Veterans Month: Humble Design Helps Vets Transitioning from Homelessness

Performing acts of kindness for our veterans is something that should happen every day throughout the year. In November, it becomes even more of a priority for Humble Design Fueled by U-Haul.

In conjunction with Veterans Day, November is Veterans Month at Humble Design as the charity honors our current and former military members for the service and sacrifice they have provided.

The national Detroit-born nonprofit, which furnishes homes for disadvantages families who are transitioning out of area homeless shelters, focuses much of its efforts on single parents with children and veterans.

Veteran Ties

National partner U-Haul was founded by WWII Navy veteran L.S. “Sam” Shoen and his wife, Anna Mary Carty Shoen, in 1945. U-Haul invests much of its community outreach into assisting veteran causes and organizations.

“We are appreciative of those who have served in the military,” noted Shelly Watts, National Development Director for Humble Design. “The team at Humble Design feels privileged to be able to give back by furnishing homes for veterans that are transitioning from homelessness. It’s not just about charity. It’s about helping to provide the dignity that these veterans deserve.”

Overcoming Obstacles

On Nov. 9, Humble Design Detroit and a team of local U-Haul volunteers decorated and furnished the home of Cornell, a 60-year-old U.S. Army veteran living in the Motor City.

After returning home from service, Cornell was attacked and left with a broken jaw that needed to be wired shut for three months. The situation left him with severe anxiety and pain, and led him down a road of substance abuse. He credits his longtime girlfriend with his mental and physical recovery.

Cornell cared for his aunt and lived with her until she passed away. As a result, Cornell entered a homeless shelter. Now, Cornell has secured housing and also started working. He continues to grow his skill set and self-confidence. He is also working to rebuild family relationships – his children and grandchildren visit him quite often.

From a House to a Home

This is where Humble Design stepped in, transitioning Cornell’s near-empty residence into a dignified and inviting home.

My house did not feel like home,” Cornell said. “It was lacking furniture and warmth. Humble Design made it feel like a home. I am so excited to have my family and grandchildren over. Now, we have a beautiful place to gather together.”

Watts added: “(Cornell) commented that he was so thankful and that he could never repay the kindness he was shown today. Actually, we are in his debt. He sacrificed his own well-being to help keep our nation safe.”

Learn more about how you can help be part of the solution to homelessness by visiting

Media members: Humble Design reveals offer emotionally uplifting, made-for-TV stories showing the impact that helping hands can have on a community – one family at a time. Please email to arrange an interview or to inquire about attending a Humble Design deco and reveal day in Detroit, Chicago, Seattle or San Diego (more chapters opening soon!).

Humble Design is also featured on the new TV show “Welcome Home” on the CW. U-Haul trucks make appearances transporting hope and furniture to families and veterans transitioning from homelessness

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