Humble Design Celebrates 1 Year of Helping San Diegans Emerge from Homelessness

Humble Design is marking its one-year anniversary of bringing dignity and honor to the formerly homeless in San Diego with a grand-opening event to celebrate its new operating space.

U-Haul, a national partner of Humble Design, has gifted a warehouse at the back of its National City facility to provide the nonprofit with a larger storage and working area.

The event will be held from 4-6 p.m. on Aug. 29 at 1300 Wilson Ave. in National City. Media and community members are encouraged to attend.

The Mission

Humble Design coordinates with local shelters to identify families and veterans striving to emerge from homelessness, and then provides the talents of volunteer designers with furnishings donated by the community to turn empty houses into clean, dignified and welcoming homes.

The charity was founded in 2009 in Detroit. It has since expanded to Chicago, Seattle and San Diego, arriving in America’s Finest City last summer. Humble Design San Diego has serviced nearly 50 homes to date, helping change the lives of 132 people – a group that includes 27 single parents, nine foster children and also six military veterans.

“Getting the warehouse to store home furnishings has really been pivotal to our success,” Humble Design San Diego Director Estee Alias said. “U-Haul had donated a space of about 1,500 square feet. But there was a separate building at the back of the National City property that’s 6,000-7,000 square feet and was being used to store supplies. U-Haul said, ‘Let’s make that your warehouse, too,’ and donated it about three months ago.”

Celebration Details

Humble Design CEOs Treger and Rob Strasberg, public officials, local sponsors, volunteers, U-Haul representatives and some families that received services will be in attendance on Aug. 29. There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony, facility tours and food available.

Just how effective is the Humble Design blueprint? Up to half of all families that leave shelters return to homelessness within one year. But only 1% of Humble Design-serviced families return to shelters in that same time.

About 1,270 families have received Humble Design’s services since 2009. U-Haul also partnered with Humble Design in 2016 to aid expansion efforts.

“I never could have imagined how an idea to help a friend 10 years ago could turn into an organization that makes such an impact to families and veterans that have experienced homelessness,” stated Treger Strasberg, the charity’s co-founder. “It started out with one family, one truck, and a community that embraced them.”

Join the Fight

Finally, people wishing to donate home furnishings (drop-offs are by appointment), learn about individual, group or corporate volunteer opportunities, make a financial gift, arrange a furniture pick-up or start a donation drive should visit www.humbledesign.org/sandiego or email estee@humbledesign.org.

“Our first year has been nothing short of magical,” Alias added. “Starting with filming seven episodes for ‘Welcome Home’ on The CW, to receiving the donated warehouse space, there has not been a dull moment. We’re lucky the San Diego community quickly fell in love with our mission to furnish hope for the recently homeless and helped us grow exponentially.

“The most inspiring part has been seeing the community, staff, volunteers and donors work so well together to reduce homelessness in San Diego. Nothing is more humbling than our Deco Day Fridays – furnishing the homes within four hours and meeting the families whose lives are forever impacted.”

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