Five months after a ground breaking ceremony in the rain, dozens of girls in need now have a new place to call home on the Youth For Tomorrow campus in Bristow, Va.
YFT, which helps hundreds at-risk children each year, partnered with HomeAid Northern Virginia for the second time in as many years. HomeAid Northern Virginia, based in Chantilly, Va., has a big Rolodex of builders in the area – it’s completed more than 100 construction and renovation projects to homeless shelters and supportive housing properties in its 15 years – and for this project it placed a call to Toll Brothers, which has offices in Ashburn, Va.
Toll served as builder captain of the new 5,000 sq. ft. residence, named the Brenda House, and had help from 64 trade partners that donated expertise, labor, and/or materials to the project.
“At Toll Brothers, we know that a community is made up of more than houses, and that it is only as strong as the people in it, said Toll Brothers Regional President Bill Gilligan, in a release. “We believe in giving back to the community and our collaboration with HomeAid to lead the construction of the new residence for Youth For Tomorrow is a meaningful opportunity for us to make a difference. We’re proud to play this role in providing a safe haven of hope for the young women who will be calling it home.”
Homeless and runaway youth are at a higher risk for physical abuse, sexual exploitation, substance abuse, and death, according to YFT, and many have dropped out or will drop out of school.
Approximately 75% of runaways in the U.S. are female, and the new home was specifically constructed to serve as a girls’ residence. The new facility will enable YFT to expand its residential services to up to 36 more girls age 11 to 17 each year – girls who are often pregnant, young mothers, homeless, runaways or survivors of sex trafficking.
Former Washington Redskins head coach and NFL Hall of Fame inductee Joe Gibbs founded Youth For Tomorrow 31 years ago. “Many of the girls at Youth For Tomorrow arrive only with the hope that they can find a safe space to rebuild their lives,” said Gibbs, in a release. “Many have lived through physical or sexual abuse. All have faced challenges no child should face. With the dedicated girls’ homes on campus, our comprehensive support services and our school, we can enable these girls to heal and rebuild.”
In addition to providing residential and outpatient services, YFT also offers its own nationally accredited secondary school for the at-risk youth it serves.
The new home was a $630,000 investment. HomeAid, Toll Brothers, and trade partners donated 61% of the total cost while philanthropist Bob Wiser donated the remaining funds for this, the sixth girls’ home in YFT’s “Wiser Village” campus.
HomeAid Northern Virginia, with help from builder captain Reston, Va.-based Stanley Martin Homes, built a similar home for YFT that opened last December. This was Toll’s first home for YFT, but it’s no stranger to HomeAid Northern Virginia – this is its fourth project in conjunction with the organization.
YFT currently serves more than 500 boys and girls on its 215-acre campus.
“HomeAid, Toll Brothers and its network of trade partners have provided an amazing gift to the children and students in our care, said Dr. Gary Jones, CEO of YFT, in a release. “This was not just a construction project, it was a home building project in the truest sense of the word – providing a safe, stable and secure place for girls coming out of hardship to grow and rebuild. This home will help nurture the spirits of hundreds and hundreds of girls here at Youth for Tomorrow over the years ahead.”