ALEXANDRIA, VA–Good Shepherd Housing, an affordable housing program in Alexandria, received a grant from Dominion Energy’s Energy Share program to install energy efficient appliances and amenities in forty of their community apartments.
Peggy Fox, Media and Community Relations Manager at Dominion Energy, says of this partnership, “We support our communities. Grants help organizations in housing. This is a way to help on a greater scale, a different way to help, a direct way to help.”
Formed in 1973, Good Shepherd now owns 16 buildings, 200 total units, of affordable apartment residences.
Forty of those apartments are being renovated with energy efficient appliances with the help of Dominion Energy.
For this project, Good Shepherd will utilize the Dominion Energy grant to:
Replace HVAC systems
Install energy star windows and LED lighting
Insulate around duct-work
In the Good Shepherd community, a two-bedroom apartment is rented out for $1200 a month, with Good Shepherd covering all utility costs. These energy efficiency upgrades will not only decrease utility costs for Good Shepherd, but will also improve apartment quality for residents.
“Reducing costs improves the quality of life for everyone,” Peggy states.
The money this energy efficient upgrade will save will allow Good Shepherd Housing to improve other aspects of the community as well.
Rodney Lusk, Lee District Supervisor, explains of the plans to expand growth opportunities for the community and its residents.
Rodney Lusk and Good Shepherd have plans to turn the Mt. Vernon Athletic Club into a community center for employment opportunities.
This facility will become a 7500 square foot employment center which will provide training in entry level technology, medical technology, and trades.
Several partners have already agreed to help with the employment training, including INOVA, NOVA Community College, and George Mason University.
“This is an incrementally unique opportunity that we and the residents are really excited about,” says Lusk.
“A lot of good changes are happening in the area,” adds Lesley Hatch, Vice President and Chief Operations Officer of Good Shepherd Housing.
A lot of good changes in good time. As winter approaches, utilities will be on full blast. Energy efficiency is key during the colder months, and Dominion Energy has granted Good Shepherd the ability to provide this key to its residents.
Kari Murphy, Director of Resource Development for Loudoun County, says of the generous grant, “It ensures a safe and healthy environment as we move into winter.”
David Levine, President and CEO of Good Shepherd Housing, says, “Residents are really thrilled.”
Focused on providing high-quality units, David says, “We have to treat them well. This is a partnership. Respect the people living there and they will respect the space.”
One resident, Lisa Jones, shares all Good Shepherd Housing has done for her, and what this renovation means.
“Everything,” she proclaims.
Lisa has been living at Good Shepherd Housing with her daughter for two years. Prior to finding a home in this community, she and her daughter were homeless.
“Homelessness has no face. As a parent, we go above and beyond for our kids. When misfortune happens, you don’t give up. I’m built for this,” Lisa explains. Just as Good Shepherd is built for bettering not only its community, but the people living in it.
“This housing program opened doors,” continues Lisa. “It got me out of my money crisis, helped me build credit, helped me with school fees.” Good Shepherd helped Lisa not only find a house, but create a home.
“When you give back, you get back,” says Lisa. “It’s a big deal to create that home.” Lisa’s is just one of many lives transformed by Good Shepherd Housing.
With the money from Dominion Energy’s grant, Good Shepherd is well equipped to continue changing the lives of others.