Last month, nearly 100 people gathered under the pavilion at High Prairie Park at the Painted Prairie community in northeast Denver. They were there to learn more about the 2022 Inspiration House, a collaboration between KB Home, a Denver area homebuilder, and its trade partners, whose donations or discounted services and materials significantly reduce the cost of the home build. The proceeds from the sale of the new home are then donated to Home Builders Foundation (HBF), a nonprofit organization that completes free home modifications year-round to help elevate the lives of individuals with disabilities.
The house being built by KB Home at Painted Prairie is the eighth Inspiration House undertaken since the program began in 2003. The previous seven homes have together raised more than $700,000, which has helped HBF complete home modifications for nearly 2,000 individuals living with physical disabilities.
Among the speakers was Chris Layne, Miss Wheelchair Colorado 2020–21. Layne, a former nurse who was paralyzed while hiking in Clear Creek Canyon, shared the importance of the work done by HBF. After undergoing months of rehabilitation and adjusting to life in a wheelchair, Layne experienced true anxiety when she learned she was about to be discharged from Craig Hospital. Picturing the steps that led into the home that she’d lived in for more than 20 years and the second-floor bathroom, Layne was concerned that she’d never be able to live independently again. Fortunately, her family contacted HBF, who built ramps leading into the house, installed a stair lift, replaced flooring and created an accessible bathroom so that the home was ready for Layne when she was discharged. Layne explained how the modifications elevated every aspect of her life, saying, “With Home Builders Foundation allowing me to get that independence with my disability, I am able to do so much. I look at it as not what I can’t do, but what I can still do with my independence and my life.”
Randy Carpenter, President of KB Home’s Colorado division, has been involved with HBF for years and shared that being the sponsoring homebuilder for the 2022 Inspiration House is the perfect fit for the company’s values.
“Through our KB Cares program, we strive to invest in the communities where we build, work and live. We believe that we can drive change and have a positive impact on the lives of others,” stated Carpenter. “Last year, we donated more than $1 million, and our employees volunteered over 1,200 hours in communities across the country. We are proud to partner with HBF and lead the efforts to make a real difference for individuals and families living with long-term disabilities.”
The 2022 Inspiration House, which has already been sold, is expected to be completed in late fall. The new home blends attractive design features and includes three bedrooms, a loft, spacious den and large great room that flows seamlessly into the open kitchen. The 2,300-square-foot, two-story home sits on a corner homesite and offers breathtaking mountain views.
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As with all KB homes, the Inspiration House will be ENERGY STAR® certified and include WaterSense® labeled fixtures, which will help to deliver significant savings on utility bills. Additionally, the home will be designed to deliver an enhanced indoor environment and include high-performance ventilation systems, low- or zero-VOC products and other features guided by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Indoor airPLUS standards.
During the gathering, the Developers of Painted Prairie generously announced that they would be donating the entire cost of the homesite to the 2022 Inspiration House. Other trade partners in attendance eagerly joined in; to date, more than 20 partners have already signed on to donate or discount their labor and/or materials for this year’s Inspiration House.
Dave Highfield, Principal of Fortress Framing, announced his company’s commitment and encouraged others to join by saying, “Because we’re all in this together, our donations and contributions multiply. By the end of the project, we’re not just helping one family, we’re helping scores of families living with a disability.”
HBF has seen a significant rise in demand as more people with long-term physical disabilities are requesting services. The funds raised from this year’s Inspiration House will help HBF complete an estimated 280 projects this year — all of which will enable individuals with disabilities to live more comfortably, safely and independently.
Michelle Mendoza is account director at Gomez Howard Group. She can be reached at [email protected].