The HTP Homes story began almost a decade ago when Aaron Thompson, a licensed contractor with over 30 years’ experience, and Claudia Jones, a senior executive at a Fortune 10 company, teamed up to renovate and sell houses. It was a simple economic model.
But after selling a home to a first-time home buyer and single mother of four children, that all changed. At closing, the buyer told Jones and Thompson how overwhelmed by happiness her son was, finally having a safe and clean place to live where he could go outside and play.
They realized that they were doing so much more than renovating houses — they were creating nurturing environments where children can feel safe and secure. Their simple investment model had to evolve and expand.
The team established HTP Homes — a woman/minority-owned nonprofit that aims to bring sustainable employment, economic stability, and housing availability to disinvested neighborhoods of Baltimore. The team named the organization HTP Homes after the organization’s guiding principles to — help, train, and provide homes for underserved communities.
Claudia B. Jones
Co-Founder & Board President
After nearly 23 years I retired as a Senior Vice President at a Fortune 10 company. I’m proud of my accomplishments throughout my entire professional career that took me from a union railroad employee to a senior executive of communication and public affairs. I’m especially proud of what I hoped was opening opportunities for other women of color.
It’s now time for me to use the leadership skills and knowledge that I learned in the corporate world to enrich the lives of those who society often ignores. In a recent TV interview, David Letterman said it best, “what you want to do is pick out what you want to do and do it as hard as you can and then stop doing it and save some energy for something else. Take that energy that you have remaining and devote it to trying to make the world a better place.”
I co-founded HTP Homes in honor of my late mother who was always pained that one of the most prosperous countries in the world also has homeless children and families living in poverty. HTP Homes is focused on creating sustainable communities through pathways to living wages, renovating vacant homes, and supporting home ownership.
My second act begins.
Aaron D. Thompson
Co-Founder & CEO
I know the value of learning a trade because it’s an integral part of my life story. I’ve been a licensed general contractor for over three decades. But my story begins very much like the young men and women we want to help through the HTP Homes initiative.
I grew up in an urban area in Maryland — a town weighed down with challenges including a high crime rate. Like many other young men in my neighborhood, I learned to box at an early age, and eventually became a professional boxer. To this day, I continue to work with young men at boxing gyms.
I also learned construction skills. I started out as a laborer and by working late hours, watching, and studying I progressed to become a master carpenter. That extra effort led me on a path to start my own construction and development business.
As a business owner I was able to pay it forward by hiring young men, some formerly incarcerated, into my construction business and teaching them the skills they need to make a living wage. Several former employees have gone on to start their own businesses leveraging the foundational knowledge and skills they learned. It’s this same “earn and learn” model with proven results and success that we are bringing to the HTP Homes program in order to enrich the lives of young men.
It worked for me. I’ll let some of the young men that I’ve taught and mentored share their stories.
Board of Directors
Claudia B. Jones
(Retired) Former Senior Vice President, Public Affairs & Communications, AT&T
Denise D. Whitfield
(Retired) Former Manager of Retail Development, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority
U.S. Performance Management Leader, Deloitte
Rev. Eric W. King
Senior Pastor, Goshen United Methodist Church, Gaithersburg, MD
Managing Director, Human Resource Transformation, Deloitte Consulting, LLP