On November 18, members of Southwest Durham Rotary, the Rotary e-club of District 7710 and other area Rotary clubs came together to spend the day renovating family bedrooms and a family common room at Urban Ministries in downtown Durham. Urban Ministries is a community shelter providing food, shelter and support programs for those in need in the Durham Community. Families staying in these rooms, often single parents with young children, stay here for up to 90 days while permanent housing and jobs are worked out.
The rooms, before renovation, have an industrial feel — cement walls, linoleum floors, fluorescent lighting. They are functional but not particularly homey. Each bedroom suite has four twin bunk beds and a bathroom. The family room is a larger room where residents can hang out, eat, watch TV, kids can play and so forth.
Lotta Love, a non-profit started in the Triangle area by interior designer Charlotta Sjoelin, designs updates for rooms in area shelters that make them more comfortable and homey for the families staying there. This not only makes the families feel good, but it also helps prepare them for their permanent homes. With Charlotta’s design help and the assistance of a district Rotary grant, we remade these rooms by painting all the walls, adding new bedding and towels, hanging artwork and curtains, and adding rugs, storage and lighting. To the common family room, we painted the walls and installed a new TV and wall mount, built a large new kitchen table and benches, a wall bar with seating, a kids play area and some additional seating.
Below are photos of the day we spent making over the rooms, including some before pictures and some photos with the deserving families. It was great to meet them, especially the kids, who were very excited about their new rooms.