YOUTH HAVEN

Winner! 2018 Collier BIA Sand Dollar Award for Best Commercial Project

Rob’s Cottage, Youth Haven’s Transitional Living Program Benefiting Homeless Teens in Southwest Florida

In 2016, DEC Contracting Group, Inc. partnered with Youth Haven to construct Rob’s Cottage, a 5,600-square-foot shelter for homeless teens. Not only did DEC Contracting Group, Inc. complete the structure on time, but the team also kept the project within budget while delivering high-quality materials and exceptional workmanship. In fact, the entire project earned an award from the 2018 Collier BIA Sand Dollar Award for Best Commercial Project.

The concept for Rob’s Cottage started with Youth Haven of Southwest Florida, a nonprofit organization that provides emergency residential shelter for homeless children and teens. Most young people arrive at Youth Haven shelters like Rob’s Cottage in a state of trauma after experiencing abuse, neglect or abandonment at home. The group home offers an immediate lifeline of home, hope and healing to an otherwise underserved segment of the community.

At Rob’s Cottage, unaccompanied youth can count on a secure place to sleep and access to intensive case management, educational support, nutritious meals, and medical and mental health services. Youth Haven also offers a variety of programs designed to help teens get back on their feet. They set goals for employment, prepare for higher education, learn self-sufficiency and strengthen community connections. A weekly case review monitors progress and addresses behavioral issues.

Construction on Rob’s cottage required 330 days and cost a total of $1.6 million to design and build. DEC Contracting Group, Inc. used conventional slab on grade, concrete masonry units (CMU), tie beams, wooden roof trusses, concrete-tile roof, storefront and impact windows. Exterior finishes consisted of stucco and paint, while interior finishes included stucco, ceramic tile and luxury vinyl tile.

The home’s interior floorplan offers five bedrooms with individual bathrooms and showers, sitting areas, a study, living room, dining room, staff office and full kitchen with two ranges, a serving line, island with sink and a small kitchenette area with sink.

To make newly constructed shelter feel welcoming and homelike, the team added tropical landscaping and a few other finishing touches. DEC Contracting Group, Inc. erected a fence around the existing detention area and installed storm water swales to assist with water conveyance during the rainy season. To establish much-needed overflow parking, our contractors also repaved the drive, upgraded the parking lot, repainted striping and installed new parking bumpers.

The result? Thanks to solid construction and excellent design, Rob’s Cottage at Youth Haven can now provide a safe and caring environment for Southwest Florida teens who are in crisis and need help.

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