How do you define ‘home’? - a place where you can let your hair down, be yourself, be safe, feel a sense of belonging? But what if that home were just an empty space, would you still feel the same? What if that home didn’t have your thumbprint, meaning your input on how it was decorated where you could truly find peace, knowing that this sacred space was a part of your caring community? It’s not the decorating and furniture per se, but what items that were chosen based on your preferences that make you feel you matter and are visible to both yourself and everyone who visits. What is particularly challenging is that many of those empty spaces are the first-time homes of aging out foster youth who have often experienced moving from place to place where they may not have had any sense of real belonging. Without this feeling of belonging and community, these young folks are at greater risk of becoming homeless and being part of a community that cares is the first step to ending homelessness.
What began as a random act of kindness, has adapted into an incredible community. A Sense of Home has created more than 850 homes – helping more than 2,000 former foster youth and their children.
A Sense of Home strives to prevent homelessness by creating first-ever homes for youth aging out of foster care with donated furniture and home goods. 50% of those struggling with homelessness are former foster youth. The homeless crisis can only end through prevention.
To share a quote from one of their recipients: When my home is empty, I feel empty
In 2014, Founders Georgie Smith and Melissa Goddard answered a call for help on social media from a foster youth who had aged out of foster care; responded by creating a first-ever real “home”. From there, A Sense of Home has grown into a community of its own with staff, volunteers, and dedication that reaches far and wide.
To learn more about A Sense of Home, please check out their website: https://asenseofhome.org/