People who move into permanent housing after living in a shelter or on the streets often have a list of worries and new responsibilities, like adjusting to their new space and neighborhood, paying bills, and dealing with routine housekeeping chores. And they often start life in their new home with little more than what’s in their backpack.
When Health Care for the Homeless was ready to move families and individuals who were in shelters into permanent housing this summer, they called on Leaders United for help. Our Leaders United membership group has a special focus on projects for those who’ve experienced homelessness.
The latest Leaders United project helped make the transition from homelessness to the comfort of a home easier by purchasing much-needed household items including pots and pans, bedding and towels, brooms and dustpans, cleaning supplies, and other essential items that help make a house a home.
The initial goal was to provide supplies for 20 families. A special Target registry was set up to make contributing to the project—and helping newly housed families—simple and easy. And it was: The goal was quickly met, and in the end, 31 new households received supplies.
The project also got an extra boost when Leaders United Executive Council member and Senior Director of Strategic Competitive Analysis for Transamerica, L.T .Grant, led the way in mobilizing team members from across his company to purchase items from the registry. A group of volunteers from United Way partner M&T Bank came to our offices to assemble all the items into easy-to-transport kits. Said M&T volunteer, Beth Rose, “As we started to open boxes and arrange the items, my excitement grew as I remembered moving and thinking of the stability, peace, and joy that my new home provided to me. It was a great feeling to think that we were doing a small part to welcome people into their new homes and the next chapter of their lives.”
Health Care for the Homeless shared the story of a single mom who received a kit:
When Claire moved in, she was greeted with a home starter kit, including sheets, blankets, kitchen essentials, and a few items to keep their new home tidy. It was like Christmas morning. The children were so excited that they ran out to greet the team. They were incredibly grateful, and each child (even the youngest) jumped in to help unload the materials. There were big hugs all around.”
Leaders United members have tackled other projects to help formerly homeless people transition into permanent housing. You can help support their efforts by contributing to our housing programs.
For more information on joining Leaders United, email Patti.Provance@uwcm.org.