The Wheeler House: Homeless Shelter Design Project

Hey, hey friends.

A lot of you know already, but in case you are new around here…let me fill you in. I have a huge soft spot in my heart for families who have found themselves homeless. For a season our family was displaced and in a strange in-between where a lot of things just didn’t pan out the way we thought they would. We had resources that most families do not have, but it opened my eyes to how deeply some families struggle. I wrote about this tough season in our life in this book that published last October.

This past year I connected with a local organization that steps in to help families and individuals in crisis. They don’t just provide housing, they also seek to lay out a plan for long-term help with the support and community needed. Help for a family transitioning out of homelessness looks very different in every scenario.

Last Wednesday (yes, this is how fast it came together!) I said yes to helping decorate and furnish GLR’s new temporary shelter. In our county, this shelter will provide rest and temporary relief up to around two-four weeks. I was able to tour the space in person which has been newly renovated with brand new linoleum faux wood flooring and a medium gray paint on the walls. Right away, I knew we had a great starting point.

One of the immediate challenges would be the layout. It wasn’t intended for residential use originally: no closets, odd spaces, and a tiny kitchenette with little space for appliances.

I wanted the space to feel warm, but mostly to be functional and stay within a frugal budget. I wanted to maximize the number of beds, yet also define spaces to accommodate large or small families. I needed the bedding to be standard and easily replaceable yet not feel sterile. In the back of the housing, there was one more challenge: a room for a host to live there permanently to care for the shelter. This exceptionally small room needed to be very warm and cozy yet function like a studio apartment.

More on this project as it unfolds, but for now, let’s share the mood boards!

I’ve linked all of these products on my page and you can shop any items you’d like right from there. If you want to donate towards this design project, I would be so grateful for your support! You can donate directly to GLR and designate your gift “The Wheeler House”.



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