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From fundraising to volunteering, there are lots of ways that people in our industry can stand for homeless youth – including joining one of our passionate committees.

Feris Chehade, Founder and Managing Director of engineering firm Xavier Knight recently joined the Haven House Committee, which oversees The Haven Project, building homes for homeless youth. “I have always followed the fantastic work of the Property Industry Foundation. So, when the opportunity to be more involved by contributing to the Haven House South Dowling project and being part of the Haven House Committee came up, I didn’t hesitate. I said ‘yes’ in a heartbeat,” says Feris. “Being united with others who share the same values and passion for making a difference by changing young people’s lives forever was a key driver for me.”

“Being united with others who share the same values and passion for making a difference by changing young people’s lives forever was a key driver for me.”

 Feris Chehade, Xavier Knight

A hands-on and involved parent to Elias (4) and Issac (2) Feris is keen to do what he can to support young Australians doing it tough. “Knowing the awful reality that 30,000 children in Australia do not live in a safe environment is alarming. Children shouldn’t have to worry about primary needs – they should only focus on being happy and succeeding in whatever they choose to achieve. I come from a big family and have lived my whole life surrounded by a fantastic community that helps each other, no questions asked. This is precisely what the Property Industry Foundation does, and I’m very fortunate that I’m able to contribute to this in various ways through my involvement with the foundation.”

Feris firmly believes that by providing young people with a safe and secure home, it allows them to reach their full potential – to grow and flourish in society. “The goal to provide not only a roof over their head but a secure place to call home is the best solution for young people to explore their potential and have a purpose again,” says Feris. “The foundation’s unique model of providing ongoing support, training and scholarships in addition to a home has proven to be the most effective.”

To support The Haven Project, Feris will be leveraging his own expertise and that of the extended Xavier Knight team. “When needed I can also leverage my relationships with key players in the industry who can support the foundation,” says Feris. “I’m keen to bring new ideas as to how the Property Industry Foundation can expand its reach to build more homes, while increasing its fundraising goals.”

On the slate for Feris is the build on the 19-bedroom Haven House South Dowling project. Led by Feris, the Xavier Knight team is contributing pro bono facade engineering services. “I’m proud to be collaborating with the Property Industry Foundation, Roberts Co, Essence Project Management and leading consultants to make the foundation’s biggest pro bono project Haven House South Dowling, a success. Our shared focus and desire to combine our strengths and skills will deliver a sustainable solution for a community in crisis. The opportunity to assist with such a critically important project is something we engineers are compelled to do whenever we can. To collaboratively use our skills to make such a big difference for young people in such desperate need is very rewarding”

Want to join a committee or help out in another way? Visit our partnerships page for more info