Tuesday November 12, 2019 was a special day for one deserving veteran and his family. US Marine Combat Veteran Sean, and his wife Nicole, were beaming with excitement on Tuesday as they walked through the brand new, ranch style home in Medford. Finally, each of their three children will have a room to call their own, while the energy efficient home will keep everyone warm through winter.
Beacon House CEO Frank Amalfitano and board member John Yancigay were joined by NYS Assemblyman Steve Stern, State Senator Phil Boyle, County Legislator Susan Berland and community partner United Way of Long Island’s President & CEO Theresa A. Regnante. Also in attendance were Tom Ronayne, director of Suffolk County Veterans Services and [find out the name of the guy who drove all the way from Albany just to attend the event], and other representatives of Suffolk County and NYS whose agencies provided funding and assistance.
“It’s been a bumpy road for me and my family – but we never gave up,” said Sean, the US Marine Combat Veteran. “We cannot wait to move in. The kids are going to get their own rooms. My wife and I are going to have a place to call home. It’s been a long time coming.”
The four-bedroom, handicap-accessible single-family home was built on a plot of land donated by Suffolk County to United Veterans Beacon House. United Way of Long Island – including veteran students from the organization’s VetsBuild program – was chosen to construct the home.
“For Sean and his family this means having low monthly home maintenance costs, allowing them to pay for life’s necessities, like food and medicine, as well as further provide for their children,” stated Theresa A. Regnante, President & CEO of United Way of Long Island.
The home is located in a residential area, close to shopping and public transportation. Featuring a living room, eat-in-kitchen, and laundry, all plumbing, electric and HVAC is high quality, with efficient systems. The home conforms to the standards of EPA ENERGY STAR New Homes version 3.0.
“This house represents the future for Beacon House – permanent housing for once-homeless veterans and veteran families,” said Frank Amalfitano. “As an agency, we recognize the beneficial impacts permanent housing has on those who’ve endured chaotic life situations, particularly for families.”
Beacon House was chosen as one of three local recipient organizations related to the Housing our Homeless Heroes Act, sponsored by Assemblyman Steve Stern and signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo – along with subsequent legislative initiatives passed by the Suffolk County Legislature, and supported by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. Called “Maximizing Access to Available Housing,” these initiatives include the transference of county assets – in this case, real property – to non-profit organizations for redevelopment as veterans housing. Under program guidelines, no more than 30 percent of the occupant’s gross income can be paid toward rent.
New York State’s Homeless Housing and Assistance Program, administered through the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, provided funding for the demolition and construction of the new home.
Beacon House CEO, Frank Amalfitano attended TWF’s Annual Harvest Night on October 2nd, where he received a $2,000 grant to help provide veterans residents with proper sized garments. Beacon House was among 30 Long Island non-profits who received grant funding from the TWF. We want to thank them for their continued support.
Tuesday, July 2nd, we kicked off 4th of July week with the United Veterans Beacon House Annual Independence Day BBQ. More than 100 people gathered together to enjoy an afternoon of great food and fun in celebration of the veterans we serve.
There were Beacon House supporters on hand to share in the festivities, including local elected officials, board trustees, community partners, supporters, and staff members. We were honored to have the very talented Suffolk County Legislator Tom Cilmi on hand to entertain our veterans singing classics like “take a load off Annie” and “horse with no name.” It was beautiful to see so many community members on hand to help serve, chat with, and support the men and women in our programs. Together we served over 75 veteran residents and several community members in need.
GEICO collected 2000 lbs. of toiletries for the veterans we serve…. Thanks a ton GEICO!
GEICO participated in the 2018 United Way of Long Island initiative Mission United Veterans Supply Drive in support of veterans in crisis on Long Island. Their efforts resulted in a ton of support for our veterans.. literally! They collected so much that we needed a box truck to transport it to our headquarters
Some of the GEICO team, along with our good friends at United Way of Long Island stopped by to deliver some of the donations and meet with the men and women who will benefit from their efforts. Thank you GEICO!
Zero Energy Home
The partnership of United Veterans Beacon House and United Way of Long Island has resulted in the construction of a U.S. Department of Energy award-winning, high performance Zero Energy Home
The Unique Feature
The unique feature of this two-story, five-bedroom home is that is was built by veterans for veterans… the builders who constructed this home include Beacon House veterans enrolled in the United Way’s VetsBuild program. The program provided the training for our veterans, leading to their participation in building the high-performance home so they can enter the building industry as skilled workers.
A Model Showcase
The home is a model showcase with zero-energy features. These energy efficient and solar features have resulted in the saving of utility costs because the home is designed to replace the energy it uses.
Our veterans deserve to live in a safe, comfortable and healthy home. Our homeless veterans moved into this home in the summer of 2017. They are on the pathway to living independently with sustainable employment.