Furniture Maker Brings Joy to Formerly Homeless Family
Joybird, Premier LA Furniture Maker and E-Tailer Gives the Gift of New Furniture to a Family Participating in Rapid Rehousing Program
Orange County United Way recently collaborated with Families Forward and Joybird Furniture to provide one lucky family with an entire room of home furnishings and accessories.
When Joybird co-founder, Andres Hinostroza was introduced to Orange County United Way by way of his sister Jessica, the Sr. Digital Marketing Manager at the non-profit organization, he was shocked by the issues many Orange County children and families are facing. Hinostroza was also impressed by the work United Way is doing to address family homelessness. He immediately saw a connection for a way to repurpose merchandise that is occasionally returned to inventory.
Always the entrepreneur, Hinostroza talked with his collaborative and enthusiastic team at Joybird and they all agreed that it was important to do something to help at least one local family that got into permanent housing, with the ultimate welcome home gift in the form of handcrafted mid-century furnishings that included a beautiful sofa, chair, table and flat screen television.
After weeks of conversations with United Way and one of their housing partners, Families Forward, a family was identified who had just moved into an apartment through Families Forward’s Rapid Rehousing program.
Enter a local Anaheim family: Steve, Melissa and Melissa’s six-year old daughter, Reagan. When the couple fist came together as a family, all was going well. They were working, happy to be together and life was moving forward as it does with so many families. Unfortunately, layoffs for both Steve and Melissa set them into a spiral that is not uncommon, especially when you’re living in one of the most expensive counties in America. Sadly, last year in Orange County alone, more than 26,000 families did not have a permanent place to call home.
“When we heard there was a program designed for families who had been living in motels, staying doubled up with other families, sleeping in cars—we wanted to learn more. We found out that this is a national effort to provide eligible families with access to an apartment with an incremental rental assistance structure and supportive services,” said Hinostroza. “That really cinched the deal for us and was in perfect alignment with our values at Joybird. Everyone deserves a chance and we wanted to be part of this.”
In just a few weeks, everything came into place and the stage was set for the delivery. Because Joybird is an online shopping venue, the team also worked with United Way to create a video to commemorate this experience and to post it alongside their myriad of photos and videos that display Joybird’s custom furniture creations.
When Steve and Melissa heard about this gift, they were overcome with gratitude. “It’s been a really difficult time for us this past year and just getting into the apartment along with starting new jobs, was an incredible blessing. Finding out about United Way and Joybird’s partnership, was almost too much to take in. We are beyond overwhelmed with this gift, because it truly makes a house a home.”
On the day of the furniture delivery, the teams from Joybird and United Way were struck by the emptiness of the apartment, and were filled with emotion when they got to share the experience with Steve, Melissa and Reagan.
According to Brenyale Toomer-Byas, the Housing and Income Director for Orange County United Way, Steve and Melissa’s temporary status as homeless, is often met with challenges and misperceptions of what it means to be homeless.
“People often think that if you are homeless, you have no will, you may be lazy and that is definitely not the case. Homelessness is an adjective that describes a situation, it does not define a person or a family,” said Toomer-Byas. “It’s our job to change perceptions and bring the resources and partners together to address family homelessness. “
Toomer-Byas noted that they are often behind the scenes, “We don’t usually get to see the direct impact of changing someone’s life. The partnership with our rapid rehousing programs and now with Joybird, brings a renewed sense of purpose and passion for the whole team. And obviously for Steve and Melissa, having a wonderful setting for their family to come home to at the end of the day to relax and to make memories is something I think that a lot of families take for granted.”
Joybird was founded with an adventurous spirit of providing custom-made premium furniture. We believe in the freedom to express yourself and pay homage to those who don’t settle. Our sustainable furniture is built to meet the demand and unique tastes of our customers and provide a truly high-quality product to be enjoyed for a lifetime. To learn more about Joybird visit: www.joybird.com
Watch the video on YouTube.
I am about to get my first apartment under Santa Ana’s project based housing. Would you be interested in helping me in anyway? I will have a one bedroom available soon as I just paid the down payment.
Hi Jules, Thank you for writing to us. In order to offer the best resources to assist you, please call/email 2-1-1 OC. They will ask you questions to learn more about your specific situation so you can get the right resources.
Phone number: Dial 2-1-1
May I add that I’ve been homeless for over 5 years and am so excited to pay it forward and help others!
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