New home for Veterans opens in Randolph

November 10, 2020

Envision Bank, Father Bill’s & MainSpring partner to build home for formerly homeless Vets

At a time when space and comfort have never felt more important, the Envision Bank Home for Veterans is opening its doors to 10 formerly homeless Veterans.

On Tuesday, Nov. 10, Father Bill’s & MainSpring (FBMS) and Envision Bank co-hosted a virtual event to celebrate the opening of the Randolph property, which contains 10 efficiency apartments, a community room, a program room, and an office for FBMS staff. The virtual event featured a mixture of live videos and pre-recorded messages to commemorate the home’s opening on the week of Veterans Day.

In recent weeks, tenants have begun moving into the brand-new property, a two-story building owned and operated by FBMS, a regional provider of services and housing designed to prevent and end homelessness. The home is located at 26 Moulton Street next to the Envision Bank branch in downtown Randolph.

The project began as a dream four years ago when Envision Bank management first discussed the idea of building a home for Veterans in need. That dream became a reality thanks to the unique, proactive partnership between Envision Bank and FBMS. Last year Envision Bank sold a vacant parcel of land to FBMS for $1, and the bank’s foundation donated $500,000 toward construction. The bank also provided $300,000 in financing to build the house, which will provide on-site case management and supportive services to help tenants gain the skills needed to become more independent. One of the apartments is wheelchair accessible and one is adapted for hearing/sight impairments.

Envision Bank employees have been helping new tenants move into their studio apartments, greeting them with signs that say “Welcome Home” and “Thank You for Your Service.”

“Everyone deserves safe, dignified, permanent housing to reclaim their lives — and those who have fought for our freedom, our Veterans, are no exception. We are thrilled that our colleagues are able to be there, welcoming Randolph’s newest residents,” said Envision Bank President and CEO Bill Parent. “We’ve worked hard to make a difference where we can on issues impacting our Veterans, the homeless, or those at risk of homelessness. Partnering with Father Bill’s & MainSpring has allowed us to successfully support both of those goals. They have been focused on ending homelessness and raising awareness for the issue of homelessness in today’s society, starting a larger conversation and building greater empathy for one another through understanding — and through high-quality housing and important support services that give Veterans the opportunity to bring the future they dream of to reality.”

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, FBMS and its development team, led by general contractor Curtis Construction Co., were determined to stay on schedule with the construction of the home, which was considered essential.

“We are incredibly grateful to Envision Bank, the Envision Bank Foundation, the bank’s leadership team, particularly Bill Parent, Jim McDonough, Lou Trubiano and Richard Olson, and the entire Randolph community for committing to this project at a critical time for our mission,” said FBMS President & CEO John Yazwinski. “The way we end homelessness, not just manage it, is by creating more affordable housing, and this is especially important in this time of social distancing. We can never have people sleeping on our shelter floors again, and the Envision Bank Home for Veterans is a perfect example of how the public and private sectors can come together to provide hope to our neighbors in need.”

FBMS currently operates more than 550 permanent supportive housing units on the South Shore and across Southern Massachusetts. On average, 99 percent of FBMS tenants stay housed at least one year, while 93 percent of tenants stay housed at least three years.

Other funding sources for the $2.57 million project include $1.46 million from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development and the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC); $100,000 from the Town of Randolph’s Community Preservation Committee, and $75,000 from MassHousing Center for Community Recovery Innovations (CCRI). Other project supporters include: Alvarium Foundation; Electro Switch Corporation; The Elks – Lodge 2130, Randolph; Highland Street Foundation; My Brother’s Keeper; The Pineau Family; Randolph AMVETS Post 51; Randolph Chamber of Commerce; Jeannette Travaline; The Trubiano Family.

FBMS is raising additional funds through naming opportunities. For more information on these opportunities and to take a virtual tour of the new home, visit helpfbms.org/envisionhome.

The project’s development team was comprised of Curtis Construction Co., Rothschild & Associates, Elton + Hampton Architects, Anser Advisory, and Matera, Vopat, Matera & Johnson.