We are frequently asked by prospective volunteers, “What is a homeless shelter makeover?” Deserving Decor provides services for 58 transitional homeless shelter apartments/houses including; 36 furnished apartments and a six bedroom shared home for Bucks County Housing Group, and 21 unfurnished apartments/houses for Keystone Opportunity Center.
Basically, it is divided into three phases.
- Assessment & replacement of furnished apartments or furnishing of empty apartments/houses
The first phase is cleaning. Cleaning time varies depending on the size and condition of the apartment or house and the number of volunteers. The shelter apartments/houses range in size from one bedroom to four bedrooms.
The second phase is assessment and replacement of furnished apartments or furnishing of empty apartments/houses. We go through the furnished shelter apartment and look for furniture and housewares that are in need of repair or replacement. Anything that is not functional is removed and replacement items are brought in. This includes sofas, love seats or upholstered chairs, end tables, kitchen tables and chairs, dressers, chests of drawers, nightstands, lamps and other furnishings. We also supply bedding, shower curtains, bath mats, towels, microwaves, coffee makers, toasters, pots and pans, dishes, glasses, flatware and home decor for both furnished and unfurnished properties.
The third phase is decorating, which includes making beds, hanging artwork, placing lamps, installing window treatments, area rugs and decorative items to help make the shelter apartment/house feel like a home. A bedroom is decorated for the mother, father or parents and the children’s bedrooms are decorated according to their age and gender.
The entire process takes two to three days (not including the donation collection process) depending on the size and condition of the apartment/house.
We have provided over 100 transitional homeless shelter makeovers throughout Bucks County since our first makeover in May of 2008 and have supplied numerous newly housed families with furnishings and household goods.
The whole process can be hectic, but always comes together in the end. Although we don’t usually meet the families moving into the apartments, we receive feedback from the housing Case Managers and Volunteer Coordinators who convey to us how happy the families are in their new “homes”. It is a very gratifying and moving experience and what keeps us going.
If you are interested in volunteering to help with cleaning services or the furnishing/decorating process, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to volunteers that help with makeovers, there are other volunteer positions available, some of which can be done from home. Please view our Volunteer page for current volunteer opportunies.
Without our dedicated volunteers, we couldn’t do what we do!
Written by Beth Baker, Deserving Decor Founder