After a long journey for both the Carrington House team and the family of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jesse Clingman, Friday, November 10, 2017 was the official dedication date for their new home. It was a time of joyous celebration for the Clingmans, appreciation for everyone who worked so hard to make their dreams a reality, and the official declaration of ownership that saw Jesse, his wife, and their five children claim their new home as their own.
The home for Jesse and his family was a big project for Carrington House. When the Clingmans were first introduced to CCF and Carrington House, their existing home has been destroyed by the floodwaters from the Canyon Lake Flooding in Texas. Jesse and Alexis had had to ask friends and family to take in the older of their five children and live in a mobile home with the remaining kids. The CCF and Carrington House team then decided the best option was to look for a new home and renovate it to fit the family’s needs. What began as an existing three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath was transformed into a five-bedroom, three-bathroom home that was renovated to become more handicap accessible for Jesse. To make more room for Jesse’s wheelchair, the Carrington House team remodeled the master bedroom, added in a shower and bathroom area that was specially designed for Jesse, and created a workshop area for him in a newly-added garage. They also added two new bedrooms and expanded a bathroom.
The dedication event, which took place on Jesse’s birthday, collected about 50 people from the community along with the contractors, architects, realtors, Jesse’s family members and Associates and leaders from the Carrington Companies. The day was powerful and heartfelt from start to finish.
“We started around 11 a.m. with an open house for an hour, where everyone could tour the home and look at all the modifications we made,” says Brandon Nicholas, VP of Carrington Development Company. “Around noon, we all sat down to lunch, courtesy of a barbeque catering company. Afterward, we had a small ceremony where we thanked Jesse and presented him with a plaque, commemorating when we turned the home over to him, and then we thanked the architect, contractor and realtor for their support.”
It was a fun event: “We got to hang out with the family and everyone involved in the project. Everyone had a good time – it was a great way to celebrate the day,” Brandon said.
Carrington House’s efforts were greatly appreciated by Jesse and his family, who Brandon says were “extremely thankful and very happy.” But nobody was happier than his kids, who now each have their own bedrooms – and were very excited to have their own space!
But most importantly, Jesse has already shared that his new home has changed his life. Says Brandon, “I got a text from Jessie this morning saying, ‘Doing anything here is too easy – I’ve been racing with the girls around in circles. Life here is going to be good.’” Not only has Jesse not been able to race with his girls in the home’s old layout, which didn’t allow for easy access and movement with his wheelchair, but the home was destroyed by a flood two years ago. Thankfully, that’s all in the past – and a new home is bringing a new chapter for the Clingman family.
“Now they can go on living their lives and go back to normalcy,” says Brandon. “They’ve been moving around quite a bit for the last two years, trying to find places to stay for extended periods of time. They’re excited for stability now.”
While the Clingmans are excited about their family home, so, too, are the Carrington House team, who were honored to participate in their journey, and help the Clingman’s realize their dream of having a home that would be custom fit for their family.
“It’s a great feeling to be a part of this whole experience,” Brandon shares. “This whole journey with them, from meeting them two years ago, through all the challenges they’ve had and the challenges we’ve gone through in rebuilding their home or finding a home and renovating, to see them move in and see the excitement and the realization they’re finally home ─ it’s an amazing feeling. They’re such a deserving family and so thankful, and that makes it even sweeter to turn over the property to them.”
As the Clingmans settle into their new home, the Carrington House team is hard at work and making plans for 2018. This year they’ve completed four home projects, including three renovations and one new build – and they’re now talking to four new Veterans about the Carrington House program, each of whom are currently going through the application process.
We’ll have more news of upcoming projects soon, but in the meantime, join us in thanking the Carrington House team for all their hard work – and let’s welcome the Clingmans to their new home!
Take a look at the great photos below, all by Seymour Sport.