The young mothers and children who reside at The Night Ministry's Parenting with Purpose transitional living program are enjoying homey bedrooms uniquely designed for the comfort and privacy of families, thanks to a partnership with nonprofit Humble Design Chicago.
Humble Design Chicago provides custom interior design services and furnishings for the homes of people exiting homelessness. The nonprofit recently transformed the eight bedrooms on the fourth floor of The Night Ministry's Open Door Shelter (ODS)–West Town, where Parenting with Purpose is located, turning them into living spaces that are more inviting for pregnant and parenting mothers and their children.
"Each room is designed to be homelike and make people feel cozy and comfortable," said Julie Dickinson, Director of Humble Design Chicago. "We tried to create a feel for each room, so each room is unique."
The rooms are furnished with essentials such as beds, cribs, and dressers, many of which came from the Humble Design Chicago warehouse. Volunteers with Humble Design Chicago also revived the spaces with special touches such as fresh coats of bright paint, area rugs, sheer curtains, toys, and canvases with the names of the infants and children residing in the rooms.
Betsy Carlson, Director of The Night Ministry's Youth Programs, said it was important to make the bedrooms feel like home.
"Parenting with Purpose is designed to offer up to two years of housing," said Carlson, Director "It's a program that gives young families the time to transition from a period of homelessness and trauma into a more permanent living situation. It's meant to be home for a long time."
The transformation process was relatively quick. Humble Design Chicago's volunteers showed up at the nonprofit's warehouse on a Monday to pick out furniture. The following Friday, they spent the day at ODS – West Town transforming the rooms.
And the response has been overwhelmingly positive, with residents enjoying the coziness and special touches of their private bedrooms and staff marveling at how much more inviting the spaces feel.
Plans are underway to transform the shared kitchen, dining, and living areas of the fourth floor so the space is better suited for the young children who live there with their mothers. A visiting room will also be created on the first floor of ODS – West Town as a place for shelter residents to spend time with relatives and friends.