When Kip Orman, then CEO of Alpine Lumber, sat down with some members from the Home Builders Association of Metro Denver in the early 90s to discuss ways in which they could give back to the community, they had no idea how big of an impact they would ultimately have. That conversation paved the path for the creation of Home Builders Foundation (HBF), a nonprofit dedicated to elevating the lives of those with physical disabilities by creating home modifications that empower greater access, reinforce safety and equip clients to tackle everyday tasks. When HBF was formed in 1993, there was no assistance application or formal processes – just the intent for a group of home builders, tradespeople and suppliers to help where they could. The first projects undertaken by HBF were for survivors of the Columbine High School shooting.
Hamid Taha, Alpine Lumber’s current President who served on the HBF Board from 2003-2006 and again from 2011-2016, first learned about the nonprofit when he was a truck driver for Alpine. “Alpine is 100% employee-owned and has always supported nonprofits and projects that are important to its employees and the markets we serve,” Taha explained. “What was – and still is – unique about HBF is the ability to connect directly with the person for whom you are doing the work and see the impact that your contribution will have on their life.” That connection is the reason why Alpine Lumber employees have volunteered on nearly 50 modification projects, consistently served on the board for the past 30 years, donated materials annually for Blitz Build and individual client projects and signed on as the presenting sponsor of HBF’s annual celebration and other events.
During the past three decades, HBF has evolved into a full-scale nonprofit organization, with a staff of six, a clearly defined referral process and efficient operations. The organization has completed home modifications for more than 2,000 clients, which – because each modification on average benefits an additional three to four family members, loved ones and caregivers – have elevated the lives of nearly 8,000 individuals in the greater Denver area. Beth Forbes, HBF’s executive director for the past 12 years, credits the building industry with the nonprofit’s growth and success, saying, “We couldn’t do what we do without the leadership, talents and generosity of all our supporters.”
Beyond the heartwarming aspect of knowing that you’ve helped someone, Taha believes that being involved with HBF is a good business decision. Due to the nonprofit’s industry focus, the people who come together at a client’s home or at an HBF event or meeting are likely to be current or future customers, partners or suppliers. “You get to know people at all levels and it’s just really rewarding to set aside differences and competition and come together for a common good,” says Taha.
As HBF enters its 30th year, the nonprofit is poised to help even more people living with physical disabilities in the Denver area. The city’s aging population and the long-term impacts of the pandemic have increased the number of applications HBF receives each year. To learn more about Home Builders Foundation, visit www.hbfdenver.org.