DS News

DS News December 2020

DSNews delivers stories, ideas, links, companies, people, events, and videos impacting the mortgage default servicing industry.

Issue link: http://digital.dsnews.com/i/1315468

Contents of this Issue


Page 66 of 100

65 status have returned to quo by the fall in time for "Rebuilding for Heroes." Even in the early days of the health crisis, it quickly became apparent that, however Rebuilding North Texas would approach 2020, it could not be "business as usual." In mid-March, the group went through a ritual many other businesses and groups were engaged in around that same time: shutting down their physical offices. ( Jones said the group's lease on their office was nearly up, so they opted not to renew. ey remain fully remote.) ey also halted all existing projects for the safety of both their volunteers and those they aspired to help. "A lot of our homeowners are in that high- risk zone," Jones explained. "Typically, older homeowners often have preexisting health conditions, and some are even homebound or bedbound." Erring on the side of caution seemed crucial. Working with the national office, the group developed policies and procedures centered around the new reality of COVID-19. In mid-summer, the group had implemented their new game plan, resuming work utilizing contractors exclusively. While the group is still using volunteers for assistance with paperwork, marketing, and other items that can be done remotely, they canceled all "on-site" volunteer work for 2020. is difficult decision was necessary, however, given much volunteer help had factored into many of the group's projects such as National Rebuilding Day. at "pause" on volunteer assistance may continue into 2021 as well, Jones said. With contractors, Jones said, "you get the skilled work, and it's typically higher quality than an unskilled volunteer, but contractors are also expensive." Nor was that the only challenge brought about by the decision to move away from volunteer work for the year. "With COVID-19, the construction and remodel industries are booming, and materials are more expensive and in shorter supply." FUNDING AND THE FUTURE Unsurprisingly, the global economic waves unleashed by the pandemic also hit Rebuilding North Texas in the pocketbook, with fundraising efforts severely hampered. "Fundraising is tougher when you see so many losing their jobs and companies are struggling to keep employees," Jones said. "at changes the dynamic of what fundraising looks like and what our projects look like." "We're in a wonderful position to have Garett because of his financial background," Kuhs said, referring to Jones' past positions as an accountant for MACH Resources and Chesapeake Energy. "He was the first one, along with our Treasurer, to see the writing on the wall. We have no idea how long [the pandemic-related challenges are] going to last, but there are no volunteer events, which is death to a nonprofit." Since that initial shift last spring, Jones and his team have remained creative when it comes to putting forward alternative fundraising methods beyond their standard template. On March 2, 2021, the group will host a charity golf tournament at the Canyon Creek Golf Course in Richardson, Texas. e event offers sponsorship levels of various price points and opportunities for both amateur and professional golfers to participate. You can learn more about the golf tournament on the group's website at RebuildingTogethernTX.org. Heading into next year, Rebuilding Together North Texas will continue relying heavily on contractors until such time as it's safe to involve volunteers with the actual repair and rehab work. "We will continue to pivot. We will continue with contractor work, engage volunteers in a digital or remote aspects as much as we can, and probably rely on guidance from other affiliates who typically do more contractor work than we have done," Jones said. "We have some grant applications out that we are hoping will come through, and those will allow us to continue the work without those volunteer groups. I don't see volunteers just being able to come out in January or February, but I'm hoping maybe a year from now, we're in a different place. We will see what happens." Regardless of the unknowns the future holds, there's no question that Rebuilding Together North Texas will continue changing lives for struggling homeowners such as Mr. Morgan. "If we can transform their space quickly and painlessly, they can experience the full impact of their new repairs as smoothly as possible." —Chuck Wright, President, Provident Realty David Wharton, Managing Editor at the Five Star Institute, is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, where he received his B.A. in English and minored in Journalism. Wharton has over 16 years' experience in journalism and previously worked at omson Reuters, a multinational mass media and information firm, as Associate Content Editor, focusing on producing media content related to tax and accounting principles and government rules and regulations for accounting professionals. Wharton has an extensive and diversified portfolio of freelance material, with published contributions in both online and print media publications.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of DS News - DS News December 2020