This Designer Believes in Furnishing a Family’s Future

Humble Design furnishes and decorates homes for families moving out of homeless shelters.

May 30, 2016

(SewCream / Shutterstock.com)

“It’s not just furniture. It’s love, it’s pride, it’s dignity.” This is how Treger Strasberg sums up, Humble Design, and as a non-profit that furnishes homes for families coming out of homeless shelters, nothing could be more true.

Humble Design began in 2009 with a mission “to turn four bare walls into a clean, dignified and welcoming home by repurposing gently used household goods.” Based in Detroit, Michigan, the non-profit partners with local area homeless and abuse shelters to identify families that are transitioning to low-income housing. Many of the families are single-parent households or victims of abuse, and almost all leave the shelters without beds, toys, or furniture.

Co-founders Strasberg and Ana Smith meet with each family to assess their tastes and wishes - they ask what kinds of things they like, what their kids like, and choose from the donated furniture in their warehouse to match these preferences. From there, it’s a matter of taking an empty house and making it a home.

The designers go above and beyond, hanging artwork, making the beds, and adding personal touches so that each family can start its new life in a complete and functioning home. This, in turn, means that the family can devote more time, effort and resources to focus on education, home life, employment, and building a better future. Humble Design’s hard work is paying off - only one percent of its families go back to homeless shelters within 12 months.

While it’s true that “it’s not just furniture,” in this case, it’s furniture that makes all the difference.

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Mirele writes about everything related to doing good, with a particular interest in volunteering and social entrepreneurship, informed by her background in eco tourism.