Gwen from Berkeley, CA

Formerly homeless, I need household items to prepare for self-sufficiency

After two years of homelessness, I’m in an apartment and looking for employment. Some linens, dishware, and household goods will get me started.


Update from Gwen Mar 16, 2014

Gwen has sent a couple of photos of what she was able to purchase with all of your help:

Here's an update on the items purchased for my apartment. It all worked out. I got pots/pans/linen(sheets, pillows, pillow cases, comforter), towels, glasses, plates, bowls, blender, picture frames, computer desk, laundry basket, tupperware, utensils. See pictures attached.

Thank you!

Thank you from Gwen Feb 27, 2014

Gwen has sent this note and photo:

At first I had to catch my breath as to the expediency of the generosity in which people helped their fellow (wo)man. I give all the glory to God who put in my path for this to happen. I am ever so grateful, full of heartfelt thanks to those who donated to my need. I can now buy some of the items I need to start out in my new place. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! to all the people who responded with love, respect, and an open heart. It is said, "A Closed Mouth Doesn't Get Fed."


Thank you from BOSS Feb 26, 2014

Gwen's validator, Sonja, just sent this note:

Thank you so much to everyone who helped fill this need - you are amazing!!!! I can't believe how quickly the generosity poured in after Gwen shared her story. She was literally speechless and overcome with emotion. She is so excited, and looks forward to sharing pictures of herself and the housewares she will be able to buy. The first thing she wants to do is set up her kitchen so she can make a decent breakfast! With love, gratitude, and awe ~ Sonja :)

And here's Gwen getting ready for her appearance on Headline News Network!


I need items to put my new apartment in order. This includes all sorts of household items, from pots/pans, dishware, desk/table, chair, linen (bed & bath), and cleaning products like mop, broom, etc.

Meeting this need will help me because I will be able to have the basic necessities in my apartment to cook, to have linen to sleep on, and not have to borrow these things any more. Having a healthy life and a sense of well being is what having my own things would mean to me.

If possible, I would love to have phone or even money to pay to take the CBEST test (teaching test), and then to become certified once passed, but my main focus is to have some of the essential items in my new apartment.

My current situation is I am just moving out a shelter into transitional housing and am seeking full-time employment.

My goal is to become employed. I am looking to work as a substitute teacher or to teach in a college setting, possibly teaching justice-related, or women-related courses.

I'm originally from Chicago, IL, and I love helping people, especially those pursuing or wanting to go back to school. I love all things academic related and look forward to going back to teaching.

I just moved into my own apartment after being homeless for two years and I'm happy about it.

Something interesting about me is that I enjoy meeting new people, I love to dance, and I love word games. I'm happiest when I've helped someone. I'm most proud of how I've humbled myself in the past two years in order to grow personally.

I have one son who I'm estranged from. I have two sisters that I dearly love but have not been in much contact with.

I've been working hard to better myself and to be self-sufficient again; doing volunteer work and being active in my community, helping those who also face homelessness, and the issues and concerns around being poor and in poverty.

Need funded!

Thank you for helping Gwen fund this need.

$510of $505

Need funded!

17 supporters


This need has been validated by Sonja from Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS)

Recent supporters

  1. $20
  2. $35
  3. $20
  4. $35
  5. $20
  6. $10
  7. $35
  8. $10
  9. $35
  10. $10
  11. $100
  12. $25
  13. $50
  14. $50


Validated by Sonja from Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS) (What does this mean?)

We met when Gwen began participating in the BOSS Community Organizing Team (COT). Gwen was homeless and living at our emergency shelter. While she worked to increase her income and find a place to live, she wanted to help fight the root causes of homelessness, so she joined COT, which works on public education and organizing for social change.

I think meeting this need is important because very low income people do not have enough money to buy all the things they need to set up a livable home. It can take months to find a place that is affordable, and paying all the costs associated with moving in takes every dime people have or have received from housing assistance agencies. There is nowhere that helps with furniture, housewares, pots and pans, towels, and basic living needs once you are housed!

Gwen has been helping our organization by calling and writing to local and national companies to ask them to donate goods, food, and supplies to BOSS. She still participates in the Community Organizing Team and works on local root-cause issues to fight homelessness. She has a huge heart, community spirit, and is out there on the front lines helping others in need. Please help her, too!

About Sonja

My job title is Development Director. My work involves raising funds for a human service nonprofit in Alameda County, California, that helps people overcome homelessness and poverty. Fundraising is hard but incredibly rewarding when you meet and hear stories from people who have gotten off the… Read more