Alexandria, VA – When was the last time you helped a veteran? On Wednesday, Nov. 6, NFL Pro-Bowler DeMarcus Ware joined Rebuilding Together and Sears to make critical repairs and accessibility modifications to theU.S.VETS (United States Veterans Initiative) facility in southeast Washington, D.C. The project, supported by Rebuilding Together and the Sears Heroes at Home program, provided repairs and accessibility upgrades to support the safety and mobility of the 85 transitional living residents at the U.S.VETS Facility.
“Far too often, veterans are returning home from duty—many with service-related disabilities—to a severe lack of affordable housing that can meet their needs,” said Ware. “It’s an honor today to work alongside Rebuilding Together to give back to those who have given our country so much and ensure these veterans are living in the safe, healthy environments they need and deserve.”
Ware joined more than 30 volunteers in southeast D.C. to complete a variety of repairs across the U.S.VETS Facility. Crews replaced appliances, painted interior and exterior walls, installed new bedding and furniture, and completed a number of safety and accessibility modifications. Opened in 2014, the facility includes 30 open-plan apartments that each house three to four residents.
“I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all who rolled up their sleeves and supported us today,” said Raeford Smith, a Marine and Army Veteran. “These renovations give us all peace of mind, and let us focus on our own personal next steps. The U.S.VETS Facility means so much to all of us. These gifts will have a real and lasting impact, and make it possible for this center to serve so many more service members to come.”
About 4 million veterans across the country face serious housing issues and sometimes unhealthy living conditions.
“Everyone deserves a chance to live in a safe and healthy home. Yet, millions of veterans nationwide face serious housing accessibility and affordability challenges as they transition from military to civilian life,” said Caroline Blakely, president and CEO of Rebuilding Together. “A big part of Rebuilding Together’s work to support our veterans is focused on revitalizing the facilities and supporting the nonprofits that serve them. We’re grateful for our partnership with Sears and for all of our volunteers who support these critical efforts.”
The Sears Heroes at Home is a national program designed to raise funds and assist military families in need by providing critical home repairs, improvements and modifications. Since its inception in May 2007, the program has raised more than $25 million to support Rebuilding Together’s work with veterans.
“Veteran’s Day is right around the corner and what better way to honor these men and women than to provide them with a safe and comfortable place to live,” said Katharine Dixon, President and CEO of Rebuilding Together DC-Alexandria. “We’re thankful for our partnership with Sears and DeMarcus, and grateful to all the volunteers who showed up to make of difference in the lives of our deserving veterans.”
Mark Micol, a Sears market leader, said that veterans deserve the opportunity to live, learn, work, thrive, and age in a safe place.
“While we can never fully repay our veterans for the sacrifices they have made to protect our country, the work done today will have a lasting impact for these residents, restoring pride, dignity and hope at a time when our nation needs it most,” Micol said. “Thanks to this partnership with Rebuilding Together, we’re able to put the funds raised through the Sears Heroes at Homes program to work for good.”