Building Hope: Shaw Builder + Multifamily's Mission to Support Critically Injured Veterans

Chris Burrell Home Key Ceremony
Nov 27, 2023 Kate Wood

Accessibility starts from the ground up. 

For organizations centered around flooring and building homes, accessibility means incorporating intentional design that considers every facet of life. Accessible design means considering the needs of every person, from showering in a wheelchair to preparing dinner when prolonged standing is a challenge, intentional and accessible design creates homes that ensure that they can be easily and safely used by anyone.

Shaw Builder + Multifamily partners with Jared Allen's Homes for Wounded Warriors (JAH4WW) by donating 100% of the flooring products in every JAH4WW home to help provide this accessibility in custom homes for wounded veterans.

Founded in 2009, Jared Allen's Homes for Wounded Warriors is a non-profit that builds custom, injury-specific, accessible, and mortgage-free homes for critically injured United States military veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan. Upon founder Jared Allen's return from his own USO trip to US Military Bases in the Middle East, he found himself deeply touched by the soldiers' unwavering commitment, dedication, and sacrifices. Jared and his organization now work to improve the lives of wounded veterans.

Shaw Builder + Multifamily began partnering with JAH4WW in 2020, when Shaw’s own Scott Baker, vice president of single family residential sales, connected with the organization. A veteran himself, Baker was moved by their mission and had a personal devotion to helping the veteran community. The sponsorship was a natural fit for Shaw Builder + Multifamily, fueled by Baker’s passion.


A Home Deserved

On March 7th, 2023, Staff Sergeant (SSG) Chris Burrell and his family were presented with their new, fully customized home in North Carolina.

SSG Burrell has always embodied unwavering resilience and dedication, from his time as an Army military police officer to his job as devoted father and still today as the leader of the Fort Bragg canine program. SSG Burrell faced harrowing injuries while deployed, including the amputation of his left leg above the knee, severe damage to his right leg, and a traumatic brain injury. Rather than succumbing to a medical discharge, his determination led him to fight fiercely to remain on active duty. Despite enduring adversities, his spirit remains unyielding.

SSG Burrell’s resilience is matched only by his humility and gratitude, as he acknowledges the support and care of others, stating, "It just shows that people really do care. That helps out a lot." His inspiring perspective on life resonates in his words: "I've adapted to the situation and continued my lifestyle, refusing to let it affect who I am or who I'll become."

Emphasizing the transformative power of life's challenges, he reflects, "Going through life situations, everyone deals with changes, emotional states, physical states. I think that is what shapes you as a person. No one person is the same. In my situation, it built me a stronger foundation, emotionally and mentally." His resilience shines through in his ability to handle adversity, fostering a mindset that dismisses trivial concerns and embraces challenges head-on. SSG Burrell's unwavering determination showcases his belief in overcoming any obstacle, both mentally and physically, a testament to his indomitable spirit.

Chris Burrell's Home Key Ceremony


Accessible Design Creates Equity

Shaw Builder Vinyl In A Kitchen, Prominence Plus French Oak (VE381 00257)

Designer Tuan Nguyen’s approach to designing homes for veterans reflects a deep understanding of accessible design and the profound impact this has on those living with injuries that make living in traditional homes challenging.

“When a home is beautifully and thoughtfully designed, it impacts how you live, how you feel and how you interact within your sanctuary. This can easily be seen with what we do for JAH4WW,” says Nguyen. “Not only do we design fully custom handicap accessible homes, but we also ensure it’s done beautifully and thoughtfully with the right finishes and products. Our goal is to create a home that the veteran can truly live fully and freely within.”

In crafting a modern coastal-inspired home for Burrell centered around entertaining friends and family, Nguyen’s vision combined classic, relaxed, and subtle elements to create a space tailored to enhance SSG Burrell's life.

Design goes far beyond wall décor and paint colors. Implementing a focus on low-maintenance, durable materials allow the home to be practical as well as to adapt to any future needs. By incorporating products like luxury vinyl, quartz countertops, and porcelain tiles, the design prioritizes longevity and ease of use, specifically considering wheelchair access and pet-friendly must-haves for SSG canine partner, Irgus.

This attention to detail extends to other often overlooked essentials such as wider hallways, doorways without thresholds, lower countertops, and roll-in showers, aiming to eliminate daily struggles and foster an environment where veterans like SSG Burrell can find ease and comfort throughout their day-to-day tasks. “Ultimately, the goal is to fashion a sanctuary where SSG Burrell could live freely, unhindered by daily challenges, and truly feel at ease in his home,” says Nyguen.

Shaw Builder Single Family Ceramics In A Bathroom, Estate Double Hexagon Moasaic Bardiglio Cloud (TG38F 00555)

JAH4WW and their partners use this personalized mindset to transform the lives of veterans and their families through their commitment to designing accessible and fully functional homes. By understanding that thoughtful design significantly influences the quality of life for veterans like SSG Burrell, this organization's dedication shines through.

Accessible design isn't just about functionality; it's about building equity, dignity, and independence while restoring a sense of normalcy. 


A Partnership That Impacts

With a dedication to showing how floors can do more than just ground a home, Shaw Builder + Multifamily is driven to continuously deliver better flooring solutions for every home we serve. By providing integrity and passion to help create a better future for veterans and their communities. But making a difference goes beyond just corporate promises and website mission statements. We want to impact the lives of real people in need of assistance. Our partnership with JAH4WW allows us to do this.

Jared Allen's Homes for Wounded Warriors and Shaw Builder + Multifamily are proud to support the goal of building homes for all qualified applicants. By getting involved and supporting this organization, you can become part of a community that believes in giving back to, honoring, and supporting veterans in a tangible way, providing them with a house built with care, consideration, and genuine respect where they can feel home at last.


How To Help

For those looking to contribute to this nonprofit, there are several avenues. You can visit JAH4WW’s website to donate, and get involved.

If you are a qualifying veteran, you can apply or share this information to encourage a deserving veteran you know to apply for themselves.

Another way to get involved is to follow their LinkedIn account here to stay up to date on their upcoming home projects for wounded veterans.