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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Homes For Our Troops, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Homeless & Housing, Housing & Shelter, Housing Development, Construction & Management

Mission: Homes For Our Troops (HFOT) is a publicly funded 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that builds and donates specially adapted custom homes nationwide for severely injured post – 9/11 Veterans, to enable them to rebuild their lives. Most of these Veterans have sustained injuries including multiple limb amputations, partial or full paralysis, and/or severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). These homes restore some of the freedom and independence our Veterans sacrificed while defending our country, and enable them to focus on their family, recovery, and rebuilding their lives. Since its inception in 2004, nearly 90 cents of every dollar spent has gone directly to our program services for Veterans. HFOT builds these homes where the Veteran chooses to live, and continues its relationship with the Veterans after home delivery to assist them with rebuilding their lives.

Results: Since 2004, HFOT has built nearly 300 specially adapted custom homes nationwide. Our goal is to build a home for every Veteran who qualifies for one of our specially adapted custom homes. HFOT builds these homes as a departure point for these Veterans to rebuild their lives, and once again become highly productive members of society. Despite their life-altering injuries, many of our Veterans have embarked on new careers, completed their college degrees, or started families. Empowered by the freedom a specially adapted custom home brings, these Veterans can now focus on their recovery and returning to their life’s work of serving others. Many have embraced their roles as motivational speakers, sharing their messages of persevering through tragedy with groups and classrooms around the country; others take to a national platform to promote awareness of Veteran suicide, homelessness, and PTSD.

Target demographics: severely injured, post-9/11 Veterans and their families

Geographic areas served: USA

Programs: Building and donating specially adapted custom homes nationwide for severely injured post-9/11 Veterans, to enable them to rebuild their lives.

Community Stories

36 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

Everyone at Homes For Our Troops goes above and beyond to support our veterans. They are always professional and uber-organized which makes working with the organization not only a pleasure but very easy. Several of our team members have had the chance to attend the various events and all have had nothing but praise for the organization and volunteers. HFOT does a wonderful job telling the stories of our veterans and their families putting the focus on their service and lives. If any organization deserves a 2019 Top-Rated Award it is Home For Our Troops!

Previous Stories
2

Donor

Rating: 5

As a sponsor, we could not be happier with the wonderful work Homes For Our Troops does. We have been able to meet with these brave men and woman and learn their stories and see how much Homes For Our Troops has helped them providing mortgage-free homes that have been designed for the individual's special needs that range from wheelchair ramps to pull-down cabinet accessories and from roll-in showers to wider door frames. It is a great honor for us to be work with this organization and to help our veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much.

1 Beirutvet83

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a supporter of this great organization for many years. The independence that they give severely disabled veterans by building accessible housing is life changing. I wish everyone could see the impact they have on our wounded heroes. I think one of my proudest moments was when I helped build a house for a friend of mine SPC Alex Knapp who lost both of his legs due to an IED. Unfortunately Alex passed two years after we gave him the home. Then the home was used to help another hero that lost both of his legs until they could build him a house. After that was done and he moved in the original home was vacant. I'm a disabled veteran myself but I didn't lose my leg in combat I made it through that with all of my limbs. After coming home I was hit by a drunk driver at 79 MPH on my Harley and lost my left leg above the knee. I was by Gods's good grace, eventually able to purchase the home from HFOT so they could use the money to help build another new home for another veteran. I can't begin to tell you what a difference an accessible home makes. Thank you HFOT and God Bless you all and your volunteers for helping these heroes. I also want to thank all of the corporations that have stepped up to help make these homes a reality by donating good and services as well as monetary donations. If you need a great place to make a donation this is a first class ALL AMERICAN HERO Charitable Organization.

Mac C.1

Donor

Rating: 5

Homes For Our Troops is helping Mike and Kelly Gower move into a home near Grand Rapids, Michigan. Mike was wounded in Iraq, and the fully wheelchair accessible house will help him be more productive and relaxed as a father, husband and human. The home will be debt free through private and corporate donations.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

As a proud partner of Homes for Our Troops, we at CertainTeed Roofing have had nothing but positive experiences with this fine organization. Members of our team have participated in numerous HFOT events at all levels, and each individual involved has remarked on the gratitude both given and received by HFOT staff, those volunteering or otherwise supporting, and the veterans benefitting from all of the hard work needed to fulfill HFOT's mission.

1 Paulene B.

Donor

Rating: 5

Out association, Sacramento AFSA, had the pleasure of working with HFOT building a home here in the Sacramento area. It was truly a pleasure and honor to be a part of the project. HFOT makes a big difference in so many of our veterans lives, it was an honor to help out.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I believe that Homes For Our Troops is fulfilling the implicit promise we make to our Veterans; that our nation will take care of them when they return. @90% of all funds go into providing the severely wounded veteran a fully accessible place to live. This allows them greater freedom and ease while at home, so they can focus on continuing to be a productive citizen.

