Nearly 1 in 10 New York City public school students experienced homelessness last school year.
For the month of November, IKEA Brooklyn and Covenant House New York are joining together to shine a light on the youth homelessness crisis in New York City and amplify the power of safe shelter and what it means to a youth facing homelessness.
“Together with Covenant House we’ve designed a model micro unit at our IKEA Brooklyn location which represents a transitional housing space for young people overcoming homelessness,” said Shahab Mollaei, Market Manager. “The model represents a sanctuary where young people can feel safe and loved. It represents a space that is aligned with our mission, we know that a better everyday life for the many people means that young people have what they need. IKEA Brooklyn is proud to be working with Covenant House New York towards the day when every young person can feel safe and loved while they pursue their dreams.”
“Just about five miles north of where we are at IKEA Brooklyn, there are 120 young people at our program in Manhattan that right now call Covenant House home,” said Tod Monaghan, Senior Vice President of Covenant House at the ribbon-cutting of the new space on November 1. “And there are another 170 in Covenant House programs in the Bronx who are living in the transitional rooms and apartments that this micro unit so beautifully represents. We are so grateful to the IKEA community for doing something really sacred and sharing our Covenant House mission with your customers in such a personal, unique way.”
“One of our main goals was how we could make this space feel like a space a young person could personalize, and make their own,” said Steven Casillas, Interior Design Manager. “A place a young person can feel like it is not a hotel room, it is my home, for whatever amount of time they live there. Too many young people have not had what so many of us take for granted, things like their own bed, a safe place to keep their belongings, access to a shower. I hope when our customers see this space, they are moved and think about the young people at Covenant House, what their needs are, and more important, their aspirations.”
IKEA customers will have the opportunity to walk through the space and learn more about how they can help prevent youth homelessness. “Customers can make an impact by purchasing an affordable IKEA item to donate to Covenant House youth, or make a monetary donation and receive a special offer for their next visit to IKEA Brooklyn,” Mollaei said. “It is a unique, interactive experience, a chance to learn about the amazing young people Covenant House, and a hands-on opportunity to make a real difference.”