John Gonsalves started this organization in 2004 after watching a news report of a severely injured veteran who had returned from Iraq. He thought to himself "What now, what happens to this person now?". He searched for an organization that he assumed was already in place where he could donate his building expertise for a few weeks. When he found out that none existed and started Homes for Our Troops (HFOT) and registered it as a national non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)(3) organization. HFOT is committed to helping those who have selflessly given to our country and have returned home with serious disabilities and injuries since September 11, 2001. They feel it is their duty and an honor honor to assist severely injured Veterans and their immediate families. This they accomplish by donations of money, building materials and professional labor and to coordinate the process of building a home that provides maximum freedom of movement and the ability to live more independently. Most of the projects they undertake are the building of new homes. In rare cases, especially in areas with very high land costs, it is more cost effective to buy an existing home and renovate it with all the special modifications needed as dictated by the particular disabilities and injuries of the veteran. Eligible veterans or service member may receive a Veterans Administration Specially Adapted Housing Grant up to a maximum amount of $63,780. HFOT assistance covers all costs over and above this grant to ensure that the home is provided at no cost to the recipient. For a list of completed and current home building/home adaptation projects refer to http://www.homesforourtroops.org/site/PageServer?pagename=Homes
Charity Navigator, one of the premiere charity rating agencies in the country, has reviewed HFOT’s finances and awarded them with its highest rating of 4 stars. Charity Navigator analyzes the most recent four years of a charity's finances in areas such as percent of funds spent directly on programs, overhead costs and other important factors that measure if a charity is prudently managing the funds entrusted in the hands of a charity. HFOT received a score of 68.96 out of a possible 70 points – a grade of 98.5%. The Charity Watch, one of the country’s premier charity watchdog organizations, has included HFOT in their "Top-Rated Veterans & Military Charities" listing. Only 7 of the 40 Veterans charities rated by AIP are included in the Top-Rated Category. Because of their stringent review process, the AIP is described as "the pit bull of watchdogs" by the New York Times. Newsweek said "It's the toughest of the bunch. Because it disregards certain, potentially suspect, expenses and donations, it fails some nonprofits that the other raters. For more info on Homes for Our Troops refer to http://www.homesforourtroops.org or contact them via email firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: 1- 508-823-3300, or visit their office at 6 Main Street, Taunton, MA. [Source: http://www.homesforourtroops.org Jun 2012 ++]
The Homes for Our Troops (HFOT) organization recently added a “Home Award Program” that will allow them to provide the "American Dream" of home ownership to a broader population of our nation's wounded and injured Veterans and to the spouses of our fallen service members, completely mortgage-free. HFOT will soon begin receiving donations of homes that are currently owned by national banks. These top-quality homes are in move-in condition and located throughout the country. The banks want to donate these homes to HFOT for Veterans and their families, mortgage-free! HFOT would like to help as many applicants as possible and need your help in disseminating this word. Basic Qualification Criteria is:
You are a Veteran that sustained injuries during combat or while deployed in support of combat operations after September 11, 2001.
You are Widow/Widower or dependent of a service member due to injuries sustained in combat or while deployed in support of combat operations after September 11, 2001.
You plan to make your new "HFOT Home Award" home your primary residence for a minimum of three years.
You accept the responsibility of home ownership and have the resources to maintain a home. (ongoing maintenance and upkeep, taxes, utilities etc.)
Applications are being accepted now. Potential Home Award Candidates need to fill out the open application at http://www.homesforourtroops.org/site/Survey?SURVEY_ID=5641&ACTION_REQUIRED=URI_ACTION_USER_REQUESTS and provide the required documentation to start the application process. The open application gives applicants the opportunity to become pre-qualified for a "Home Award Program" home by the selection committee at no cost to the applicant. When HFOT receives notification from their banking partners that a home becomes available that fits the criteria specified in an application, they will send an email notification to the applicant with all the information on the home(s). Applicants will then have seven (7) calendar days to notify HFOT if they want one of the homes on the list. If you have questions about this program refer to http://www.homesforourtroops.org/homeaward or to contact HFOT at HAP@homesforourtroops.org. [Source: CFLNewsChat Michael Isam article 7 Jun 2012 ++]