When Houlihan Lawrence Chairman Nancy Seaman visited the facilities of HELP Haven, a New York emergency shelter which provides temporary housing and job training for victims of domestic abuse and their children, she realized that the children's facilities in the city-owned building were deeply in need of TLC.
She quickly marshaled forces at Houlihan Lawrence to draw up plans and provide funding. Agents and the community generously donated school supplies and collected over 60 backpacks. But the two rooms - the children's day care and the teen center - required more than just cosmetic work - new floors, new ceiling, new furniture - and all to be completed in 3 weeks in order to avoid disruptions of service for the mothers and children HELP serves.
That's when Houlihan Lawrence got lucky. They connected with Patrick Gorham, a local contractor at Joyce Interiors who handled high end properties such as the renovation of Le Bernardin, Trump International, St. Regis, and the Grand Hyatt. Also a member of the Scarsdale Uniformed Firefighters Association Local 1394, Patrick visited the site and scoped out the situation. He sprang into action for the sake of the children who tugged at his heartstrings during his visit, as Paul is a father himself.
The result: Pat's group, along with several other local home renovation contractors, dedicated their time and efforts to transforming this space into a welcoming and safe place for victims and their families - all in only nine days! The rooms are complete and currently being enjoyed by the children and teens.
On Tuesday, September 29th, some of the children, aged 2-4 years old, from HELP Haven took a trip to visit the firemen of Scarsdale Uniformed Firefighters Association Local 1394 and presented them with a handwritten thank you card to show their overwhelming gratitude.
The children wore firefighter helmets, pretended to steer the fire truck, sprayed the hose, learned about all the equipment and tools firefighters use, met with local policemen for a tour of their station and ended the day with a special Halloween luncheon pizza party at the Houlihan Lawrence corporate headquarters.