(TALLAHASSEE, FL — November 2, 2011)—
The uplifting emotional impact of color will be put to the test this week as Benjamin Moore Paints brings “Color Care Across America,” a paint color makeover program for shelters, to The Tallahassee-Leon Shelter. The homeless facility, which provides lodging, meals and personal hygiene needs to 225 people each day, is among 51 emergency shelters chosen by the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) to undergo the chromatic transformation that a crew of volunteer painting contractors from Superior Painting will tackle. Benjamin Moore has spearheaded this nationwide initiative together with the USCM and the Painting & Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA), and the goal is to give the color makeovers to a shelter in each state plus one in Washington, DC, all within a 50-day period. “Color Care Across America” kicked off September 21st in Laredo, TX and Trenton, NJ, and is due to culminate in DC sometime in November just before Thanksgiving.
“I would like to extend my deepest thanks to the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Benjamin Moore for bringing this wonderful opportunity to Tallahassee,” said Mayor John Marks, who will visit the shelter on Saturday, November 5, at 11:00 a.m. “The Tallahassee-Leon Shelter provides a critical service to our community, and I am proud to say that it was selected as one of only 51 shelters across the country to be a part of the Color Care Across America program.” He continued, “While we must continue working together to eliminate homelessness in our community, it’s encouraging to see what we can do to help others during difficult times—even the simplest of gestures, such as a new coat of paint, can truly make a difference in the life of another.”
According to Benjamin Moore director Carl Minchew, the Color Care program was inspired in part by President Obama’s call to service and also by the growing ranks of homeless. “It reflects the importance of forging partnerships between private enterprise and public service to find solutions for the kinds of issues that government no longer can afford to cope with alone.”
Tom Cochran, CEO & executive director of the United States Conference of Mayors, said, “The nation’s mayors are the first to understand the hardships facing families today and have made reducing homelessness one of their top priorities. With the failure of the national economy to rebound and the dwindling resources on the ground, many people are out of work, homeless and must turn to these shelters for help. That’s why we are pleased to be a part of this Benjamin Moore program. Color is powerful! If it can brighten lives and uplift the spirits of our neediest citizens. We are all for it.”
The Tallahassee-Leon Shelter and the other individual shelters that will undergo the color transformation were chosen through a competitive process that included a USCM review committee.
In further explaining Benjamin Moore’s decision to undertake Color Care, Minchew said, “Many hard-working families are experiencing the loss of their homes, and finding that the American dream of home ownership is fading. They are among the growing ranks winding up in shelters. It’s demoralizing, and in some cases, a de-humanizing condition that can break the spirit of any family. Then, of course, there are the hundreds of women and children seeking sanctuary from abusive households. The increasing demand from these growing populations is taxing and straining the organizations that offer emergency living. Obviously, there’s no simple solution to this troubling occurrence, but the aim of Benjamin Moore in launching ‘Color Care Across America’ is to bring attention to this situation while helping to improve the living environments for those who seek this basic human need of having a roof over their heads.”
With a promise to paint the interiors of shelters that are up to 10,000 square feet in size, Benjamin Moore is providing enough paint for bedrooms, common areas such as living rooms, dining rooms and recreation spaces, entries/foyers, hallways and stairwells. It estimates that more than 3,000 gallons of paint will be put to use.
Minchew said the painting contractors will handle minor repair on walls, ceilings and trim to properly prepare the surfaces being painted. There’s a plan, as well, to leave behind a few extra gallons with brushes and rollers “in case residents, staff or volunteers feel inspired to spruce up other areas of the house that remain in need of a coating.”
The Color Care program is also underway in Canada, where a shelter in nine provinces is getting a color makeover, as well.