Fluor Cares Profile: Homes of Hope: Building Communities and Rebuilding Lives
Fluor has been a proud and active partner with Homes of Hope since 2012. Homes of Hope’s mission is to rebuild communities and individual lives through housing, economic development and job training, in alignment with Fluor’s focus area of Community and Economic Development.
Over the past six years, the Fluor Foundation has invested $140,000 in Homes of Hope to support its Men’s Development Program. The organization is also the beneficiary of the Greenville, South Carolina office’s annual Fluor Cares volunteer home build project.
“In all of our 19 years of work focused on impacting our community, we have never had a corporate partner as great as Fluor, and I mean that in every way that you can measure it,” said Don Ogalsby, chief executive officer and president, Homes of Hope.
The organization’s goal is to rebuild lives, not just houses. That goal is reflected in the lives of those families who now have safe, affordable housing, and in the lives of the more than 300 men who have graduated from its Men’s Development Program. The program, which focuses on marketable job skills, educational attainment, affordable and energy efficient housing, and cost-effective and reliable transportation, serves eight men at a time who are overcoming addictions and homelessness and have committed to the voluntary one-year residential job training and mentoring internship program. Program supervision is led by Men’s Development staff members who have graduated the program and are now full time Homes of Hope employees.
Each year, the men in the program receive more than 1,400 hours of classroom training and 6,500 hours of hands-on job training, where they receive basic construction skills and LEED® standard job training. Each participant graduates with a certification in Basic Residential Construction through Greenville Technical College's Quick Jobs program, with 35 certificates issued since 2012. One hundred percent of the men are employed by the time they graduate, with most offered employment nine months into the year-long program, and earning an average of 21 percent above a sustainable living wage.
As part of their on-the-job training, the men have built a total of 12 long-term, affordable, compact, LEED Standard (LoCAL) homes. Fluor Cares volunteers work alongside the men, helping build one to two homes a year and serving as community mentors. Fluor Cares volunteers are currently working on two new home builds with Homes of Hope, which will bring the total to nine homes built during Fluor’s partnership.
“Coming full circle, just a few weeks ago, a group of electricians came into the Community Relations area at the Greenville office to do some work, and much to our surprise, among them was a graduate from the Men’s Development Program,” said Cheryl Wiggins, senior manager, Community Affairs, Greenville. “He shared with us that he has been employed for about a year now with a local electrical company and is healthy, happy and thriving. It was an unexpected and happy reunion and is just one of the many examples of how our partnership with Homes of Hope is rebuilding communities and rebuilding lives.”
In addition to the Fluor Foundation grants and Fluor Cares volunteer support, Homes of Hope was a beneficiary of this year’s Golf for Greenville event, receiving $315,000 to purchase and renovate a building to serve as the new Homes of Hope training facility.
Fluor works to foster the economies of communities and actively assists people in achieving financial stability and prosperity. Fluor is committed to supporting programs that build quality, affordable and energy efficient low-income housing or facilities, as well as programs that create jobs or develop workforces by providing job training for adults.