A Sense of Home (ASOH) creates first homes for youth who age out of the foster care system by bringing together virtually every segment of the community in doing social good while deriving great value in return.
A staggering 30% of the homeless population are youth who have exited foster care. At age 18 (or 21), foster youth “age-out” of the system and are forced to fend for themselves without a a safety net and having never been adopted. The odds are stacked against them. There are between 20,000 – 35,000 youth exiting the system each year and faced with homelessness, or when they get an apartment are without the means to make it a home. Seven out of ten young women have children of their own.
ASOH transforms the lives of at-risk foster youth who “age out” of the system by creating their first ever homes utilizing new, donated furniture and the loving-kindness of volunteers. Creating up to 3 homes per week, volunteers gather to turn empty spaces into beautiful, inspiring homes in under 2 hours, forever changing these young peoples lives.
Resourceful former foster youth may secure Section 8 or other subsidized housing but with no support system to help them set up their first homes, their apartments are empty. They sleep, eat and study on bare floors. They store their belongings in plastic bags. Eliminating the financial impossibility of furnishing one’s home and creating an uncluttered, organized, and serene home environment has proven to significantly improve the productivity of an employee and student and increase crucial cognitive skills necessary for success.
5 billion pounds of retail returns go to landfills each year and the number one least-recycled item in a household is furniture. There is more than enough furniture and homewares that exist they simply need a seamless way to find a new home. With the seismic shift in attitude of both consumers and companies towards embracing a circular economy and the evolution of corporate social responsibility (CSR) from “a nice-to-have silo to fundamental strategic priority” [Forbes Magazine 2017] ASOH was developed to add value to each individual and/ or organization within the process (or life cycle).
ASOH’s mission is to efficiently work with community partners to create a physical home that is the embodiment of the dreams and unique personality of each youth served to transform their experience of scarcity to one of comfort and care. Research shows that the state of one’s home affects one’s physical health, cognitive development, and social / emotional well-being and impacts an individual’s view of themselves and their place in the world. For more research and facts click here.
In 4 years, 325 homes have been created for aged-out foster youth placing 1000 young ones in beds. Founder, Georgie Smith, has been honored as a top 10 CNN Hero, 2018 People’s Voice Award nominee by the DVF Foundation, a Shero nominee at the 2017 Women’s Choice Awards and is featured in the exhibit and book “200 Women: Who Will Change the Way You See the World”.
The ASOH model will soon operate in many major cities.