A few of my Jones Lang LaSalle teammates and I took the afternoon recently to participate in “Up and Out Move” with Heading Home. Heading Home (http://www.headinghomeinc.org/) is a Cambridge-based non profit whose mission is to end homelessness in Greater Boston by providing housing in coordination with other support services. Many in Boston’s real estate industry recognize it by its former name Shelter, Inc.
The Up & Out program is Heading Home’s signature volunteer effort. It pairs groups of volunteers, and in many cases teams of coworkers like our group, with Heading Home clients to sponsor their life changing move from shelter into permanent housing.
Our team sponsored the move of a young woman named Jackie and her five children ranging from one old to nine years of age. She graduated from Heading Home’s Compass program with honors, was at the top of her class, and works a full-time job as well.
The idea Up & Out is to create a home for families like in the spirit of TV’s Extreme Home Makeover less Ty Pennington and his mega phone. Like the show, prior to the move my teammate Matt Giffune met Jackie and heard her enthusiastically speak about her children’s interests including sports, princesses, and reading, so we could incorporate personal touches into decorating their home. From there, in addition to sponsoring the move financially, our team coordinated donations from fellow coworkers. On move day we cleaned, shopped, and furnished the apartment for her family.
Working with my colleagues and Heading Home was a fun and rewarding experience for a great cause. The best moment came when we handed over the keys to Jackie. Watching her kids race in and out of the rooms, excitedly checking out their new home, is a memory I will long remember.