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Since we began our life-changing work in 1991, Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley has been committed to keeping our neighbors safe in their homes with free critical home repairs. We are the only organization in Santa Clara County to do just that, and our continued partnerships with businesses that invest in our community help us make our life-changing, no-cost, critical home and safety repairs. One of these long-standing partners is Next Stage Design + Build, an award-winning local business that specializes in home remodeling.

Founded with the intention of creating an efficient, one-stop shop for project design and building completion, Next Stage Design + Build’s expertise in home design, craftmanship, and commitment to our local community make them an invaluable partner to RTSV. We cannot thank them enough for choosing RTSV to partner with and create change in our communities and neighborhoods that need it most. When organizations like Next Stage Design + Build partner with us, we can create more social value through the preservation of affordable housing. According to the Coalition For Home Repair, “Building new homes won’t solve the problem. For every affordable housing unit that is built, two others are lost to abandonment, deterioration, or conversion to more expensive housing. It also costs about 26 times more to build a new affordable home than to repair an existing one.”

Recently, RTSV was fortunate to sit down with Jim Kabel, the owner and CEO of Next Stage Design + Build for an exclusive interview. Below are highlights from our interview.

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Highlights From RTSV’s Interview with Jim Kabel, Owner and CEO of Next Stage Design + Build

On Next Stage Design + Build Partnering With RTSV

As the company stabilized after the Great Recession of 2009, we started looking for ways to give back to the community, and we were looking for something that fit well with who we are as a remodeling company. We looked at a lot of different options including Habitat for Humanity, and it didn’t feel like their model was a fit for us. They wanted donations of materials, and mostly, they wanted new materials. We were like, “If we just buy them materials and hand them off to them, I don’t know if that adds a lot of value.” We were looking for something where our team could really come together as an integrated team on a project. We pitched that idea to you guys, and the answer was “Yeah! We’d love to have you do something like that.”

As a young person, my father taught in a school district in Paris, CA that had a huge minority community. When I was 10 or 12 years old, he took me out, and we delivered refurbished toys and groceries as part of the holiday effort that the school district did. I learned a little bit about giving back from my father, and that’s something that I wanted to do when I had my own company, and I had done so previously in my high-tech career. I’ve also been a member of nonprofit community theaters, so there’s always been a thought of giving back one way or another.

On Next Stage Design + Build’s Commitment to Philanthropy

We’ve been doing projects consistently for 8 or 9 years with the exception of Covid in 2020.  I think when you’re a small business, and you have employees that live in the community, and you feel as though as a good citizen that you want to give back, it’s nice to be able to do it.

Most of our clients are upscale professionals. They’re people that have means. They’re not super wealthy, but they’re 2 wage earner professionals who live in nice homes who want to make their homes nicer. They’ve got the means to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on these projects. And so, to give back to someone else in the community, who doesn’t have the same means but has some real fundamental needs instead of luxury needs, it really feels good. It also gives our employees a sense of appreciation for what they have, and it helps out those individuals who don’t have the same advantages.

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(Pictured above: Volunteers from Applied Materials bring high energy at Vincent’s home on Rebuilding Day)

On The Clients RTSV Serves

What’s interesting about the people who receive the work that’s done is that these are people who have lived in the community for a long time. They’re established, they have roots, they’ve paid their dues, and they’ve fallen on harder times as they aged, lost the ability to do the work themselves on fixed incomes. They’re pillars of the community who have been overlooked. That’s a real positive thing to contribute to.

On A Memorable Rebuilding Day Project

There was one project where the recipient had wires hanging all up and down the hallways and rooms so he could grab onto them and move around his home. This one was special because of all the disabilities he had. He was legally blind and legally deaf. He had a lot of struggles. For us to be able to contribute to his situation was great. It wasn’t the ideal project for us, being a mobile home, because we tend to work on wood-frame constructed homes; but we improvised, and we had a lot of craftsmen do some really creative things to keep his mobile home in better shape.

We built a wooden skirt around the base because his aluminum skirt had just completely fallen apart, we repainted the outside of the home, we cleaned up some of the landscaping, we built a new deck and new steps that were safer, and we tore down an old metal shed and built a new shed that we purchased at Home Depot for him. That was a long day. I think we were there until 7 or 8 o’clock. We took on too much, but we hung in there until the very end! We had a skilled team that was able to really pitch in and do a lot of different things.

On Your Most Recent Rebuilding Day Project

I think people came away after the day feeling better about themselves.  The recipient’s story was great because so many of us had connections in the military or had parents that served and were veterans. It was great. Every member of her family was so appreciative. So many times, they came up to us to thank us and that means a lot.

We are incredibly thankful to Jim for sitting down with us and sharing the reasons behind Next Stage Design + Build’s commitment to giving back to the community through their partnership with Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley. We are beyond grateful and proud to work with Next Stage Design + Build, and we look forward to our next project together!

Interested in getting involved with us through a project that invests in our community? At Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley, we know firsthand how life-changing our repair work can be for our local neighbors in need, our dedicated volunteers, and for the companies and organizations that commit to this work.  We aim to help organizations realize their team’s potential and come together for a higher purpose through our Team Build and Rebuilding Day opportunities. You and your teammates walk away from these projects knowing you made a significant, tangible difference in the communities where we live and work.

We believe that everyone deserves to live in a safe and healthy home, providing critical home repairs to over 600 clients per year. You can help us make a difference by donating to our cause, volunteering with us, or planning a project! If you would like to find out more about our Team Build or Rebuilding Day project opportunities, get in touch with our Development Director, Alaina, at , today!

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