Friday, December 19, 2008

Creating a Homey Feeling for the Homeless

ISAIAH GUZMAN - Sentinel CORRESPONDENT
Article Launched: 12/18/2008 01:35:36 AM PST
View actual story here.
(Jeremiah Ridgeway/Sentinel)
New guests at this six-room facility can expect a greeting basket filled with soaps, towels and wash cloths. Their linens will be new, their pillows plump. They may even get some flowers.
This isn't a bed and breakfast, though thanks to two Santa Cruz women it may now feel like one. This is the Jesus, Mary, Joseph Home for homeless women, children and the terminally ill. And Lisa Goodrich and Patti Erickson, both part-time real estate staging specialists, have given their extra supplies and time to make over the facility and give a homey feel to those without a place of their own.
"Everybody deserves a little luxury at some point in their life," Goodrich said.
Goodrich and Erickson co-own a staging business called Feels Like Home. They landed a major client, started building inventory and thought, "We could have a big yard sale or do something meaningful."
In less than six months, they've put new furniture, lamps, bedspreads and artwork in all six rooms of JMJ Home. They made over the living room and dining room and, while they were at it, redecorated Director Pat Gorman's cottage on the Lennox Street property.
For Thanksgiving, Goodrich and Erickson helped decorate and make desserts. They've also donated bags of clothing to the moms.
"They are real angels," Gorman said. "I tell them I can't thank them enough and their response is we're giving them a gift when we allow them to come in and do this."
Residents at JMJ Home can stay for up to a year while they get on their feet. Goodrich and Erickson have offered to makeover a room every time a new person arrives.
"For whatever reason, people wind up in our shelter," Gorman said. "It makes a huge difference to come in to a warm, inviting environment."
The women at JMJ Home showed their appreciation recently by having Goodrich and Erickson over for a feast of homemade Mexican food. Goodrich and Erickson responded by bringing by Christmas presents and throwing a pizza party for the women and their children Wednesday night.
"They're wonderful women and they're trying so hard," Goodrich said. "We're humbled by how little they have and how much they give and how much they work together."
Gorman, meanwhile, has been humbled by the efforts of Goodrich and Erickson. "Just over and beyond what you'd expect," she said.
Contact Isaiah Guzman at 429-2436 or jcopeland@santacruzsentinel.com.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! So proud of you both. What a blessing for all of the women living there. Tears running down my face, I am so moved by your kindness and generousness and the work you are doing on the planet. So many lives being changed by your efforts. Hugs and love...AV