DICKINSON CAMERON X transitional housing
In Vista, CA, we are seeing solutions. Taking the step to combat homelessness within the foster care system, Dickinson Cameron partnered with Casas De Luz – a nonprofit home building organization that has built communities for people in need in both the U.S. and Mexico. Together, DCC and Casas De Luz constructed two cottages over one weekend which is first in what will be a 30 cottage village. The village will cater specifically to the LGBTQ+ foster care recipient community.
Tom McCollum, Director of Safety, who spearheaded the campaign, explains how the it came together: “Financially we were responsible in raising $6000 per house. We challenged ourselves to raise a little bit more than $12,000 (for two). For fundraising, we were seeking people that we work with. Many of our partners that we do business with everyday came through – like Cavignac, Raken, Vergith and National Mallfront & Design. All we had to do was say what we were doing. ‘We’re building for foster kids’ and it caught like wildfire. Their responses were, ‘wow, that’s great.’ Once people understood the concept, the enthusiasm was palpable.”
In addition to fundraising, an important aspect of the effort was providing a sustainable and efficient blueprint for future builds. With or without DCC’s presence. Tom explained why that was important: “Most of the time, volunteers are available only for one weekend, and it takes 3-5 days to accomplish with volunteers. We wanted to use the talent that Dickinson Cameron offers with our construction skills and leadership to make sure we provided a template to build these cottages in two days – no more. And we were successful in building and teaching the means and methods to do that. “
More than 17 volunteers from DCC’s offices joined forces to complete the cause with an additional 50 more volunteers from our partners. The DCC team consisted of both field and office personnel, all contributing unique skill sets. Daniella De La Rosa, Human Resources Manager, felt it was a great example of harmony within DCC, “It was energizing seeing a sea of people happily helping at 7 AM on a weekend for a worthy cause. All of them dived in on what they were assigned. The dynamic and collaboration within the internal team were satisfying and it brought us together.” . On build-day, the site was set up with several stations for building foundations, painting, cutting lumber, wall framing, window installation, and building the roof assembly. Once the structure pieces were erected, electrical, insulation, and finishes were installed. Jay Frame, Project Assistant, used their architecture talents and education to produce a record set of plans for this build and future builds.
Our longtime partners and friends at Raken, Cavignac, and Vergith Contracting, and more not only generously donated but also joined us with many volunteers on build-day. For all who were involved and contributed, this cause touched many hearts, and for many, it was personal. Enthusiasm was contagious from the beginning through the build weekend where we saw everyone work hard with pride and energy.
“I just love the fact that we could be a part of something that addresses these social hurdles. We hope we’ve left our mark on this community and hope that the building methodology and training we introduced can be used for a very long time and for future builds,” Tom McCollum concluded. We must take steps to ensure that these young people have access to the services and support they need to successfully transition into adulthood and DCC is proud we are part of a brighter future.
dickinson cameron gives back
Success is not measured by the wealth we attain, but also by the opportunities we can provide to others. Every year, Dickinson Cameron employees join together with the help of our community and dedicate themselves to causes that will make a difference in the lives of others. Whether it is a beach clean up, helping military families during the holidays, or feeding the homeless – the DCC family is proud to make a positive impact year after year.