CASA Home spoke to Georgie Smith, to hear about the amazing work that A Sense of Home - the charity she founded - does to help create first-ever homes for those who need them most.
"A Sense of Home strives to prevent homelessness by creating first-ever homes for youth aging out of foster care with donated furniture and home goods. 50% of those struggling with homelessness are former foster youth. The homeless crisis can only end through prevention.
The ASOH model addresses two major social crises: homelessness and the environment. It matches excess in consumer goods with those in need through a seamless process that adds value to every participant, at every step, and through the hands of passionate volunteers. Youth who receive a home creation pay-it-forward by joining as volunteers to create homes for their peers. Transformed by their own experience to become architects of their own destiny, they inspire their peers to follow suit and become more immersed in community, opportunities and resources to broaden their horizons. It’s a win-win approach.
ASOH began very organically when I responded to a cry for help on social media, by a young man in Los Angeles who had aged out of the foster care system. That random act of kindness spawned thousands of random acts of kindness, creating over 700 homes in 6 years for aged-out foster youth. And we will now open up in other cities across the US and the world.
When we began ASOH, we discovered foster youth exiting the foster care system without family or community connections who, despite this, still managed to achieve the miracle of securing a roof over their head. But soon after they would feel the need to vacate their empty apartment. They would seek refuge in their car or a friend’s space or in a shelter where there was at the very least the practicality of a bench to sit on to eat or study and use as a bed. What we observed is that four walls do not make a home. And that furniture is homeless prevention.
The ability to manage life within “four walls” requires a minimum of 250 items in order that we can actually properly function, prepare for work or school and actually take care of ourselves. Not to mention care for children and prepare them for the world.
It seems that now the entire world has come to have a far deeper appreciation for “home”. Since the onset of the pandemic it has become acutely clear — that our home is the center of our world. It is where we take shelter, heal, nourish ourselves, design and manifest our future.
When our shelter truly feels like home, then it is our centering place to build and grow healthy relationships, manage our emotional and physical well-being, orientate ourselves, maintain order, organize our lives and improve our productivity in work and school. When we feel “at home” it makes us feel like we belong in the world.
For aged-out foster youth once they’ve received their sense of home — they finally have a place — where they feel like they belong, where they can make plans for birthdays, holiday gatherings, and family dinners. It becomes a wellspring of inspiration to grow their confidence, to go out into the world, and work to improve their life.
A safe and stable place to live is widely recognized by the scientific community as imperative for healthy immune systems, and absolutely vital to achieve positive outcomes in education and employment.
Environmental psychology has proven when our environment inspires us we elevate our own personal goals. The study of positive psychology demonstrates that this leads to improving one’s own sense of agency, optimism, and imagination. All of which are necessary for progress. For the individual and the society.
ASOH creates every home as a place to dream and make dreams come true. A cocooning space of immense beauty, coziness, serenity, contentment and safety to reflect, relax, and recharge.
At ASOH we feel that “the how” of creating a home impacts the energy in the home. We and our volunteers are collectively focused on doing the work with love, hope, joy, healing, kindness, gratitude and empathy, with the intention of manifesting and celebrating friendships and community with positivity and dignity.
For our volunteers and recipients alike, creating homes is much more than those 250 items, it’s about humanity.
We are so thrilled and honored to partner with CASA Home. Not only for providing the sensory necessities to truly make someone feel at home, we also deeply appreciate and value the CASA Home mission. And for so generously sharing the ASOH story throughout the lifecycle of the products and encouraging the wonderful CASA Home customers to donate to ASOH.
We thank CASA Home and all of their customers for amplifying your humanity and making the world a kinder place.
Studies have found that happiness is achieved and enhanced through regular practices that engage us physically, on a sensory level, emotionally and socially. The very process of a home creation increases happiness in our volunteers and recipients alike. Without the sensory offerings of CASA Home, we wouldn’t be able to achieve the magic of increased optimism and the overall feeling of home afforded by the entire range. Each time a recipient opens a CASA Home candle they literally say “it smells like home.”
Thank you CASA Home for being a pioneering trailblazing company since the very inception of your product. We thank you for boldly choosing and dedicating your efforts to entwining the work of ASOH into the lifecycle of the product and thereby inviting in all of your wonderful customers to become involved in ASOH and change lives, one home at a time."
Click here to find out more about the work A Sense of Home and CASA Home do together here.
Click here to shop CASA Home - a portion of every purchase helps A Sense of Home in their amazing work.