I've been to a key ceremony, and I've never been prouder to be an American.

Mary457

Donor

Rating: 5

I'm a donor, a fundraiser, and I've been to a key presentation ceremony for a young veteran. This organization does amazing work with the resources they receive. They are a first-rate charity with impeccable stewardship and I am proud to support and recommend Homes for our Troops, Inc.

Elizabeth227

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am not a recipient of one of the homes, but some of my soldiers have been. If there was a score above 5 stars, you would have it. I am so appreciative of all you do for our troops. Having a home that they can be able to function better, is a real plus!!
Thank you for being there for our military.

Donor

Rating: 5

I run for Team HFOT and couldn't be provider to raise money for such an amazing organization!! It makes me so happy when people know about the organization when I talk to them because that means the word is getting out about all the amazing things Homes for Our Troops is doing!!

David374

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at two home builds with Homes for our Troops. They were both incredible experiences. They go all out to make sure that they are not only honoring the veteran receiving the house, but also to ensure they are getting a new home that is a quality product, right down to the sod laid in the yard. Outstanding folks to work with and great organization.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

While we haven't moved into our new house yet I can tell you how absolutely life changing this will be- to not have to worry about my husband falling in the shower, or getting burned trying to prepare meals. This house will allow us to be a better family because there will be no more barriers around the home. My son and I won't have to watch him struggle any longer. There will never be enough words that can fully express what this means to us. This is the light at the end of the tunnel and I can't wait to finally reach it.

1 Jenny103

Donor

Rating: 5

As a volunteer on the build for Kevin and Lauren Jaye's home, I saw first hand how incredible this non-profit is. Their ability to bring together community partners to help "bring our wounded veterans home" to an home adapted for their needs, was amazing.
We donate to Homes for Our Troops because they are so much more than what you read on paper. Yes, they do a great job with donations. Nearly every penny of our donation goes directly to building these homes. But the thing I was able to see, in person, was the dedication and passion the men and women of HFOTS bring to their mission.
There is such a need for these homes. We are proud to say we support them in that mission.

2 Larry64

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 3

The spirit and initial vision of this organization is what makes this a five-star operation. But that is lost in the back room dealings and practices of the executive management and board of directors. Management directed statements that mislead donors and supporters, such as, "Nearly 90 cents on the dollar." Truth is this statement means the spending is in the 80 percentile, but is marketed to mislead.

To spend $600,000 (or more), for remodeling, and to use corporate donations so staff can have on site shower and locker facilities, and fully equipped kitchens, is misuse!

To pay the upper management $160,000 and $120,000 per year PLUS air fare and rental cars to and from home and work twice a week, again, is wrong. The donors and supporters have no idea about the amount of wasted money being thrown away!

Finally, the sheer number of personnel turnover is staggering! Just at the upper management level, in just 12 years there have been 3 presidents, 2 executive directors, 3 CFO's, countless managers and standard employees, all under the management excuse, "well nonprofit work isn't for everyone!"

To the veterans served by this organization, God bless you and thank you for you service.

Jarrod A.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization has taken on the honorable challenge of helping veterans and their families find stability. I have had the extreme pleasure of meeting some of the Key individuals with Homes For Our Troops (HFOT) and they are 100% invested in the lives of the veteran community. I have never had such a warm welcome from strangers, by the time we exchanged hellos I already felt like I was with family. HFOT doesn't just give homes to wounded veterans, for some it's a new life, it's a fresh start, it's a new chapter for them and HFOT is there every step of the way. Homes For Our Troops isn't rebuilding lives, they're building new ones. Thank you for everything HFOT!

Cristian V.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great organization , I'm especially honored to be a part of this great group. I'm a future home recipient . Homes for our troops takes care of our military !

Kristin73

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I do video work (as an outside company) with Homes for Our Troops, and I can tell you that with them, what you see is what you get. I have seen dozens of Veterans lives changed firsthand by the work that HFOT does. Their only purpose is to serve our nation's wounded Veterans and their families and to help them re-build their lives. There is no hidden agenda. I am proud to be a part of what they are doing - even if it is only on a small scale!

2 Christopher83

Donor

Rating: 5

As a veteran I am honored to support HFOT's mission of building specialty adapted homes for America's critically injured heroes. Amazing organization!

Kathleen122

Donor

Rating: 5

I work for Whirlpool Corporation and Homes for our Troops is our key charity associated with our Veteran's Association. They do such a fantastic job of helping America's severely disabled Veteran's by providing them with an accessible home.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Homes for Our Troops is one of the most organized organizations I've worked with over the last five years at Thompson Creek Window Company. All of their representatives are very helpful, patient and really care about their partnerships in the local community. Thompson Creek Window Company looks forward to a very long and successful partnership with Homes for Our Troops!

