I want to share with you about a great non-profit here in Dallas that’s working to help people escaping homelessness. Dwell with Dignity partners with local agencies like Genesis Women’s Shelter, Interfaith Family Services and Promise House to help people transitioning to self-sufficiency. Once participants have graduated from their agency’s program (meaning they’ve attained necessary life skills, secured a job, and have the financial resources to pay first & last month’s rent along with ongoing expenses) they have the opportunity to be nominated to receive a DwD home interior.
Typically when a family leaves one of these programs, they take very few possessions with them. Dwell with Dignity staff meets with the family to hear their hopes and dreams for a home. Then, along with the help of volunteers, they come together-not to just furnish, but to create a beautiful welcoming space. They put up window treatments, create art, provide dishes and silverware in the kitchen and even stock the pantry with groceries. About every 2 weeks Dwell with Dignity does this for a family in neighborhoods all across Dallas.
“What we find is that families start thriving right away,” Founder Lisa Robison says. “Kids do their homework at the kitchen table or a desk. They get a good night’s sleep because they’re sleeping in a bed. They start to socialize in the home—they can finally invite other kids over to their houses. It instills confidence for mom and children.”
Testimonials from participants tell of how they felt, for the very first time, they could be proud of their home. They tell of finally being able to all eat together because there were enough plates and silverware for everyone in the family. This dramatically improves one’s outlook on life, and the impact is even felt generationally.
“When we reveal a home to a family, we try to tell them, ‘The reason this is happening is because you’re doing a good job, you’ve been nominated because of your success. We have confidence you can strive for more.’” Robison says. “One of the things we find is that when we talk to the families again later, the parents will tell us they got promoted, they want to move to a bigger place, they’re saving to get a house. They have confidence and the feeling that all their hard work is coming together.”
How can you help? There are a number of ways.
Donate Wood Furniture – DwD is always in need of wood furniture they can paint and rehab. They need dressers, night stands, end tables, chairs, bookshelves, tables and desks. If it’s not in perfect condition, that’s just fine – they’ll fix it. All donations are tax deductible and can be brought to their facility at 1127 Conveyor Lane, Dallas. Check their website to coordinate.
Join the DIY Team – Volunteers can repair, sand, repaint and update donated pieces Wednesday evenings from 5:30 – 8:30 pm or Saturdays from 10 am -1 pm at 1127 Conveyor Lane, Dallas. This is also a great team building activity. I’m organizing an evening for fellow Dave-Perry Miller realtors right now. You can sign up here.
Help with an Install – Have you always wanted to be a part of a big HGTV reveal? This is your chance. 1-2 times per month, over the course of 3 days, DwD volunteers help install the furniture and decorate the home while the family is away.
Cash – They’ll put it to good use for sure.
Since 2009 they have installed home interiors for more than 100 families in Dallas and recently started a DwD branch in Atlanta. For more information on how to get involved, check out DWD’s website here. I love being able to spread the word to you about this non-profit supporting our neighbors here in our community!