Company donates labor, supplies toward new vets house

Published 9:00 pm Monday, July 3, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The effort to renovate a house in Albert Lea for homeless veterans and veterans struggling with addictions took a big step forward Monday thanks to the efforts of one local business.

Home Solutions Midwest of Albert Lea owner Steve Field said he had heard about the effort spearheaded by Kevin Chapman of The Chapman House Foundation earlier this year from a friend in Rochester who Chapman had reached out to and referred to him. The foundation earlier this year purchased the house, at 604 Giles Place, from the city to renovate into a home for veterans. The property was previously the site of a fire, and the city cleared the fire debris and took the house down to the studs.

The foundation has previously done similar work in Texas and North Carolina and chose Albert Lea as its first city in Minnesota to expand its projects for veterans.

Email newsletter signup

Field said he called Chapman back in February and started talking about how the company could help in the effort. The company has a committee called Window of Opportunity, which meets monthly and looks for ways to give back.

“We try to figure out how we can help, what we can do,” Field said. “It’s our goal to keep giving back to the community.”

With that goal in mind, the company decided to jump on board with the project. Home Solutions has three veterans who work there and all of the employees have been connected in some way or another with someone who has served.

The company donated all of the labor and supplies to install nine Renewal by Andersen windows, two entry doors and all of the gutters for the house, and it will install downspouts once the siding is put on.

Field said 28 employees participated in the effort to install the new windows, doors and gutters. The crew started with a team meeting at 7 a.m. and then headed over to the site by 7:30 a.m. He anticipated they would be done with the work by noon.

Chapman was thankful for the generosity of the company, particularly around the Fourth of July holiday.

“For a company this size, everybody comes — that in itself is heroic, generous,” he said.

Other work still to be completed at the house through other contractors includes all of the interior work, as well as siding on the exterior.

When the house is complete, it will house three veterans. Chapman is working with the city on also purchasing another home, noting there is a growing waiting list that is started at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs.