The Inspired Spaces Foundation was privileged to partner with The Living Room of Santa Rosa for our first project, furnishing its new ADU (additional dwelling unit) as part of its transitional housing program. The Living Room is a non-profit organization that works with women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and offers a wide range of services, including a path towards permanent housing.
The first resident of this ADU is a courageous and resilient 31 year old single mother and her 2 year old son. Having become homeless after being kicked out of her home by her mother-in-law, her young daughter taken away from her by the mother-in-law, and in an abusive relationship with her husband, she turned to drugs and alcohol to cope. Having no motivation to seek help, her addiction progressed, at one point landing her in jail. At the time she learned she was pregnant, she was dealing with a domestic violence case with the father and had a restraining order. “Life wasn’t great,” but her unborn child became her savior. She quit the drugs and alcohol, cold turkey, and went to a shelter and asked for help. She was ready to turn her life around and do so in a way that benefitted her children. This decision set her on a path that has led her to The Living Room and her first step in obtaining permanent housing.
When asked what it means to have a home, she immediately stated, “everything. It feels like you are a human being again; not going place to place, which is hard on kids.” She described waking up and feeling like “I did it,” instead of always feeling like she wasn’t good enough as a person. She described how good it is to have floors and not “that weird plasticy stuff” she experienced while in shelters. “We have a carpet,” and she expressed how grateful she was to have a TV. Both her and her son now have their own rooms. She no longer needs to shelter herself and her son in a room, so as not to expose her son to others experiencing their own struggles and challenges. She now has a home of her own, something she never had before.
This amazing mom described the ADU as giving her peace of mind, “the closest thing to heaven, at least it feels like it.” She says she now has nothing to fear, except her husband, but is working on that. She is in a stable, safe environment where she can turn her focus on developing job skills, possibly going back to school and finding out what her strengths and skills are to continue to better her life for herself and her children.