Imagine: After living in a single room with all of your children in a crowded DC Shelter with the rest of your family for somewhere between 6 months and a year, you find out that you have recently been accepted into THC’s Transitional Housing. Finally, the step out of shelter you have been waiting for.
But what comes next? You have few belongings, and close to nothing in regard to home furnishings. You’ll need mattresses and beds for you and your children, pots and pans to cook with, and chairs to sit on.
Through the incredible generosity of THC volunteers, families entering Transitional Housing need not worry.
Twenty-two years ago, when the first families moved into THC’s Partner Arms 1 location, the volunteers and small staff of THC saw this problem coming. On one inspiring day, after volunteers had tirelessly redone the building, volunteers furnished all fourteen apartments on one day. Former Executive Director of THC, Polly Donaldson remembers the experience fondly,“…Several families were overwhelmed by the sight of their new apartments in this newly renovated building and by the knowledge that they were gaining a new start in their lives.”
Now, the Adopt-An-Apartment Program (or AAP) looks a little different. The cleaning and repair of the apartments is completed before volunteers begin! The adopting group, usually either a church or a community group, also collect gently-used and/or new furniture and household items are provided for the incoming homeless families at THC’s Partner Arms 2 location. Volunteers from this group transport, and move-in all items into the new apartment on one big furnishing day. As families successfully graduate from THC’s program, they are allowed to take all furnishings with them. Then the process begins again!
Since 1993, THC has been running this program, first at Partner Arms 1 and now currently at Partner Arms 2. Groups like Christ Lutheran Church of DC have participated more than a dozen times, while St. Paul’s Rock Creek Episcopal Parish will be taking part in their first program this April!
“We just dig in and do it!” exclaimed Joanne Noll, a veteran Adopt-an-Apartment Program volunteer with Christ Lutheran Church.
Since 2010 alone, almost 50 families have been moved-in to the Partner Arms 2 location.
Imagine again: Stepping across the doorway of your new, furnished apartment. Perhaps this is the first time you’ve ever really had a place of your own, filled with belongings. All the stress and aggravation of being homeless is behind you; now you can focus on continuing to better your family’s situation.
For a full list of Adopt an Apartment furnishing items or information about helping with an upcoming furnishing date, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Quinn Miller at [email protected].