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Deserving Decor is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization of community volunteers who donate their time, passion and talent to clean, furnish and decorate transitional homeless shelters for families in Bucks County, PA - using community donated funding, furnishings, and home decor.

A Homeless Shelter Makeover ~ In a Nutshell

We are frequently asked “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.

All makeover projects are completed during the day on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Basically, it is divided into three phases.

  • Assessment of furnished apartments or furnishing of empty apartments/houses
  • Cleaning
  • Furnishing & Decorating

The first phase is assessment for replacement of furnished apartments or furnishing of empty apartments/houses. The furnished shelter apartments are checked for furniture, home decor and housewares that are in need of repair or replacement. Anything that is not functional or unsightly is removed and replacement items are supplied during the third phase. A checklist is sent to all partner volunteer coordinators to perform this task.

The second 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 third phase is furnishing and decorating, this includes replacing or supplying 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. We make beds, hang artwork, place lamps, install window treatments, area rugs and other decorative items to help make the shelter apartment/house feel like a home. The children’s bedrooms are decorated according to age and gender.

The entire process may take two to three days ( including the collection process of all needed items) depending on the size and condition of the apartment/house.

We have provided over 200 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 gratifying and moving experience and what keeps us going.

If you are interested in volunteering to help with cleaning and furnishing/decorating the shelter properties, please email us at

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 opportunities.

Without our dedicated volunteers, we couldn’t do what we do!

Written by Beth Baker, Deserving Decor Founder

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Deserving Decor
PO Box 1055
Doylestown, PA 18901