About Us

Our Mission

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.

Our Vision

  • We believe that a home full of hope, dignity, and love is the first step in homeless prevention.
  • We envision a society where the excess of businesses and individuals are shared through a community experience with those in need of “home”.
  • We envision a world where furniture and appliances are never sent to landfills, but always given a second life.
  • We believe that homelessness can only be eradicated through the active participation by all community stakeholders when focusing on prevention.

Problem

“Difficulties furnishing a tenancy can be a cause of tenancy failure.”

Solution

“Providing help with furniture and furnishings is a very basic form of homelessness prevention.”

The largest sector falling into homelessness are virtually invisible to society. They are the young people who survived the foster care system only to exit the system having to fend for themselves. To this end, we vow to work relentlessly toward the accomplishment of our mission.

“The Strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home”

– Confucius

OUR WORK

ASOH gathers the least recycled household items – furniture and home goods contributing to a greener environment. Returned products to furniture and home goods stores are often discarded. These quality items become a life-changing gift for former foster youth when installed lovingly by volunteers from the community; transforming the way the youth view themselves as well as those around them.

At the core of our work is the home creation. Empty walls, floors and rooms, once unlivable, are transformed into fully-furnished, functional and beautiful homes in less than two hours by a team of 12-24 volunteers.

By sponsoring home creations, businesses or families give back to the community while providing employees or family members a rewarding and life changing team-building experience. ASOH not only eliminates the financial obstacles of furnishing a home, but also improves the overall well-being of the recipient as well as society overall.

ASOH strives to create a physical home that is the embodiment of the dreams and unique personality of each youth (and their young family) to transform their experience of scarcity and survival to one of comfort and care. Youth who receive a home creation pay-it-forward by partaking as volunteers to create homes for other youth.

The Scalable Model

Win Win Win Win for Society

The ASOH model addresses two major social crises: homelessness and the environment. We match excess consumer goods with those in need through a seamless process that adds value to every participant, at every step.

about-flower-1

Reduce landfills

Volunteers and participants gain improved well-being and productivity

An Aged-out foster youth gains a sense of home and a sustainable tenancy

Reduction in
homelessness

Our Story

2014

  • Georgie Smith and Melissa Goddard answer a call for help from a foster youth who aged-out of foster care by creating a “home”

2015

  • In October a board is established
  • A truck and warehouse space is donated
  • First employees are hired

2016

2017

  • Snap Inc. sponsors 30 home creations
  • National brands establish partnerships
  • 3rd truck is donated
  • 200th home is created

2018

  • Now creating more than 110 homes per year
  • Designer Kelly Wearstler launches #Designer Challenge
  • 300th home is created
  • First COO is hired. Internal audit and strategic plan for scale is completed.
  • Snap Inc. sponsors 30 home creations

2019

2020

How We Began

From the founder, Georgie Smith
“I received a call for help via social media from a foster youth who had aged-out of the system. Aged out means an individual who was in foster care, but was never adopted and reaches 18 or 21 and must then venture out into the world on their own. There are half a million youth in foster care in the US at any given point and about 10% “age out”, each year. These young people make up 50% of the homeless population.

I did exactly what you would have done after I found this young man living off of the floor. I asked friends for their hand-me-down furniture and appliances. Within 24 hours we had everything that was needed and we created a loving, warm, inspiring, truly beautiful home.

After that initial cry for help, multiply cries ensued. What I thought was a one-off random act of kindness became a thing of every weekend with friends and new friends renting Uhauls to collect furniture and home goods and creating up to 4 homes every Sunday.

In responding to the consistent requests for help, I saw an opportunity for the community to come together, to be the change we seek. My random act of kindness became thousands of random acts of kindness. Not simply within the framework of ASOH but many who joined us in turn set up their own nonprofits, wrote books and screenplays such as “Good Sam”. Kindness begets more kindness. By simply sharing what we have too much of and our time, creates sustainable tenancy for others often overlooked or ignored. When we lift up one, we lift up all.

When we gather with strangers to share our gifts, joy, and pain, we bear witness to our inextricable human connection as one. These collective experiences can amplify humanity and change communities. I hope and trust we can create positive change by turning the every day into opportunities for extraordinary betterment. For me, ASOH is the embodiment of all we can be to others.”

Facts and References/Foster Care Facts Sources

 

The Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR) at Sheffield Hallam University “Assessment of the need for Furniture” Authors: Aimee Ambrose Elaine Batty Will Eadson Paul Hickman George Quinn, March 2016
Scottish Council for Single Homeless (2007) “Tenancy Failure – how much does it cost?”

About Us - A Sense of Home