Donor

Rating: 5

I am proud to say that Kohler Company has been a part of the Homes For Our Troops organization for the past 4 years (200+ houses) and will contribute for 2 more years. As the main contact at Kohler Co. for HFOT I can tell anyone personally that they are a great organization that do amazing things for the men and women that have served our country. HFOT also does a great job trying to make it a Win/Win for their manufacturing partners. The Account Manager that I work with is in constant contact with me and trying to leverage the partnership as much as possible.
It is very rewarding to hear stories from veterans that use our air baths to help ease their physical pain, set the temperature on the DTV prompt so they can avoid burning themselves because they cannot feel how hot the water is, or use the grab bars on the Sterling ADA bath/shower to help them bath their children. These are just a few of the things that I have heard from the veterans that have benefited from our products. They are an amazing group of people, often very modest and driven to do extraordinary things despite their challenges. If you are considering donating to a nonprofit organization please consider Homes For Our Troops.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What an amazing organization! Your website is wonderful, full of stories abou how you are making a difference. Thank you for what you are doing for our wounded heroes. You are truly making an impact on the lives of our veterans.

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

HFOT is one organization I highly recommend to donors, friends, family and colleagues because of their commitment to help and support our disabled vets. I actively support them and invite you to do the same!

3

Donor

Rating: 5

This is is one of the few charities for veterans which gives most of the money for the benefits of veterans and not for advertizing or for salaries. I was disappointed to learn that only about half of the money donated to Wounded Warriors goes for the benefit of veterans.

1 Conrad M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for two house builds here in Florida and got to meet the vets who are on the receiving end of these homes. At the recent Beimfohr build in Tampa, Sgt Austin Burchard gave a speech (written by his wife!) on what it meant for him to have this specially adapted house, with a roll in shower with a special drain so he could empty his colostomy bag. Yes he said it, but it's so true and it gives him the independence to take care of his needs as much as possible. I wish they had recorded that speech because it really brought home what this organization is working for. There are lots of veterans charities, the Charity Watch report lists 48 nonprofit organizations that provide veteran support. Of the 48 there are only 10 “A” grades, HFOT is one of the As. There are approximately 22 “F” grades, which is the lowest score. So use the Charity rating sites and KNOW where your money is going!!! That this charity is run by a former CSM of the Army, lends it incredible 'street cred'. My wife and I are now trying to organize a bike run to help raise funds in Florida.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for needy kids, animals shelters, and a multiple of other nonprofits, but nothing has been as rewarding as contributing my time and energy to Homes For Our Troops. Although my husband, myself nor my children have served in the military, as an American, I ever forever grateful to these young, volunteer heroes who keep us safe from harm. You don't have to be a construction worker to help them. Raise funds for them to provide them with the money they need for the price of a handicap house which is in the $300,000 range.

Penni S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hello, my name is Penni Salge and I am the President of the Canyon Lake Area Blue Star Mothers - TX 7. HFOT contacted us around the beginning of 2010 to see if we were interested in helping them build homes. All I can say is I love this organization and all they do for our wounded warriors. Our BSM group has now helped build 5 homes in our area, and we are looking forward to building many more.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hello my name is Jason Letterman and I would love to tell you how Homes for our troops built me an amazing house. I was at Walter Reed Army Medical Center for two years recovering after an IED explosion took both of my legs from the knee down. A represenative from homes for our troops came to walter reed and explained how homes for our troops builds houses for wounded combat vets like myself, so I applied and got approved. 1 year after being approved I got my house built in hinesville ga its everything I could possibly ask for and then some. Wide hallways, lowered down sinks and stoves, pushbutton doors to help me get in and out with my wheelchair, a roll in shower. Everything I could possibly need to make my life easier in a wheelchair they put into this house. I'd like to say thankyou again to homes for our troops for supporting our combat wounded veterans and everyone that made building my house possible.

Review from CharityNavigator

1 GiGi W.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My son was injured severely in Iraq in 2006. He spent 2 years recovering and was ready to leave the hospital. He has an above knee amputation on the left side and nerve damage in his arm. This makes getting around a regular home very difficult. His first apartment was not handicapped accessible. He uses his wheelchair when at home and wears his leg when he goes out. He cannot wear his leg for more than a few hours a day, so a handicapped home is a necessity for him. He was very frustrated not being able to cook or fit in his kitchen, not being able to shower without fear of falling, and struggling to fit his chair through the doorways that were narrow.
Homes For Our Troops built him a home in April and Kenny now has his independence once again. He doesn't worry about falling in the shower, burning himself while trying to cook on one leg, or trying to squeeze his wheel chair down a narrow hall or through a small door. He is now able to take care of himself and achieve the independence that his injury threatened to take away. The wide doorways and automatic doors make getting in the house with groceries easy. The special toilets, shower stall, and lower counter tops help Kenny to focus on what he can do and do not constantly remind him of what he cannot do.
I am grateful and thankful for Homes For Our Troops for giving my son back his life. His attitude, his demeanor, and his ability to do for himself have all improved since moving into this home. God Bless you Homes For Our Troops and may you continue to build until no more are needed!
GiGi Windsor
Mother to Sgt. Kenny Lyon, USMC injured 5-1-2006

