It started with one boy and one bed. Lucy Barker and Salina McCarty saw a viral video of a Detroit boy receiving his first bed after living in homelessness. The video inspired them to help struggling Iowa City families. Soon after, Houses into Homes was born.
Barker and McCarty, co-directors of the non-profit organization, recognized a gap in the community. Organizations that furnished beds and furniture to local families were limited to providing resources to their own clients. Additionally, Iowa City second-hand stores no longer accepted used mattresses, and as a result, many were sent to the landfill.
Supporting Families In Need
Houses into Homes has provided 213 beds to local families and saved 5,000 cubic feet of mattresses and box springs from the landfill in its first year. Its mission is to provide beds, furniture, and other household goods to families and individuals in need or transitioning out of homelessness. For McCarty, one of the most rewarding parts of this journey is knowing Iowa City families won’t have to sleep on the floor at night.
“This fall we delivered to a family living in an apartment with one rolling desk chair, a tiny desk, and one Aerobed. They had three school-age boys living in the home, plus mom and dad. I chatted with the kids for quite a while and found they had been living in their apartment for five months. The fifth-grade son talked to me about the difficulties of doing homework at home with nowhere to sit comfortably. The three boys said it was really hard to sleep both on the air bed and the floor, and they were uncomfortable and crowded when they had to share the bed.”
Houses into Homes fully furnished the family’s home. They provided living room furniture, a dining table and chairs, and beds for the entire family.
How You Can Help
Urban Acres has partnered with Houses into Homes to support the non-profit in a variety of ways, including several events. We chose to support Houses into Homes at the 2019 Home Show on February 8-10 to help make dreams come true for Iowa City area families. For every person who stopped by our booth, posted a photo to Twitter or Instagram, and tagged it with #MyUADreamHome, Urban Acres donated $1 to Houses into Homes.
Houses into Homes accepts generous donations from the community. Requested donation items include furniture, blankets and linens, kitchen utensils, small appliances and electronics, and other miscellaneous household items. The organization also needs volunteers to assist during deliveries, pick up donations, and help organize donated items.
McCarty says community involvement is essential to the organization’s success. She considers herself fortunate to give back to such a caring community.
“Houses into Homes works so wonderfully because as Lucy and I suspected, there is no shortage of stuff or generosity.”
Visit housesintohomes.org to learn more about how you can help make a difference for Iowa City area families.
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