Tucked in an industrial warehouse in Bossier City lies a unique project — a community furniture bank.
This furniture bank is where those in transition from homelessness can go, free of charge, to gather household goods for their new home.
Noel Haacker, founder and director of The Renesting Project, began operations back in Oct. 2009. It started with one partnership with a community agency and by January 2010 they furnished the first apartment.
Since then, the organization has expanded its reach and affiliation with different agencies that help individuals and families transition out of homelessness.
“We serve so many different agencies who serve so many different people and because of that we are able to serve a broader range of people,” Haacker said.
The organization provides household goods for an average of 180 apartment each year. In 2018 this resulted in service to 352 people.
Haacker, explained that much of the tasks and operations that make the work they do possible comes from volunteers. The organization, which relies primarily on volunteers and donations of time and household items, makes it easy to serve in many ways.
She described The Renesting Project as “a conduit between those that are able to share and those that are in need.”
This month, Charris Glass, a representative of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, presented Haacker with a $2,500 donation.
The donation provided by the Church will help meet the pressing needs of those served by the organization. Ms. Glass was joined by fellow members of the Church of Jesus Christ who heard about volunteer opportunities at Renesting through a website called JustServe.org, which helps people find ways to serve in their local community.
The folks at Renesting also expressed gratitude to missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ for their ongoing service and support. One missionary, Elder Per, has served at Renesting for over four months.
“A good project for those in need and those that want to serve. It’s awesome that people want to give so much,” he said, before adding that recipients are so grateful and often say, “It was exactly what I needed.”
Another missionary, Elder Meyers, described it as “a different way to serve.”
Betty Howard, a long-time volunteer, described the joy she feels when she sees the look on the client’s faces when they see the belongings for their new home and ask, “Is this all for me?”
In today’s changing world, the crew at Renesting has come up with creative ways to fundraise including a monthly, one-day, online “pop up” auction that can be accessed by texting RENEST to 52182. This is in conjunction with an upcoming annual benefit night called Re2019 in the revitalized East Bank District on Nov. 2. This unique event will feature a silent auction from attendees’ phones, live music, door prizes, activities, and discounts at participating local restaurants while enjoying the ambiance and energy of the East Bank District.
People can find diverse opportunities to volunteer and ways to donate at Renesting which are listed on their website at renestingprojectinc.org.