UMTV: Renesting After Home Loss
Often those transitioning from homelessness have few furnishings for their new living spaces. As Reed Galin shows us, a group of volunteers is putting out the welcome mat and offering interior decorating for free.
(Locator: Bossier City, Louisiana)
Yolonda Braziel doesn't normally ask for help.
Yolonda Braziel, Renesting Client: "Even though I was struggling financially, I just have always done things myself."
But when a fire destroyed the business where she worked, she had to move into a relative's abandoned house with six kids and a grandchild. She had lost her job.
Renesting Volunteer: "Let's start back in that back bedroom."
These volunteers are part of a new beginning for Braziel's family.
(Volunteer puts plates in cupboard)
The Renesting Project atAsbury United Methodist Church in Bossier City, Louisiana is furnishing and decorating the family's new home.
Man makes donation: "Cleaning out the pantry."
Church members collect gently-used furniture along with practical - and personal - household items.
(Volunteer hammers picture hanger)
Pat Lingenfelter, Asbury United Methodist Church: "&ellipsis;pictures on the wall, shower curtains in the bathroom, the towels, and we have a little welcome note welcoming them to their home."
The Renesting Program helps the homeless, domestic-violence victims, veterans and others in a time of transition. Noel Haacker is head of the project.
Noel Haacker, Asbury United Methodist Church: "I'm an interior designer by profession. And for years, I've had clients ask me, 'What am I supposed to do with my old stuff?'"
Tina Nici, Renesting Volunteer: "Very nice things. Very nice. Things I would love to have in my home."
Volunteers get their reward when houses turn into "homes."
Yolonda seeing room: "Ooh!"
Yolanda: "This is nice. This is nice."
The Renesting Project has served more than 20 families in its first six months. Supporters say it feels good to help the homeless.
Noel Haacker: "I think if every community had a band of volunteers that could do this, it would make a big difference."
Yolonda Braziel: "I was just really overwhelmed. They've outdone themselves. They really have."
The Renesting Project currently has about 50 volunteers. For more information on the Renesting Project, contactAsbury United Methodist Church at 318-746-5349.
Posted: August 17, 2010