“It’s not just about the furniture. It’s the human experience.”
Earlier this year, Javonte transitioned from living alone to unexpectedly taking on full-time parenting of his children on his own. With furniture and household goods from Bridging, he created a home for his family.
“I was going through a hard time. I was taking care of my children and trying to take care of myself,” he says. “The volunteers went above and beyond. They helped me furnish my apartment. It’s really homey now.”
Walking through every aisle of the warehouse alongside Bridging volunteers, Javonte selected a couch, a kitchen table, three beds, a bookshelf, bedding, kitchen supplies, and unique household items like a happy holidays doormat and a waffle maker.
“I remember the volunteers saying, ‘Here’s a waffle maker. You could teach your kids to make waffles in the morning.’ That suggestion made me smile,” he says.
“The volunteers went above-and-beyond. They helped me furnish my apartment — it’s really homey now. More importantly, they didn’t judge me. As a Black male, it can be hard navigating and finding resources. Some systems looked down upon me even as I am doing all the right things. We’ve gone through rough times. I’ve advocated for myself. I’m just trying to take care of my kids.”
Months later, Javonte is working nights at a fitness club. His kids are now with him on weekends, though he wishes they could be together more often. He enjoys spending time with them and creating special family moments in their furnished home.
“My kids have their own beds in their own rooms. And they still love making waffles. It’s a great bonding experience,” he says.
When Javonte looks around his home, he describes a feeling of hope. He expresses deep gratitude for Bridging and reflects on how his experience there six months ago still has a profound impact on him.
“Things are still hard, but when I think back to Bridging, I think about the positive. It’s good for my kids, and for me, to have a furnished home. Things will get better.”“And it’s not just about the furniture. It’s the human experience. Bridging gave me confidence and made me feel good about myself. You don’t know how important that experience was for me. Whatever your core values are, you are doing it right. You genuinely care. I really appreciate it.”
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