Starting over can be challenging for families transitioning out of homelessness. While it's a big accomplishment to finally get a permanent roof over their heads, the challenge many faces is furnishing their homes and finding household items like pots, pans, and other everyday necessities.
"When our families and single women and youth move into a new home, they're moving in with nothing. They have no beds, no pots or pans, nothing to make it their home," said Mila Valle, the Emergency Shelter Director at UMOM.
A unique partnership with a de-cluttering and junk removal company is helping to solve some of that dilemma. The company picks up your unwanted items and sells, donates, or recycles them. Remoov is now donating used furniture in good, usable condition to families transitioning out of homelessness with help from UMOM.
"One man's trash is another man's treasure," said Marcus Turton, an Operations Director for Remoov in Phoenix. He added that it also helped the San Francisco-based company attain sustainability goals by keeping the items out of city and county landfills.
So far, the company has donated furniture and household items to five families in the area. Ebony Livas's family was one of them.
Livas found herself couch-surfing, then eventually homeless when she wound up at the UMOM family shelter with her two little children. After staying at the shelter for a couple of months, Livas took advantage of their job training program to get back on her feet and housing vouchers to finally get an apartment she could call her own. When she moved out of the UMOM shelter, Livas said all they had were the clothes on their back.
"It's like every little thing helps, from like a couch to a TV, you know, to like a garbage can," said Livas.
Remoov was able to get the mom a comfortable couch for her apartment, along with patio furniture.
"It meant a lot to me that somebody donated that couch, and it ended up with me because I wouldn't have a couch right now," said Livas.
Company officials encourage those getting rid of household furniture and other items to consider donating them to a homeless shelter.
UMOM has an online wish list of items that are in demand. You can take a look at what they need most at Donate Wish List Items | UMOM New Day Centers.
Sonu Wasu at KNXV first reported this story.