The mission of Just Human Foundation is to build a community that collects, stores, and redistributes curated home goods donations to families transitioning out of homelessness and escaping domestic violence. By creating this community, we are able to support the families’ emotional well being and housing stability and, ultimately, disrupting the cycle of family violence.
When a family makes the decision to leave a home where danger is imminent, they are often times choosing to leave behind everything they have built for the well being and safety of their children. We know that the average number of times it takes for a victim to escape her abuser is about nine times. The experience that these mothers have in their new "safe space" is crucial in supporting their journey to rebuild. When victims are faced with insurmountable financial challenges, it becomes even harder to not return to where they escaped. It is our mission to create safe spaces that also nurture emotional safety, apartments that are beautiful and conducive to healing.
It takes three simple steps.
Locals donate gently used home goods (lamps, textiles, curtains, artwork) or shiny new essentials (linens, candles, throw pillows). Donations can be dropped off at our storage space every Saturday or picked up if within Hudson County. **IN THE SHORT TIME SINCE WE LAUNCHED JANUARY 1ST, WE HAVE FILLED A BEDROOM, A DINING ROOM, A 10 X 10 STORAGE UNIT, AND TWO CARGO VANS FULL OF BEAUTIFUL DONATIONS THAT HAVE BEEN COLLECTED IN OUR COMMUNITY!**
Local Service providers submit profiles of each family’s needs…..a sort of wish list / vision board. We ask questions such as: What are the children’s interests? What is most important to the family unit? How do they like to spend time together? What belongings do they already have that can be incorporated into the design? ** WE HAVE COMPLETED FOUR, FULL FAMILY SET UPS IN JANUARY & FEBRUARY OF THIS YEAR AND ONLY PAUSED TO KEEP OUR VOLUNTEERS AND FAMILIES SAFE DURING COVID19**
We sift through our curated inventory and select items that match these profile needs. Create a home that these families can TRULY LOVE!
Why & How?
The need in Hudson County is great. In 2018, 735 households, including 860 persons, were experiencing homelessness in our county with many more on the brink. (Source)
Persons experiencing domestic violence, particularly women and children with limited economic resources, are at increased vulnerability for homelessness. (Source)
We are committed to creating a personalized approach to each family’s needs, connecting those who donate to those who receive, knowing that there is very little that separates the two. This conscious effort is meant to help break down systems of “us versus them” thinking that perpetuate systematic oppression and, instead, aim to bring a sense of humanity into our efforts.
Ways that we do this:
Curate shopping lists to match wish lists submitted by families. Invite volunteers to participate in set ups. We also set a standard for what is accepted as used donations, encouraging donors to donate items that they have cherished and valued in their own home rather than things that they just want to dispose of.
But is it really possible?
Hell yeah it is! We launched in January of this year. Here are the numbers to back it up!
We have raised $1,430 in cash donations; we have had $615 in product donations via our Amazon wishlist; we have completed four full family set ups in the month of January & February; we have established partnerships with multiple service providers that support families transitioning out of shelters in our community; we have had potters, photographers, painters, and other artisans donate boxes of beautiful products for these families. We have rented a 10 x 10 storage unit to house the overflow of donations that have spilled over in my dining room only to find that we could fill two more units of the same size!
Immediate goals: to offer dignity to those impacted by homelessness and domestic violence and to support them as they transition into a period of healing and rebuilding.
Long term goals: we aspire to create a community-based program that launches home bases all across the nation, requiring very little other than a group of people seeking to make change, a storage space, and the backing of our brand.