CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Several groups that deal with housing in the Charlottesville area are joining forces to make sure people are safe at home. Volunteers got to work Tuesday to help one hard-working family.

People are pouring hundreds of hours of work into repairing steps and building railings for the Carter family as part of a project called Safe at Home. The program helps families in need of critical home repairs in Charlottesville and Albemarle.

Several Charlottesville City Council members and 35 members of three groups -- the Blue Ridge Home Builders Association (BRHBA), the Albemarle Housing Improvement Program (AHIP) and the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors (CAAR) - are pitching in to help the Carter family.

The Carters couldn't afford the safety renovations to their Prospect Avenue home without help. Elizabeth Carter's health prohibits her from working. She is in remission from colon cancer but still struggles with her balance.

“I had cancer and it left me with nerve damage from the chemo,” she stated.

Now her backyard is no longer off limits. Safe at Home is building railings and repairing her porch.

“That's amazing to me I can get up and go outside in the mornings and you know just feel safe,” she stated.

Carter's husband has worked for the city for 11 years in maintenance and she says with her health problems stopping her from working, they couldn't afford the safety renovations without the extra help.

“I can't describe it I mean I'm overwhelmed. I'm really thankful,” Carter stated.

CAAR volunteer Pam Dent says it's nice to see firsthand how fundraisers for campaigns like Safe at Home come to fruition for the families.

“It's important to give back to our community that gives us a good life. We have a wonderful place to live and we've all gotta work together and help our neighbors and keep our neighbors safe at home,” she said.

The three housing groups are still collecting donations for the Safe at Home campaign. The goal is $50,000. The next Safe at Home crowd funding event takes places at Burtons Grill on Thursday. Fifteen percent of meal receipts from the entire day will be donated to AHIP. You can also donate online here.

Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors News Release:

Charlottesville, VA — Beginning on Tuesday, May 19th and continuing through Thursday, May 21st, over 35 members from Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® (CAAR) and Blue Ridge Home Builders Association (BRHBA) will spend six hours a day with Albemarle Housing Improvement Program (AHIP) to repair unsafe home conditions for the Carter family. These volunteers will be joined by several Charlottesville City Council members including Vice-Mayor, Dede Smith for this worthy cause.

Mr. Carter has been part of the maintenance team for the City of Charlottesville for 11 years. When his wife's difficult health issues required her to take an early retirement from Harris Teeter, he became the only working family member. The couple's daughter and granddaughter also live with them.

The scope of work to be completed by the volunteers involves repairing and building railings and steps to the back and side decks. The repairs that AHIP is able to provide would not be possible if it wasn't for the donations received for the Safe at Home initiative.

AHIP, CAAR and the BRHBA have partnered for four years strong. Their objective is to expand AHIP awareness and provide emergency repairs and home rehab for seniors, families with children, neighbors with disabilities, and other low-income homeowners in need living within Charlottesville and Albemarle.

These three organizations are still collecting donations for their June 1st goal of $50,000 toward the Safe at Home campaign. The next Safe at Home crowd funding event takes places at Burtons Grill on Thursday, May 28th where they will donate 15% of meal receipts to AHIP all-day. In addition, during the hours of 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Burtons Grill will increase their donation pledge to 20% for all food and alcohol receipts and will also have a Devils Backbone Brewing Company tap takeover.

All gifts to AHIP and the Safe at Home campaign are tax deductible. To follow the campaign's progress and to make a donation (of any amount), visit the Safe at Home FundRazr webpage:

About AHIP – AHIP, Charlottesville and Albemarle's home repair nonprofit, helps keep our neighbors in need safe, warm and dry in their homes. For more than 39 years, AHIP has helped thousands of families with critical home repairs—small, urgent repairs, on up to large home rehabilitations and replacements. AHIP can build a handicap ramp for a senior citizen or a replacement home for a family living without indoor plumbing—and everything in between. For more information, visit

About CAAR – The Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® serves more than 1,000 real estate professionals and affiliate members throughout the City of Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa and Nelson. Widely recognized as the leading voice for real estate in Central Virginia since 1925, CAAR members bring professionalism and high ethical standards to every business transaction. The Association advocates for the protection of private property rights and provides tools and technology for members to achieve expertise in serving the needs of customers and clients. The CAAR membership is committed to enriching the region's neighborhoods by engaging in a variety of educational programs as well as community service events each year. For more information, visit

About BRHBA – The Blue Ridge Home Builders Association (BRHBA) is a professional trade association organized in 1964 to unite the builder/developer with the allied trade industries, businesses and professions that have interest in the building industry. BRHBA works to consolidate resources and build coalitions that will develop the industry and the community. BRHBA is part of a federation of local home building associations throughout the United States and is affiliated with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the Home Builders Association of Virginia (HBAV). For more information, visit