When Project H3: Home, Health, Hope launched in April 2010, several members of our HOM, Inc. team volunteered to conduct surveys of persons experiencing street homelessness between 4 and 6 AM for three straight days. Following the survey days, at the community briefing where the results of the survey efforts were announced, the HOM, Inc. team took our commitment up a notch. We volunteered to collect and donate all of the items that would turn an empty “apartment” into a “home” for one of the participants in Project H3.
Over the course of several months, we put together our in-kind sponsorship. We brought in almost everything for our participant to get a new start in their new home! Early in December, we received word that our new friend, Ms. Angie, would be moving into her new apartment.
Once we got the keys, our entire Team spent an afternoon setting up the apartment. While Christmas music played, we set up her bedroom with a bed, lovely linens, a dresser, lamps and a nightstand. The living/dining room was outfitted with a couch and throw pillows, dining room table and four chairs. We made sure to program the TV and VCR and double-checked that she had fresh batteries and a stack of her favorite movies. A small Christmas tree was decorated with an ornament from each employee, then we hung Christmas decorations and pictures. Her bathroom was beautifully decorated with purple lilacs, purple towels and purple rugs – Ms. Angie loves purple! In the kitchen, after we put away her new pots and pans, organized dishes, cleaning supplies and towels, we set up the microwave, coffee maker and a few candle warmers.
In addition to the normal furnishings and household items, we tried to add extra touches to truly make Ms. Angie feel comfortable in her new home. Once the whole unit was organized, we put up the Welcome Home banner and put chocolate candies in a fancy dish on the dining room table. Just before we left, I even saw members of our Team tuck wrapped gifts into a few drawers and cupboards!
On the day of her homecoming, HOM, Inc. provided her favorite meal, buffet style. It was such an honor to be involved with this Project and to see Ms. Angie’s face when she walked in! She was beyond pleased with her new home and said that she was truly “Home for the Holidays.”