VIENNA, Va. – Oct. 23, 2017 – Shelters to Shutters (S2S), a national non-profit that transitions individuals and families from homelessness to economic self-sufficiency, today announced it has received a three-year, $130,000 grant from the Hampton Roads Community Foundation. S2S will use the grant, which is the first major foundation grant it has received, to fund the placement of individuals experiencing homelessness in onsite jobs at apartment communities across the nation and provide them with housing at the same properties at which they work.
“We could not be more honored to receive this extremely generous grant from the Hampton Roads Community Foundation. It will enable us to to transform more lives by giving those who are experiencing homelessness the hand up they deserve and to provide more apartment communities with outstanding employees in the process,” said Andy Helmer, CEO of S2S. “We have grown so much since our founding more than three years ago, and this grant will be a valuable tool in our ongoing expansion.”
The Hampton Roads Community Foundation is southeastern Virginia’s largest grant and scholarship provider. Since its founding in 1950, the regional community foundation and its donors have provided more than $250 million in grants and scholarships to improve life in southeastern Virginia.
S2S first started operating in the Hampton Roads area in 2017 through a partnership with Drucker + Falk, one of the largest property management firms in the country headquartered in Newport News, VA. In addition to Drucker & Falk, S2S currently partners with more than 20 apartment management companies – including such major industry players as AvalonBay Communities, Equity Residential and Waterton – to place people experiencing homelessness in onsite, entry-level jobs and provide them with housing at the same communities at which they work. S2S works with a number of homeless-focused non-profits to identify suitable job applicants.
“My favorite part about the job is the people. Being able to help residents and fix a problem for them is a great feeling,” said Aster, an S2S participant in the Hampton Roads area. “Being homeless strengthens you in a lot of ways because of the hardships. It makes you want to work hard; that motivation, that determination, it’s all there and all that hard work pays off in the end. I am excited about my future because now I have a career and peace of mind.”
Since its founding in 2014, S2S and its multifamily partners have moved more than 100 people out of homelessness in markets throughout the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Northeast, South and Texas. S2S focuses on the 70 percent of the homeless population who are situationally homeless due to a life-altering event such as job loss, medical or health emergency, divorce, domestic abuse or the loss of a primary income earner. These are people who want to work and return to a life of self-sufficiency but may not receive the governmental support services needed. S2S provides a win-win solution by combating homelessness while providing a pipeline of high-quality, motivated employees for the apartment industry.
About Shelters to Shutters
Shelters to Shutters is a national 501(c)(3) organization that transitions individuals and families from homelessness to economic self-sufficiency by educating and engaging the real estate industry to provide employment and housing opportunities. Across the country, Shelters to Shutters pairs leading property management professionals with individuals experiencing homelessness who are ready to work. The result is an innovative program that provides mentorships for careers in property management, along with full-time employment and housing opportunities for individuals facing homelessness and a pipeline of high quality, motivated employees for the multifamily housing industry.