Happy space in East Orange brings warmth to the community

June 23, 2017 by  

The Isaiah House, a shelter in East Orange, recently reopened its doors to the community with newly renovated spaces, welcoming those from surrounding communities like North Arlington.

The project, known as Happy Spaces, was the result of volunteer work, as the Isaiah House has undergone many cuts in funding from the federal government since it opened in 1988. Board President Kristen Beveridge of South Orange, was able to complete the renovations in six weeks with the help of 12 designers, as well as contractors and electricians who volunteered their time. Beveridge set up a Go Fund Me page, which also raised $40,000 for the project.

Seven rooms were renovated with vibrant colors, furniture, and lighting to make the place feel like home. The cafeteria is now a café, with matching teal chairs and tablecloths, and waist-high tables. There are lounge-style sofas surrounding a flat-screen television connected to the wall.

Other rooms were uplifted to become more welcoming and lively spaces. Beveridge believes that people are impacted by the spaces in which they wake up every morning and that everyone should live in a happy and beautiful space.

Printing companies can be hired in situations like this to create posters and banners that can be displayed in key locations in the city, letting homeless people know there are places where they can go for housing, food, support services, and financial aid.