NEFAR Charitable Foundation Sponsors Daniel Renovation
On Sept. 15, 2014, approximately 100 NEFAR Realtor and Affiliate members, staff and friends came together to create hope for homeless youth by renovating the 25 year old Daniel’s Independent Living Village in Jacksonville, Florida. Funding for this project was through the generosity of our corporate community, NEFAR Realtor members and friends.
NEFAR Charitable raised approximately $25,000 to accomplish this project. Over 900+ man hours of labor was utilized the day of the event. The Independent Living Facility provides homeless or abandoned 16 to 21 year children a safe haven in the Daniel Project Prepare Program, There are 12 apartments in the Independent Living Village, where they get life-skills education to become independent adults. The program mandates that they must stay in school, work a job, and do community service while also attending the independent-living courses.
They have an onsite counselor to review their progress daily and about 75 homeless youth go through the program each year. There had been no renovation of this Daniel facility in the last 25 years. So, the challenge was set for NEFAR to completely renovate the 12 apartments in one day, which provides the least interruption for the children onsite. A date was set and the behind the scenes work began of coordinating funding, new appliances and new furniture being ordered, along with paint and cleaning supplies all coordinated for the arrival on the day of the event. Additional coordination with St Johns’ Housing Partnership on overseeing the painting and Haven Hospice Attic Store on pickup of the old furniture, beds etc.
The team started the morning of September 15 by removing all furniture and donating it to the Haven Hospice Attic Store in Orange Park. They brought a box truck donated by NEFAR Charitable to pick up appliances and furniture. Then each unit was totally cleaned and prepped for painting. Once the teams completed the painting, they reassembled the units with new appliances and furniture along with linens, shower curtains, etc. Haven Hospice Attic Store provided vouchers for each of the kids to purchase items that would personalize their unit.
The teams did an outstanding job on this project and Daniel and the kids were amazed at the transformation and the excitement it created within their organization. Project Prepare director Shelly Davalos said this group has spent months preparing for the renovation and it is “amazing” what they are doing to help a homeless population that is growing. “It is hard to say thank you the way you feel it because there are just not words,” Davalos said.
“They picked my program out of all the places and it is a great way to celebrate our 130th anniversary by revitalizing one of our important programs.” She said she is a firm believer that “when you give kids a nice place to feel good about, they behave accordingly.” NEFAR Charitable was very proud of this community project and the results accomplished to provide a new home for the kids.