U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and Single Mother of Two Receives Critical Home Repairs and a New Solar System

18 November 2016
18 November 2016, Comments: 0

HomeStrong USA and GRID Alternatives joined forces to create a safe and energy efficient home for local Veteran, Karina Chavez and her family. Through HomeStrong USA’s Heroes Home Repair Program, HomeStrong provided critical home repairs and installed drought tolerant landscaping to lower Karina’s water consumption and help address the California drought. GRID Alternatives Inland Empire, through their Troops to Solar program, installed a solar system that will provide over $23,000 in lifetime savings for the Chavez family.

 

Ms. Chavez, a Marine veteran, served in Iraq before being honorably discharged as a Corporal in 2009. The demands of her current position at a local Vet Center along with being a single parent of two left little time and limited financial resources for her to complete home repairs when she purchased the home in 2015. “I am really happy with the solar system and repairs to my house,” Chavez said. “The repairs help make my home safe for the kids and the solar panels will really save me money each month.”

The critical home repairs and drought tolerant landscaping were completed through HomeStrong’s Heroes Home Repair Program. The Heroes Home Repair Program is designed to create healthier and safer living environments for low-to-moderate income veteran and active duty homeowners. In addition, through the drought tolerant landscaping component of the program, HomeStrong USA is helping reduce the veterans’ monthly water bills and help address the California drought.

“We are honored to give back to Karina Chavez and her children,” said Jed Davis, CEO of HomeStrong USA. “By partnering with GRID Alternatives, we are able to provide the Chavez family with a home that is safe, healthy, energy efficient and saves water.”

The solar system was installed through GRID Alternative’s Troops to Solar initiative, a job training program for veterans seeking employment in the rapidly expanding solar industry. Many local solar contractors are seeking experienced workers to fill their openings. Yet, military occupations and training are not always transferable to civilian jobs, placing some veterans at a disadvantage when competing for employment. GRID’s Troops to Solar gives local veterans the experience they need to get those jobs, bringing its “classroom on the roof” solar training program directly to veterans in the Inland Empire. The veterans work side-by-side with GRID’s solar professionals to install solar electric systems for income qualified families enrolled in GRID’s solar energy assistance program. While the veterans learn and apply their skills, they also help families in need generate substantial savings by decreasing their electricity bills.

“We are excited to provide hands-on job training to our veterans,” commented Regional Director Bambi Tran. “Vets are committed, passionate and eager to learn. These are traits solar companies seek when hiring. Through our Troops to Solar program vets learn all aspects of a solar system including design and electric panel work. We have had many veterans complete our job training program and ultimately get a job in the solar industry.”

The solar installation project is funded in part by proceeds of California’s cap-and-trade program as part of California’s Climate Investments. GRID receives these funds from the California Department of Community Services and Development to provide rooftop solar to more than 2,900 families in environmentally and economically disadvantaged communities through mid-2018. GRID brings additional funding to the projects from sources such as equipment partnerships, philanthropic donations, utility rebates, and other investments. Veterans interested in participating in the Troops to Solar training program or low-income homeowners interested in GRID’s solar energy assistance program to reduce their electric bills by 50-75% can contact GRID Alternatives at 951-272-4743 or infoie@gridalternatives.org.

The home repairs are funded through a grant from The Home Depot Foundation, which was awarded to HomeStrong USA to support the nonprofit’s Heroes Home Repair Program. Through HomeStrong’s Heroes Home Repair Program, eligible veteran homeowners can receive critical health and safety home repairs in addition to energy and water conservation upgrades. Veterans in need of home repairs are encouraged to contact HomeStrong USA at 909-297-5180 or greg@homestrongusa.org.

 

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