Home furnishing retailer Ikea touts its stores as “an experience,” and if you’ve ever visited one of its warehouse-sized spaces, you’ll understand why: the maze of room displays transport you to modern city apartments, traditional suburban houses, and beyond.
Now, Family Promise is partnering with the retailer to bring the multifaceted experience of home to families battling homelessness.
This spring, Ikea launched its initiative A Place Called Home and joined forces with Family Promise to help expand homelessness prevention services across the country. A $150,000 donation will help at least 30 Family Promise Affiliates establish or expand homelessness prevention and stabilization services to keep families in housing and support them once they have secured housing to ensure they remain independent. In addition, $150,000 in product donations are being distributed to support upgrades to Family Promise day centers and permanent shelter sites at ten Affiliates.
“IKEA believes that home is the most important place in the world. We recognize that now more than ever, many families are in crisis as the pandemic has exacerbated issues facing lower-income students and at-risk and already homeless populations,” says Jennifer Keesson, country sustainability manager at IKEA U.S. “Everyone deserves a place called home.”
Family Promise of Lawrence, KS, was one of the Affiliates to receive Ikea furnishings for its temporary housing apartments. As Executive Director Dana Ortiz notes, it’s not just about dropping off donations; Ikea employees are involved in assembling and arranging furniture to get spaces ready for families.
“They’re setting up apartments. They’re likely going to get to know some of the people living in here,” she notes.
In addition, Ikea is creating home furnishing kits (supplies like kitchen and dining ware, bedding, and towels) for families who graduate and move on to their own homes.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled with our partnership,” says Family Promise CEO Claas Ehlers. “IKEA has meant home for generations of families, providing comfort, style, and affordable furnishings that make a house or apartment truly a home. The commitment IKEA has to families at risk of homelessness and our Affiliates who work tirelessly to support them is inspiring.”