A Roof Over Veterans’ Heads

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Spotlight on Rocket Mortgage

Committed to ending veteran homelessness

Homelessness has long ranked among the nation’s most serious and intractable social problems. It’s hardly a surprise that the pandemic has made it worse—especially for U.S. military veterans.

In recent years, the homeless veteran population has held fairly steady at around 40,000, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. While this year’s numbers haven’t yet been tallied, they’re sure to be higher, says HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge.

This past May, the philanthropic funds of Rocket Mortgage* and Home Depot joined forces to invest $750,000 in permanent housing for veterans in Detroit, where Rocket Mortgage is headquartered. The funds, which will be used to renovate 61 apartments for area veterans, are part of a projected $500 million investment the company plans to make in Detroit neighborhoods over the next decade. “Veteran homelessness is a crisis in our country, but we are confident we can solve it in Detroit by 2026,” says CEO Jay Farner.

To be sure, there is no single cause of veteran homelessness, nor is the problem especially new; separated from service, military personnel have often struggled to find their footing. “Veterans are often faced with many obstacles when they return to civilian life that put them at risk for homelessness including difficulties finding affordable housing and earning a livable income,” according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Many suffer from mental health challenges, drug or alcohol abuse and PTSD.

While Rocket Mortgage has stepped up its efforts on behalf of homeless veterans during the year of COVID, its commitment goes at least as far back as 2010, the year the company moved its headquarters to Detroit. Since then, Rocket Mortgage and its allied companies have invested more than $20 million in veteran-based initiatives, and its employees have provided 30,000 hours of volunteer work to non-profit veterans’ organizations.

Importantly, the company’s support of veteran housing is part of a larger drive to end homelessness overall, in Detroit and across the country. Since 2018, Rocket Mortgage has been the lead partner for Built for Zero, a nationwide initiative committed to ending chronic and veteran homelessness, community by community. In addition, over the last six years, the Rocket Community Fund has donated over $3 million to Habitat for Humanity in support of its neighborhood revitalization program in several U.S. cities. This year’s contribution is specifically earmarked to help families recover from the housing crisis and economic turmoil brought about by the pandemic.

“The importance of housing is something that’s very near and dear to our hearts, and we understand the value of a secure and stable home,” says Laura Grannemann, vice president of strategic investments for the Rocket Community

Fund. says. “It’s core to who we are and what we believe.”

Rocket Mortgage has built its brand on a promise to make the often frustrating process of applying for a mortgage simpler, more intuitive and more transparent. As the nation’s largest home mortgage lender, says its website, “we enable the American Dream of homeownership and financial freedom.”

In so doing, Carpenter Group notes, the company delivers on that promise through its commercial and humanitarian activities in equal measure.

*Rocket Mortgage becomes the new name of Quicken Loans on July 31, 2021.

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About Brand Acts of Kindness® 

Brand Acts of Kindness® is a series from Carpenter Group that spotlights companies across industries that are living their brand values in addressing the unprecedented challenges facing the world today.

The series initially headlined companies assisting healthcare workers and first responders, as well as communities, businesses and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We also highlight brands taking the lead in supporting social and racial justice, LGBTQ rights, sustainability and the environment. Their stories show how innovation, resolve and action, built on a solid value proposition, can both strengthen a brand and help create a better world.

About Carpenter Group

Carpenter Group is an independent, woman-owned strategic branding, messaging and marketing communications firm that has delivered results-driven solutions to financial, professional services and technology firms for 30+ years.

Our broad cross-discipline experience enables us to craft brand messaging and carry it through to the channels that most effectively connect with our clients’ target audience, from editorial content to advertising to event marketing and more.