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Our Founders

Crisis Housing Solutions (CHS) was founded by Craig & Lisa Vanderlaan as Adopt a Hurricane Family (AHF) on August 30, 2005, in response to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina.

History & Background

After diligently working for 3+ years to assist disaster survivors of Katrina and Wilma with temporary & permanent housing solutions, AHF expanded its mission to assist those affected by any disaster – natural, manmade or economic.

  • Spent the next 3 years providing temporary & permanent housing solutions for storm victims. Assisted 375+ families during this period in concert with FEMA, HUD, local government & others.
  • In 2009, the Mission Statement was expanded to include victims of any disaster – natural, manmade or economic. Name change to Crisis Housing Solutions
  • In 2018, as the organization continued to evolve, further expanded the Mission to its current Statement as we became an affordable housing & community development agency

Our Mission

“We build healthy communities where people live, work, and prosper.”

Our Vision

Everyone has access to a safe, secure home in a vibrant, healthy community.

Our Core Values

  • Collaboration
  • Compassion Inclusiveness
  • Community
  • Hope
  • Determination

Major Accomplishments

  • Housing Solutions Center of Jacksonville is established.
  • Numerous Jax Community Stakeholder partnerships begin and continue to expand.
  • Factory & Research Center “Capacity Building” Grant received from The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida.
  • CHS secures 65-year lease on 14-acre Factory & Research Center site in Jacksonville / Historic Eastside.
  • Post-Disaster Housing Unit successfully displayed at the Florida “Governor’s Hurricane Conference”.
  • March ’20 – COVID-19 Shutdowns begin.
  • April ’20 – CHS Closes our offices and begins working remotely.
  • CHS Partners with Broward County on Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP).
  • Modular housing factory & research center site located in Jacksonville, FL.
  • Post-Disaster Housing Unit Prototype completed.
  • Spearheaded the development and construction of a temporary post-disaster housing prototype from a single 40-foot shipping container. This demonstration model is more efficiently constructed and can be more quickly deployed to disaster areas in need than the current government use of tent cities, travel trailers, and mobile homes.
  • Began consultation support for the Parramore Asset Preservation Corporation to renovate 83 affordable rental units in downtown Orlando.
  • “A Home For A Hero” Program created – Affordable Housing ownership for Veterans & their families.
  • The CHS Community Stabilization Initiative program completes its 100th home.
  • The Jim Moran Foundation provides a major grant for the Development of Innovative Affordable Workforce Housing & capacity building for a Modular Housing Re-purposing facility.
  • Received a major two-year capacity-building grant from a prominent Florida foundation to assist in bringing innovative container housing construction to fruition. Also supports the developmental costs of a new repurposing facility for container construction…the first of its kind in the country.
  • Lead developer on the construction of a 2B/2B prototype of a single-family housing constructed from shipping containers. This demonstration model also enables the identification of optimal construction processes to be scaled up for larger projects; like the aforementioned WPB project.
  • Acquired land in West Palm Beach, beginning a partnership with the City to construct new affordable multi-family housing from repurposed shipping containers.
  • Awarded a major capacity building grant by JPMorgan Chase for expanding affordable housing development activities into Central & Florida.
  • As part of a collaborative with two Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI’s), received a multi-year PRO Neighborhoods Grant from JPMorgan Chase to further Central & Florida activities.
  • Completed formal feasibility study demonstrating the financial viability of constructing affordable multi-family housing from repurposed shipping containers
  • Approved partner for the HUD Home Discount Sales Program
  • Approved as a service provider for the Treasury Department’s new Principal Reduction Program; intended to assist homeowners underwater on their mortgages.
  • Approved by JPMorgan Chase, HUD, Wells Fargo and the National Community Stabilization Trust (NCST) to obtain REO properties as part of our Community Stabilization Initiative.
  • Received certification for the Treasury Department’s Florida Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) Program; providing mortgage assistance to qualified unemployed & under-employed homeowners having difficulty making mortgage payments.
  • Launched our Community Stabilization Initiative whereby we acquire & rehab foreclosed properties; thus helping to revitalize neighborhoods and providing a new source of affordable housing.”
  • As a HUD Housing Counseling Agency, began offering Mortgage Delinquency/Default Counseling as part of broader Foreclosure Prevention Services.
  • Began First-Time Homebuyer Program for Town of Davie.
  • Applied for and received certification as a HUD Housing Counseling Agency.
  • Providing case management services as part of the Homeless Prevention & Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP) for Broward County and City of Ft. Lauderdale.
  • Began a 4-month collaborative effort for FEMA finding permanent housing for 170 families displaced by Hurricane Wilma; 54 of these families obtained new mobile homes.
  • Provided turnkey management of the Davie Mobile Home Repair/Replacement Program using $1,275,000 in Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Inititiative funds for Hurricane Wilma relief. 73 families received new mobile homes over a 14-month period.
  • Began working closely with the Florida HUD office and their field director.
  • Led a multi-agency effort to get 93 Wilma families out of FEMA trailers in C.B. Smith & Easterlin Parks and into permanent housing.
  • Began working with FEMA’s Florida Long-Term Recovery Office in Orlando.
  • Received 501(c)(3) not-for-profit status from the IRS.
  • Began assisting Katrina families in Florida.

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