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Gimme Shelter: Yachad's Blog

Forest City Enterprises Unites with Yachad

Over 40 Forest City Enterprises employees took a break from their everyday jobs to be heroes to two DC families for a day.  Forest City Enterprises, a real estate management and development firm, showed great commitment to their community by not only mobilizing their employees to volunteer with Yachad, but also by sponsoring a single family home through Yachad’s Neighbor to Neighbor Initiative*.

The group was split between two homes, both in DC’s southern quadrants near Nationals Stadium, an area in which the company has several development projects currently happening.  About 20 volunteers worked on The Hickman’s home and the other 20 worked on the Jones’s home.  Both the Hickman and the Jones families worked side-by-side with the volunteers, in the true Yachad spirit.

The volunteers completed far more than Yachad had planned for them to complete!  Drywall repairs, painting, floor staining, carpentry and trash hauling kept them busy all day, despite the scorching temperatures.

When the volunteers left, Yachad’s Program Director, Kendra Rubinfeld got a call from Mrs. Hickman who was singing the volunteers’ praises.  Mrs. Jones also called the Yachad offices and left a message of complete gratitude.

A Bit About the Families Assisted:


The Hickmans met when they were both working at Amtrak.  They purchased their house together when they were both gainfully employed, 12 years ago.  Since then, Mr. Hickman fell ill and during this time in the hospital had to have his foot amputated.  He currently uses a crutch or a wheelchair to get around and can no longer work.  Despite efforts to keep up their home, with their limited income and heavy medical bills, the Hickman’s home needed repairs and accessibility modifications.  The volunteers helped to do the drywall, painting, carpentry and floor staining.  The sponsorship funds went to help make the home safe from electrical fires (a heavy up was done), repair major plumbing issues and fix the roof.  Mr. Hickman will also be receiving a walk-in tub, thanks to funding from The National Fair Housing Alliance.


The Jones Family of Anacostia fell on hard times about 3 years ago when Mr. Jones had a bad fall and bruised his spinal cord leaving him paralyzed and unable to continue working as a DCWASA engineer or able to live an independent life within his inaccessible home.  His wife had to quit her job and become his full-time caretaker, and their children needed to grow up quickly in order to help their parents with the new lifestyle.  Through Yachad’s program, the family received a lower-level renovation to make Mr. Jones more at home in his house and allow him to lead a more accessible and independent life.  Find out more about those renovations here.  In addition, Forest City Enterprises, was able to give the family a fresh new coat of paint in a house that needed some love and care.

Photos from the day:

*The Neighbor to Neighbor Initiative offers generous donors the opportunity to underwrite the costs of a home or nonprofit facility renovation.  N2N donors can work on their own projects or Yachad can connect groups of enthusiastic volunteers to do the work-such as youth groups, civic organizations and area college students.  Sponsorships start at $10,000.

One Response to “Forest City Enterprises Unites with Yachad”

  1. […] home in Southwest DC. Yachad has had an ongoing partnership with the Hickmans, and you may remember their family’s story. Yachad Uniters had a great time finishing up painting and repairs and seeing the beautiful, […]

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