A Bright Space at the Regent Family Residence
In February, the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children (BHFC) redesigned two recreation rooms at the Regent Family Residence on the Upper West Side, our shelter that serves 140 families who are homeless. BHFC's "Bright Spaces" projects "create warm, safe, enriching spaces in homeless shelters and other agencies for children and youth to build caring relationships, heal from trauma through play, and experience the joy of childhood." This is the second time that Volunteers of America-Greater New York has partnered with BHFC for a renovation project.
This project was designed and funded by our new partner, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill's (SOM) Women's Initiative. The New York office donated their time and design expertise.
The project team transformed the two rooms into bright and engaging spaces for children who are living temporarily at the shelter while staff help their families find permanent housing. The childcare room features a fresh coat of paint with nature-inspired graphics, flooring, furnishings, toys and educational materials. The teen room is complete with new couches, a TV, a built-in desk, and shelves for books, art supplies, games and décor. The rooms were purposefully designed to be welcoming and child- and teen-friendly. For school-age children, the room serves as an after-school space to do and receive help with homework, and to simply relax in a quiet environment; for the youngest children, the bright colors and imagery, and distinct reading and play areas in their room invite them to learn and explore.
In 2014, with the help of the TODAY Show, NBC news anchor WIllie Geist, Home Depot, and celebrity interior designer Elaine Griffin, we we were able to freshen up the recreation space at our family residence in Brooklyn. Watch the incredible transformation for yourself in this video.
We are incredibly grateful to the BHFC and SOM's Women's Initiative for their expertise, enthusiasm, and dedication to brightening the lives of children who are homeless.