WHEN MICHAEL MOURON , president of Birmingham, Ala.–based Capstone Cos. , a student housing manager and builder, was looking for a way to give back to the community in 2008, his wife, Kathy, happened to be reading an article about a local group called the Lakeshore Foundation and its work helping injured veterans.

Lakeshore had an on-site dormitory but needed housing for service members’ families as they recovered. To help, Capstone built The Cottages of Lakeshore —10 residential units in cottage-style homes with outdoor amenities and gathering places, including an outdoor arbor with a fireplace and accessible playground.

The main obstacle in developing the project was determining how to secure funding. Mouron originally proposed selling naming rights to certain parts of the community, but as he approached various vendors and contractors, he found that many of them were eager to provide work at no cost. In all, 100 companies participated in the program, and on Veterans Day 2010, The Cottages of Lakeshore, a LEED Gold–certified community, opened.