Home News-Free Renesting Project provides assistance to those in need

Renesting Project provides assistance to those in need

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The services provided by the food pantries and mental health associations in our area are ubiquitous with the idea of community outreach. However, the Renesting Project – located on Shed Road in Bossier City – provides a service to help with an equally-as-pertinent issue: home furnishings. The Renesting Project collects gently used furniture and household items from the community (primarily from private citizens) and distributes these items to clients seeking assistance with furnishing their home. The staff of the Renesting Project shares a common belief in the purpose of their mission by asking: “What’s the purpose of a food bank if you get a bunch of canned goods that you can’t open without a can opener, or if there is no pot and pan to heat food up?” As such, the Renesting Project strives to provide the essential necessities of modern living that transform a house into a home.

Baylor Boyd has served as the Executive Director of the Renesting Project since July of 2021, and he explains, “There are no other operations like the Renesting Project that provide their services free of charge. There are a lot of thrift stores and low income stores that serve the population, but they require payment in exchange for their goods and services. We survive strictly by private donations and grants which makes all that we do complimentary.”

Since opening their doors to the public in January of 2010, the Renesting Project has had the opportunity to distribute almost 18,000 pieces of furniture to over 1,900 new households. And as a testament to their observable impact and service to the community, when an apartment complex on Shreveport’s Fairfield Avenue caught fire, the Renesting Project assisted displaced residents who had to restart their lives from the ground up by filling their new homes with the items necessary for daily life. “That’s not like a fork or a spoon, that’s a chair or a sofa. . . something tangible,” says Director Boyd.

98 cents of every dollar received by the Renesting Project goes straight back into their services. The Renesting Project ensures that every piece of furniture distributed back into the community feels as though it is brand new, as they repair, mend, paint, and perform general restoration on all of the items received before redistribution. This assurance to the quality-of-life that the Renesting Project provides to all of those they assist is a testament to the statement that they put 98 cents of every dollar they make back into their services. In view of this, Director Boyd asks a simple question: “Instead of perfectly good pieces of furniture going to the landfill, why don’t we recycle them in some fashion and give them to those in need?”

The Renesting Project’s primary client demographic has traditionally been those that have recently become homeless and have qualified for housing. However, after expanding their area of operation from Bossier and Caddo parishes to the entirety of Region 7 (which encompasses all of Northwestern Louisiana) this past October, they can now more feasibly serve a wider variety of clientele. The clientele they serve is in search of community support, including families fleeing from domestic violence, disabled veterans trying to live independently and kids from foster care. “Really, we serve anyone in need; there aren’t any qualifications. Sometimes when clients receive housing vouchers, they literally only have the clothes on their back. That’s all they own,” said Boyd.

In January of 2022, the Renesting Project will once again be allowing clients to meet off-site from their location of operations, which will make their services more accessible and convenient. If anyone is interested in joining the Renesting Project team or volunteering, Boyd says, “We’re always looking for younger volunteers.”

Diverse opportunities to volunteer and ways to donate to the Renesting Project can be found on their website at: renestingprojectinc.org.

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