each of these partnerships will be supported by Team Depot, the Company's associate-led volunteer force.
Fisher House Foundation provides comfort houses for the families of veteran and active duty military patients receiving medical care at major military and Veterans Affairs medical centers. The Home Depot Foundation is providing a one-year $500,000 grant to repair and enhance many of the organization's 54 existing houses. Where possible, Team Depot volunteers will complete the work, ranging from making bathrooms handicapped accessible, to painting and landscaping.
"Our partnership with The Home Depot Foundation will allow Fisher Houses across the country to partner with skilled volunteers from local Home Depot stores to refresh and enhance our homes," said Ken Fisher, CEO of Fisher House Foundation. "Since we began serving our nation's military families and wounded warriors, over 142,000 families have been guests in our homes. We are grateful to The Home Depot Foundation for their generous support."
Volunteers of America is one of the largest nonprofit providers of affordable housing in the U.S., with a focus specifically on veterans, low-income families with children, the disabled and senior citizens. The Home Depot Foundation is providing a three-year $1.8 million grant to repair and rehab properties where veterans and their families live. First-year projects include the rehabilitation of residential facilities in Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles and Miami, serving approximately 275 disabled and/or homeless veterans and their families at any given time. Each project will include numerous opportunities for Team Depot volunteers to get involved as well.
"Our organization has served the needs of veterans for more than 60 years," said Volunteers of America National President Mike King. "We feel a deep responsibility to serve those who have served our country, and understand that safe, decent housing is the foundation for a successful life. Our partnership with The Home Depot Foundation allows us to address both the quality and the quantity of our veterans housing. It's the factor that turns affordable housing into homes, and makes the difference between simply keeping people alive and giving them a life."
The Mission Continues provides opportunities for returning veterans to serve as citizen leaders by leading volunteer projects in their communities or by completing fellowships with nonprofit organizations. Along with a $1.05 million grant from The Home Depot Foundation, Team Depot will work with volunteers from The Mission Continues to complete more than 100 community projects during 2011. In addition, a disabled veteran will be placed at The Home Depot Foundation for a six-month fellowship to assist with project management for all volunteer projects.
"Our veterans are an asset. We appreciate that The Home Depot realizes the value that these dedicated men and women bring to our country, even after their time in uniform," said Eric Greitens, CEO of The Mission Continues. "We are excited to bring Mission Continues volunteers and Team Depot members together in service to build stronger communities."
The Foundation will continue to evaluate and add new partnerships to address veterans' housing issues. For more information about The Home Depot Foundation's veterans' initiative, please visit www.homedepotfoundation.org/veterans.
Challenges Facing Veterans
In 2010, over 20,000 military members and veterans faced foreclosure, the highest number since 2003. (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs)
Veterans comprise eight percent of the general population, yet they form 16 percent of the homeless ranks. (US Department of Housing and Urban Development/ US Department of Veterans Affairs)
An estimated 136,334 veterans spent at least one night in a homeless shelter or transitional housing program during 2009. (US Department of Housing and Urban Development/ US Department of Veterans Affairs)
About The Home Depot and Veterans
The Home Depot has a longstanding commitment to the military and veteran communities:
The Home Depot has been recognized as one of the top ten military employers by The Department of Defense, GI Jobs Magazine and Military Spouse Magazine. The Company routinely participates in hiring fairs designed specifically to recruit military veterans. For a current list of military hiring fairs, please visit careers.homedepot.com.edgesuite.net/event-calendar/event-calendar.html.
When an associate or an associate's spouse is moved within the U.S. due to military service, the Company attempts to place the associate in a nearby store to limit any disruption in employment.
The Company offers a 10 percent discount, up to a $500 maximum, to all active, reserve, retired or disabled veterans and their family members with a valid military ID. All other military veterans will qualify for a 10 percent discount during normal patriotic holidays (e.g., Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Independence Day).
About The Home Depot Foundation - The Home Depot Foundation donates funds and volunteer hours to non-profit organizations to help make homes more affordable and comfortable through necessary repairs and modifications. In 2011, the Foundation announced a special focus on serving veterans with a three-year, $30 million initiative to address their critical housing needs.
Since its formation in 2002, The Home Depot Foundation has granted more than $270 million to nonprofit organizations improving homes and lives in local communities. To learn more and see our associates in action, visit www.homedepotfoundation.org, follow us on Twitter @homedepotfdn, and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/homedepotfoundation