News & Insights

Coming Together as a Team to Transform a Shelter into a Home

“Now, survivors are coming to a place that feels like a home rather than a shelter to help them during their recovery.” – Nathan MacDonald, director of development and communications at Family Violence Project

Across our projects, one thing always remains constant: we aim to build and create places that drive deeper connections within communities. Recently, our Portland team worked on a project at Family Violence Project (FVP) in Maine, an organization dedicated to ending domestic violence. FVP offers support to abuse victims and also has two shelters for those seeking help and who need a safe place to stay. One of the shelters was in desperate need of an upgrade and general maintenance improvements. To help FVP, Consigli and a team of subcontractors assessed the shelter and committed to doing a complete renovation of the shelter. The main goal was to make this space feel more like a home and less like a shelter.

Like many mission-based organizations, FVP relies heavily on donor support and funding, which means managing a tight budget in order to offer its services. The shelter was a 100-year-old house with six bedrooms converted into efficiency apartments and the front entrance had an unsafe ramp largely used by mothers with strollers. The flooring needed to be replaced, there were plumbing issues throughout, and there were overall general maintenance issues that needed to be addressed. Further, this project was also unlike others in that it was critical to keep the anonymity of FVP’s clients in order to keep them safe. The discretion of all parties involved was crucial to not reveal the identities of the women and children at the center.

This renovation would not have been possible without the incredible support of our team of subcontractors who dedicated their time and materials to do the necessary repairs. Johnson and Jordan upgraded the plumbing in the kitchen and all the bathrooms which included the installation of a new shower and water heater that supported the entire house. Ace Painting painted every wall, trim, and surface of the house that needed a fresh coat and Paul White Tile installed new flooring in the entire home. To ensure that the children had ample space to run and play the team did an entire cleanup of the front and back yards with the help of Atlantic Landscaping providing the mulch and Hammond Lumber donating all the materials to update the porches to include outdoor seating.

In just six short weeks, the Family Violence Project shelter is now an inviting space for any domestic violence survivors who needs a safe place to heal and recover. When we gathered at FVP’s newly renovated shelter to celebrate the opening, we were reminded about what it means to be part of a business that values relationship-building. The significance of this project was not about how much time and materials went into this renovation. It was about how a team came together to create spaces where all communities can thrive. We are grateful to the Family Violence Project for the work they do and for the residents in sharing their stories with us.