Client Served

Rating: 5

I served as an infantry medic in the Army. In 2007 I was injured in a road side blast breaking both of my feet and legs along with my back, an arm, my jaw, and leaving me with a mild TBI hospitalzing me for one and a half years. In spring of 2008 I got in touch with Homes for our troops and they said they would build a brand new home for me with the contributions of many peoples help. Everyone involved was extremely nice and caring and have changed my life for the better in ways that I will forever be grateful for.

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

In early 2008 I was contacted by Paul Gemme and Mike Duckett of Homes for our Troops from Massachusetts. They wanted to know if I would be interested in building a home for one of their disabled veterans, Andy Robinson in Florence, New Jersey. I responded positively however I definitely had reservations.
The economy was rather weak in the home building business and I was responsible to attempt to get assistance from local sub contractors and suppliers to ease the overall burden of cost of construction. My other concern was trying to keep control on a project where I did not know some of the participants. Turned out that I was surprisingly impressed on how everything came together. Homes for our Troops appointed Mike Duckett to be my contact. He walked me through the process that they had in place and was always available to discuss any issues with me.
The project was unbelievably rewarding. The people that I met along the way were so incredibly nice and supportive. One of the best examples was the help that I received from an organization in New York know as HEART 911. Bill Keegan and John Viola, the founders, brought about 70 experienced volunteers down to help on our three day build brigade. I would not have succeeded that weekend without their help. We worked alongside of the family of the soldier as well as many local volunteers.
We had sub contractors and suppliers almost fighting over the ability to be the one selected to do the work. At the key ceremony watching Andy and his wife enter their new home was so emotional. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to be a part of this project. Congratulations to Homes for our Troops for making this possible for some of our disabled veterans, a small thank you for what they gave to us.

Charles Kojeski
Kojeski Construction

Review from CharityNavigator

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Mallard Construction Group, Inc. was honored and privliedged to be selected as the General Contractor for the Captain Butler project in Chester, MD. Working with Homes For Our Troops from the begining of the project to the climatic end, the Key Ceremony was wonderful. The organization is very well run, organized and provided all the support that a General Contractor would need to oversee such a large undertaking.

Doreen Lewis, who works for Homes For Our Troops, went above and beyond when assisting the planning and participating in the Build Brigade, Volunteer Day and the Key Ceremony. It was a pleasure to work along side with her. Mike Duckett and Paul Vespia, also from the organization, assited us in every step of the construction process from finding sub-contractors to procurring donations of material and labor. The president, John Gonsalves, and several board members and members of the organization's executive staff were present at our Key Ceremony and it gave a chance for the whole community to see why this charity is such a success: HEART!

Review from CharityNavigator

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

About 5 years ago we became familiar with Homes For Our Troops and their mission to help severely wounded soldiers by constructing a specially adapted home. I can't think of a better cause. The staff is extremely competent, professional and motivated to help these marines and soldiers. The is one of the most efficiently run organizations I have ever seen.

We hold a memorial golf tournament every year for our daughter who was a victim to the terrorist attacks on Sep 11th. HFOT has been one of the causes for the last 5 years. Our daughter was very patriotic and I know she would approve of the donations.

Review from CharityNavigator

Donor

Rating: 5

Our family became donors in 2007 as a way to show our gratitude for the immense sacrifice that our young men and women and their families make to protect our freedoms. We have had the opportunity to meet many of the troops and their families at fundraising events. I am humbled and awestruck by their strength.

I have also had the pleasure to meet John Gonsalves (President) and Tom Benoit (CFO) of HFOT. For these gentlemen, HFOT is clearly a labor of love.

We will continue to be donors as long as our troops need our help. It is the least that we as a family can do.

Review from CharityNavigator

1 Joe S.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

On of the most worthy causes I know of, wish I had more funds to donate.
Please visit their site.

Holly G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I worked on the house in Union Beach, NJ for SSGT Michael Minard and his family. Homes for Our Troops built a first class plus home for this hero and his family. Every thing they promised, they delivered. They were easy to work with and made the very difficult process of building a home with donated materials and volunteers an easy process.

The VOLUNTEER Project Manager, Jack McNaboe, was tireless leader and a wonderful example to all on the project.

In the past, I spent 20 years in the commercial construction industry, so I was aware of the excellent job they did, and the wonderful project they delivered. Their three day Build Brigade is something every person should see. My husband and I both look back on the seven month process as one of the best times of our lives.