For families coming off of the streets, moving from other shelters, or seeking shelter after living in cars, being able to stay in a friendly, comfortable environment can make a world of difference. As the only family shelter in Contra Costa County, GRIP understands the importance of making temporary housing feel safe, cozy, accessible – and, most importantly, like home. To that end, GRIP has partnered with Make It Home to decorate and renovate our shelter’s shared spaces with couches, artwork, and places to relax, play games, or do homework. 

The work has transformed the calming blue walls with vibrant and colorful art.  A bright red rug adorns one room, while a colorful blue couch provides a cozy place to sit and talk in another room. The cheerful vibe continues with other interior decorations tied to the furniture, wall hangings, and flooring.

Make It Home is a nonprofit that provides gently used furniture, decor, and household goods to people transitioning into housing out of homelessness or foster care. As those who have experienced homelessness or worked in the housing field know, being without a home creates many cycles of loss and “starting over,” leaving many homeless folks with little left of their personal belongings as they move from place to place. Make It Home aims to provide people transitioning into new homes with the essential furniture that they need, as well as decor and other homey touches to create a cozy and welcoming environment. This also relieves a significant financial burden, as furniture and home goods are a considerable expense on top of other move-in costs. Since refurnishing an entire facility is beyond their usual work of providing furnishings to low-income families, The Episcopal Impact Fund is underwriting Make It Home’s expenses for this project. 

To help families feel more at home during their stay at GRIP, Make It Home has provided like-new couches, rugs, chairs, and tables for our family room and hallways, as well as colorful artwork for the walls and dressers for the bedrooms. Prior to this, residents stored their personal items in large tote boxes, and while these will still be used to maximize space, having additional shared dressers will allow families more room to organize and access their belongings. 

The average stay for GRIP residents is four to five months. During each family’s stay, GRIP staff connect parents to professional development opportunities, financial counseling, parenting classes, and other resources to help our residents grow in community with one another, and prepare to move into stable housing. GRIP aims for residents to feel respected and supported throughout their stay and to know that they’re part of a wider community. GRIP is grateful for Make It Home’s contribution helping transform a shelter into a comfortable and welcoming home.