Family Shelter Update
You might remember a few weeks back we started working on a pretty awesome project for the San Fernando Rescue Mission, a family homeless shelter, and with that we launched our campaign to help raise funds for the furnishings. Thanks to many of you we are at 78% of the goal which is incredible considering we aren’t even halfway through our timeframe. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. If you haven’t heard of this project read this post which explains why we are doing this and how much help from you would be appreciated.
Since the announcement, the building has changed a ton and we thought it was a good time to give you an update on the progress so far and what we are planning on doing with the interior.
The first floor is the communal area – lobby where they’ll be greeted and counselled, living room for family hang out and activities, dining for, well, eating, and computer lab for homework and job search.
We ideally want the whole building to feel much like its name: ‘Home Again’ so the cozier the better. When we were there last week we finally came up with the right art direction – its gonna be all ‘Country Cabin in the Suburbs’.
It’s a tricky project because we don’t want it to be to precious, or hipster or even too pretty and high-end. It needs to be comfortable, durable and functional but of course we want it to be stylish enough to make all of you donors proud. The living area has no real light source and they chose a pretty slate blue paint color, so I think if we go in this ‘Rustic Mountain Cabin meets Charming Suburbia’ route, it will be all of those things. The general color palette will be neutral tones of gray and taupes and browns with hints of blue and hunter greens with pops of some happier brighter more inspiring colors – like rusts and oranges. That’s right. I’m styling with orange. Deal with it.
This is what it looks like now… not so warm and inviting, yet, but these guys are working their butts off to transform the space so that we can get in and start futzing around. Wade and his team did a pretty good job of picking out the paint colors. I was so nervous to see the choices because they happened before we were on board, but they are pretty darn good. Slates, taupes and simple warm neutrals.
This is our main inspiration image (which I’ve used before, because I just love it):
The big communal living room will be split up into three different areas that will have big comfy sectionals and loungy armchairs. As most kids will be in school during the day this area will be for the families to regroup after their day. The sectionals are most likely to be in darker fabrics, so they remain fairly durable, the coffee tables and storage pieces will be in pretty woods and the we’ll bring in color in the pillows, throw blankets, lighting and art.
In the living area there will also be a really cute area for the kids to play and read. This is where we might add a fun, educational wallpaper or decals to make it more young and engaging. We’ve had a few companies reach out who do great lines of kid’s furniture so we’re hoping to add small tables and chairs, bean bags and much-needed storage and bookcases. There’s also another kid’s area on the second floor where we might add a reading tent and wall to ceiling picture rails for books.
There’s a large communal dining room (not cafeteria-like is the goal) where each family will have their own table to sit at and a large commercial kitchen where the families can cook together. Not only does the mission provide shelter for the families but it has a very much hands-on approach, in that people can learn how to cook for themselves so that when they leave they can live healthier lives within the community. There is even a community garden right outside to grow vegetables.
The computer lab, which sounds very scientific and techy, will have 7 workstations and a round communal meeting table and will be used by the adults for job searching and training during the day and in the evening the kids will use it to do their homework when they come back from school. No one ever really wants to do homework let’s be honest (heck, no one really wants to design a computer lab), so we’re looking for this space to be really inspiring and a place that they’ll actually want to ‘hang’ out it. We’re planning on installing a big pinboard so that the staff can regularly add and update the job vacancies and we’ll put educational yet fun artwork/photography so that it doesn’t just feel like a boring office space.
There’s also an emergency shelter that can house up to 30 people to stay in overnight. This will be predominantly filled with bunk beds so that people can get off the streets and rest their head for the night.
The 2nd floor is where all the staff offices are and where the 11 family bedrooms are located. There’s a mother and baby room which we’re going to make as lovely and relaxing as possible. Naturally I get super excited about that one. If we get enough funding we’d love to be able to do something special with this room (as we would with all the rooms) and maybe add some nice wallpaper, cute artwork and a hanging mobile. I can’t imagine those first few days/weeks of having a newborn without having your own home, so we want this to be really, really special.
There’s also two larger family bedrooms (for families with lots of kids) that are joined by a door so that the parents can stay in one room and the kids in the other. Both of these will have their own bathrooms.
All the other bedrooms will house one family at a time with mostly bunk beds. There’s room for a small dresser and nightstand which doesn’t seem like a lot for a small family but they are encouraged not to hoard a ton of stuff so that the rooms don’t get too cluttered. They only stay in the shelter for a maximum of 10 weeks (with flexibility) until they are re-housed into their own apartments.
In case you are wondering who stays here (I wondered) it’s based on the needs and situation of the family. There is a waiting list but they try to accommodate as many people they can or help place the families if they can’t. They don’t allow any active drug users and instead refer them out for help before they can stay.
The wall colors as of now are painted in swiss coffee which is known as “the contractors favorite color” but we have plans. The bunk beds, which have been kindly donated, are a simple wooden frame that we might add a fabric headboard or sideboard to or we might completely paint them out. The bedrooms are pretty small, think a dorm room, and can really only fit two bunks, a small dresser and a nightstand. We may end up having them look and feel the same throughout but maybe change out the fabric on the pillows, headboard and duvets etc. Again, we’re looking at a neutral palette with wood tones, blues, grays and pops of happy colors. We don’t want to get too specific and theme out each room, it’s not like it’s a fun hotel people are staying at for the weekend so we want to be as sensitive as we can when decorating the spaces. We’ll probably add plug-in wall sconces above the beds and hooks or picture ledges so that they can put up their own pictures, cards and kid’s artwork.
from is tackling the 2nd floor living area which is be funded by Ray Romano and the classroom. He’ll have an update on that soon enough!
Throughout the whole shelter we want to put up inspirational artwork, posters and photography and we’re hoping some of the kids from the current shelter will collaborate on a big art project like a painted wall mural, or community quilt that we can display somewhere.
Although we are almost at our target which is incredible, we do still need your help so that our vision can be realized. The smallest amount goes a long way to helping and donations of anything from blankets and toys to furniture and artwork is most welcome.
I would like to give a big thank you shout out to the following who have already emailed in about donations:
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We’ve also had some wonderful people email in about volunteering their own free time, which we will definitely call upon nearer to when we install, get your painting, DIY pants ready! On behalf of the San Fernando Mission and my team, we thank you all! xx
It’s not too late to help – head on over to the and read more about the donation options. In case you missed the video we made, check this out:
See the beginning post here, a last little nudge to our indiegogo campaign here, an art roundup of our favorite work from the artists that have donated here, and a big thank you to those who donated here.