Welcome to the One Room Challenge! If you don’t know about the ORC, it’s an 8-week event that challenges the design community to tackle projects and showcase the entire process (and stick to a timeline...). This is our first year being a featured designer but I previously dipped my toe in by renovating my super fun gym (that I never use 🤣 but you can see it here). I’m very excited to be a part of this wonderful community and tell you about our amazing upcoming project.
For those new here, I’m Kelly Finley and I’m the CEO and Creative Director of Joy Street Design, an interior design studio based in Oakland, CA. Joy Street Design primarily works on residential renovations and boutique commercial projects for our clients around the country. In 2018, I started a nonprofit organization, Joy Street Initiative, to give back to my local community by using our skills to design local shelters. For this ORC project, we’re going to use this wonderful opportunity to do a project for our nonprofit.
So it totally makes sense that I use this first week to introduce our nonprofit and the local youth shelter we will be designing.
Joy Street Initiative
As designers, we know how important home is – to get rest, recharge, feel safe, etc. Whether you've had a stable upbringing or you've experienced trauma, homelessness, or violence, your home represents safety and well-being.
Giving money to causes I believe in is easy, but I wanted to make an impact with the skills I have gained, where the value goes farther and is therefore more rewarding. Plus, I believe that we are all a product of other people’s help and influence. So, instead of assuming nonprofits or people in need should take whatever we want to give them and in whatever condition, I decided to create an organization with ethos.
In 2018, I created Joy Street Initiative (JSI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving lives through transforming spaces for other local community organizations that support the disadvantaged through housing, advocacy assistance, and education support. We transform these spaces through the help of partners, volunteers, and vendors’ donations of furniture, hardware, finishes, appliances, household goods, and more. Joy Street Design proudly donates all design time and 10% of our design firm’s profits to purchasing materials and paying for labor. We believe that all people deserve a certain level of dignity, and we honor that dignity by providing the same level of design and service that we would want in our own homes!
Over the last three years, we’ve been honored to update several rooms in local women’s shelters and hosted a bedroom makeover for an essential worker during Covid. And now we’re partnering with a local organization to design their first teen youth center.
Ruby’s Place – House of Hope
JSI is currently partnering with Ruby's Place, an innovative nonprofit committed to ending domestic violence, human trafficking, and violent crime, through hope, advocacy, and connection. Ruby's Place provides survivors with crisis services, shelter, counseling, children’s services, and more. They also provide educational training and technical assistance to law enforcement and providers.
Ruby’s Place is preparing to open “House of Hope,” a new, seven-bed facility to provide emergency shelter for runaway and homeless youth (12-17) in Hayward, California. Children will receive good food, a safe and secure place to sleep, and case management to help them identify a plan for a safe place to live long term.
It is estimated that 1,500 to 3,000 children under age 18 are homeless or in insecure housing situations in Alameda County. However, there is only one shelter licensed to care for unaccompanied minors. JSI is proud to support this development of a new facility for youth in need.
Now let’s get to the fun stuff and the reason you’re really here! For the ORC, JSI will transition a current (and dated) housing facility to create a welcoming environment for the new youth shelter. Here are some before images.
We will take this existing house (that previously housed families together) and turn it into a space that will house 7 teens. Our goal is to make it colorful, fun and enveloping. We also might have a few additional surprises to improve the space along the way.
Next week, we’ll share more about the process of designing the floor plans and show our cool inspiration boards. Can’t wait for this to come together!
Thanks for reading ALL of this. I’m honored to introduce this project and our nonprofit.
Don’t forget to read the introduction of all the other projects for the featured designers. They look amazing!