Everyone needs a fresh start from time to time, but for those transitioning out of homelessness, or escaping domestic violence- a helping hand can go a long way.
That was the inspiration behind the Fresh Start Fund, a partnership between Habitat for Humanity of Laramie County, the Unaccompanied Students Initiative, Safehouse Services, and Family Promise of Cheyenne. Clients who are ready for a new place to live will be given the resources they need to purchase furniture and household items from the newly expanded Habitat ReStore.
“Sometimes our families have nothing left” said Rachel Martinez, Executive Director of Family Promise, a non-profit supporting families experiencing homelessness in Laramie County. “We can help find suitable housing, but if they don’t have a couch or a table, it doesn’t feel much like a home. The Fresh Start Fund addresses that need.”
Clients of partnering agencies will provide clients with vouchers for a budgeted amount based on the family or individuals needs. They will then be able to shop the ReStore's entire inventory of furniture, appliances, and household items for whatever they need to set up their new home.
The program also solves many of the logistical problems Habitat's partners face. All three report frequent requests for furniture donations, but with limited space and manpower- the logistics are often too elusive. The Habitat ReStore, having recently expanded to a larger facility is better equipped to handle these types of items and offers free donation pick-ups inside city limits. Having a place to direct those types of requests will allow Habitat's partners to focus on the services they are well-positioned to offer their clients, while the ReStore can provide the selection of household items and furniture their clients will need to set up a new home when they are ready and able.
The Fresh Start fund is an easy way for the community to support those working hard to improve their lives and to give them a hand finding the solid ground on which to build future success.
To kick-off the program, our friends at 2 Doors Down (118 E 17th Street) will be donating a portion of every order (dine-in OR take-out) on Friday February 26th to the Fresh Start Fund- everyone who places an order will also be entered to win one of two $125 gift cards to the restaurant.
Habitat hopes the Fresh Start Program will be able to add other partner agencies in the months to come. Helping families get on solid ground is important to all of us, and a simple way we can support some of the wonderful work being done by our partner agencies. Its another way we can love our neighbors and support those building strength, stability, and self-reliance.