The Atlanta-based home improvement giant, The Home Depot, might be more known for its signature orange aprons than charitable donations. However, since 2011, the retailer has handed out more than $65 million in donations and helped 10,000 veterans repair their homes. It has pledged to donate $80 million in home improvement grants by 2015.
Earlier this week, it announced that it would donate another $3.9 million to help address veterans’ housing needs. The money will be distributed as follows:
$1.7 million for nonprofits to repair or build 323 units of permanent supportive housing for vets with 225 serving veterans with families.
$875,000 for critical repairs and maintenance to 126 single-family homes owned by vets and their families.
$800,000 to nonprofits that provide transitional housing to 131 homeless vets.
$400,000 to an organization that offers 58 female veterans and their families permanent supportive housing.
Jake Maguire, a spokesman for the nonprofit organization Community Solutions, praised the Home Depot Foundation for being willing and dedicated to working with experienced local groups.
“I think they recognized early on they could make the biggest impact by partnering with as many organizations as they could,” he said.
Home Depot President Kelly Caffarelli said that she expects the foundation to continue working on housing problems, with a particular focus on helping veterans, as military cuts take effect.
“As long as there are veterans that need help with their housing, I think we’ll continue trying to help,” she said.
Even the sturdiest homes will need repairs and maintenance over time, and they can be quite costly. The Home Depot Foundation is working to help homeowners, especially veterans, make costly repairs that are necessary to keep homes safe. Even unseen problems, like tree roots wedging their way into cracks between basement walls and soil, causing cracks, can be destructive and expensive to repair. So the foundation’s efforts will help homeowners fix much more than a leaky faucet.
In the coming years, rising house prices and the weakened economy could make it difficult for veterans leaving the military who need a new home and a job. Christopher Ptomey, Habitat for Humanity director of federal relations said, “With the economy still struggling and housing getting to expensive levels again, we need to have a serious policy discussion to ensure we’re fulfilling our commitment to (veterans).”
While the Home Depot Foundation, despite generous funding, cannot help every veteran, it is certainly doing its part to lend a hand to those who have served and their families.