MACV acquires donated property in Stillwater area
MACV is thrilled to announce that we have our first-ever housing property in the Stillwater area! Donated by siblings Brian and Brianna DeFore to MACV, we want to recognize the many individuals who facilitated this exciting acquisition during the last few months.
Brian DeFore first learned about MACV after posting a question on a local community forum about donating a house to a Veteran in the Stillwater area. Brian’s father, John DeFore, requested that his family donate his home for the past 21 years to a Veteran shortly before his passing. Ted Head, who know of MACV through his involvement in a local Beyond the Yellow Ribbon chapter and employment at Ecolab, where he is also active with the Ecolab Military Employment Resource Group (MERGE), connected DeFore to MACV Chief Financial Officer Brian Peterson. Head, who served in the Persian Gulf War as a medical provider in the Army, notes that he wanted to “make sure [DeFore] was for real” since the opportunity seemed too good to be true.
Likewise, DeFore noted that Ted was the most responsive person to his inquiry, which was what inspired Brian to seriously consider MACV for the donation. From there, Brian DeFore and Brian Peterson navigated the process to transfer ownership from the DeFore estate to MACV. “Everyone that’s been in touch with this experience has been just awesome,” DeFore shares. He feels confident that his dad, a lifelong resident of the Stillwater area, would be happy about what happened with the house.
Transferring ownership of a property via donation is a long and complicated process, and MACV benefitted from the commitment and expertise of several Edina Realty staff to make the transaction happen. Edina Realty Title President Brad Fisher helped review and record the documents needed to complete the transfer because “whatever we can do to help MACV, we’ll do.”
Fisher also contacted attorney David Brandell, who donated his services to help release the property from probate. “David really did a lot of the legwork,” explains Fisher, who knew Brandell through their shared participation in the Just Deeds initiative founded by Edina Realty. “Whatever falls in our domain, we’re happy to do.”
Next steps for the Stillwater property mainly include renovations and updates to the home, making it compliant with local housing codes for transitional housing. “Even the contractor used to update the home has some really great ideas,” DeFore notes, referencing the expertise shown by longtime MACV partner JD Roofing & Construction in transforming standing homes into ideal spaces for transitional housing. Maximizing privacy and the utility of available space while opening communal spaces so either a family with multiple children or single adult roommates can feel comfortable, are always priorities when renovating and updating homes like those donated by the DeFore family.
Attitudes like those shown by these stakeholders can truly move mountains, making a complex and intimidating process run as smoothly as possible. We are blown away by the generosity and patience shown by Ted Head, Brian and Brianna DeFore, Brad Fisher, and David Brandell over the past 6+ months. We could not accomplish our mission of ending Veteran homelessness without housing suited to the unique needs of Minnesota’s Veterans, and thank everyone involved for their support!