It may be difficult to imagine a life outside the one we live—especially a life filled with struggles, circumstances, or even life-threatening illnesses. Clare Housing is an organization that “provides a continuum of affordable and supportive housing that creates healing communities and optimizes the health of people living with HIV/AIDS.” Over the past ten years, Mark Bishop (Kimley-Horn Twin Cities) has spent countless hours volunteering with the organization in Minneapolis, Minnesota, making a true difference in the lives Clare Housing serves.
Clare Housing’s residents find a home in one of the organization’s assisted living buildings or receive subsidized rental assistance. They have seen time and time again that once someone is stably housed, their health and life will begin to change for the better.
Inspired by his time spent at a similar organization in Northern Virginia, Mark sought out Clare Housing in Minnesota for volunteer opportunities. He began cooking dinner a few times per month, helping with yard work, and spending time with the people who lived there. He eventually brought his family along and forged strong relationships with the residents.
Mark was able to get his Kimley-Horn coworkers involved in an unexpected way: “Every time I made dinner, I’d bring a Crock-Pot into the office to cook the food during the day. Needless to say, the smell of food around the office got people pretty intrigued.” After discovering the purpose behind the Crock-Pot, other employees asked to join the volunteer efforts. From yard work and visitations to dinners and beyond, more and more Kimley-Horn employees joined Mark at Clare Housing.
Through Mark’s involvement, the Kimley-Horn Foundation has been able to provide grant assistance to Clare Housing. This funding has been used to buy supplies, maintain the houses, and provide resources for staff to repair or replace many items. With the help of Mark and the Kimley-Horn Foundation, those in need of Clare Housing’s resources now have a place to call home.