The Partnership for the Homeless

Giving Back

20 years later, a formerly homeless woman offers her own furnishings to families in need.

Catherine entered the shelter system 20 years ago with her three small children to escape an abusive husband. Her family lived in a shelter for a year before she was able to find and afford housing and get back on her feet. But as exciting as it was for her to move her family into a new apartment, the emptiness of it didn’t make it feel like a real home—she had nothing but mattresses for herself and her kids.

Fortunately Furnish a Future had just opened its doors and we were able to provide her with furnitiure for each room in her new apartment. Today, 20 years later, her children are grown, healthy and happy. She’s gotten remarried and has a five-year-old grandson. Life hasn’t been perfect—a car accident in 2008 gave her a disability, but she’s stably housed and doing well. In fact, she recently contacted us because she wanted to donate some of her furnishings to a family in need.

“I want to give back because the Partnership for the Homeless was there for me when I was in need and I know how hard it is to get out of shelter,” Catherine said. “It’s exciting to get your own apartment, but then you get there and the emptiness of the place echoes.”