Great group effort revamps veteran’s venue


When it comes to strength in numbers, it might be hard to top the group volunteer effort taking place at the Veterans Resource Program at 934 Maine Ave. in Richmond. In an endeavor that reached a crescendo on July 15 and wraps on July 29, nearly 40 tradesmen from various local labor unions are stepping up to breathe new life into the old Victorian structure.

While the undertaking is being overseen by Rebuilding Together— East Bay-North Chapter — there is plenty of credit to go around for a project that is improving nearly every aspect of the vital venue. Sears and its Heroes at Home campaign provided a grant, and a virtual cavalry of skilled tradesmen have been on hand providing plenty of expertise and elbow grease.

Among the contractors and unions represented by the numerous volunteers giving their time were Cherne Contracting Corporation, United Association Local 342 (Plumbers & Pipefitters), Carpenters Local 152, and Laborers Local 324. Volunteers from the Chevron Richmond Refinery and Channel Lumber also chipped in to help with the hard work—with the lumber company donating some much-needed materials.

Mike Mahoney, a retired tradesman from Laborers Local 342, was also a key force in the undertaking and has volunteered his time with numerous other worthwhile Richmond causes over the years.

Ed Leahy, a program manager with Rebuilding Together, also gave kudos to Home Depot for donating substantial resources, and said his organization typically works on approximately 25 homes over the course of the year, mostly in Richmond, Berkeley and Emeryville. Rebuilding Together is a national organization that focuses on providing free home repair and renovation support for the homeless, elderly and veterans—as well as for nonprofit facilities.

The Veterans Resource Program provides a safe living environment and other programs for veterans who are seeking stability. The facility contains sleeping quarters for about eight individuals. The final step in its upgrade will take place on July 29, when the facility is given a fresh coat of paint.


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