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Fighting Homelessness With Furnished Homes

house hands homesHumble Design, a Detroit-based nonprofit that provides donated home furnishings and decorating services for families and veterans emerging from homelessness, has announced its plans to expand into its fourth market, San Diego.

Humble Design was founded in 2009, designed specifically to help families who were emerging from homelessness, often attempting to rebuild their lives after escaping from abusive relationships and having spent time in abuse shelters thereafter. As Humble Design’s website explains, “Many of these families are victims of abuse and have left behind all personal items upon escaping and entering an emergency shelter. Most have no beds, books, toys or furniture to call their own.”

San Diego will be Humble Design’s fourth operating market, following the organization’s hometown of Detroit, Chicago, and Seattle. The group has thus far assisted 980 families since its 2009 launch, with the 1,000th slated for this August. Humble Design says that only 1 percent of the families it has helped have thereafter returned to homelessness.

"The homeless situation poses a huge crisis with more than 8,500 homeless individuals in San Diego," stated Treger Strasberg, Co-CEO and Founder of Humble Design. “The pricey housing market is a tough battle to overcome for those who wish to transition out of homeless shelters. For those who obtain housing, the next obstacle is furnishing their home. In many cases, families end up sleeping on the floor in any empty apartment. A significant portion of individuals placed in housing in San Diego return to the homeless shelter within 12 months, but we intend to help change that."

"Our goal is to end the revolving door of homelessness by turning empty spaces into warm, welcoming homes through a dignified experience that leads to successful lives," Humble Design Co-CEO Rob Strasberg said.

Even setting aside the high home prices in many California markets such as San Diego, the Golden State is a powerful example of how increasing home prices are entwined with nationwide housing shortages as well. According to the California state government’s estimates, the San Diego region will need to greenlight 171,685 new home permits in order to meet state housing targets between 2021 and 2028. That works out to more than 21,000 units each year for the county, which is almost three times what has been permitted during the past seven years.

According to HUD estimates released in December of last year, more than 550,000 people experience homelessness in America on any given night.

About Author: David Wharton

David Wharton, Editor-in-Chief at the Five Star Institute, is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, where he received his B.A. in English and minored in Journalism. Wharton has nearly 20 years' experience in journalism and previously worked at Thomson Reuters, a multinational mass media and information firm, as Associate Content Editor, focusing on producing media content related to tax and accounting principles and government rules and regulations for accounting professionals. Wharton has an extensive and diversified portfolio of freelance material, with published contributions in both online and print media publications. He can be reached at [email protected].

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