MINNEAPOLIS (April 12, 2017) – On Thursday, April 13, the Minnesota Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) will join community members in celebrating the grand opening of two renovated classroom spaces at People Serving People’s homeless shelter in Minneapolis. Over the past sixteen months, members of ASID-Minnesota’s community service committee have donated their time and efforts to renovate the two classrooms, which will be used by children staying in the shelter. The design of the two spaces incorporates the principles of trauma-informed care.

“The American Society of Interior Designers – Minnesota is proud to give back to People Serving People, which serves more than 1,000 families facing homelessness every year,” Jackie Millea, chair of the ASID-Minnesota community service committee, said. “Renovating People Serving People’s education and enrichment classrooms was a perfect opportunity for our designers and industry partners to put good design toward a greater cause. We thank People Serving People for working so closely with us over the past months to complete this project. It is our hope that these classrooms will serve as meaningful and healing spaces for the children and volunteers who use them for years to come.”

People Serving People is Minnesota’s largest and most comprehensive shelter for families experiencing homelessness. In 2016, it served more than 1,000 families experiencing homelessness, including hundreds of children who used their classrooms for after-school activities and enrichment programs. One classroom is geared toward group activities, while the second is designed for one-on-one tutoring and instruction, such as reading practice.

“With these renovated classrooms, People Serving People can ensure that children staying with us are learning and healing in the best environment possible,” Matthew Johnson, People Serving People’s former education services coordinator, said. “Thank you to ASID-Minnesota for partnering with People Serving People to give some of our community’s most vulnerable kids a soothing and educational place to learn and grow. We appreciate the generous support of the many designers, donors and partners who made this vision a reality.”

Volunteers from ASID-Minnesota launched the classroom renovation project in January 2016. The community-centered design phase incorporated design ideas from ASID-Minnesota designers and students from St. Catherine University. The designers then worked with People Serving People to refine the plans to best fit the needs of staff, volunteers and children at the facility.

Since the experience of losing a home is traumatic for children and their families, the designers worked to incorporate trauma-informed design principles that promote healing and wellness. The flexible classroom spaces are designed with natural elements and lighting to mimic the therapeutic elements of the outdoors.

Fundraising for the project was completed by ASID-Minnesota members and Shelter Architecture led the management and completion of the renovation. ASID-Minnesota also led a book drive for the shelter, to ensure that every child could take a book home with them following their stay.

People Serving People is a family-focused shelter with 99 emergency shelter rooms and ten two-bedroom supportive apartments. Its facility features a fully-licensed preschool and Minneapolis Public Schools coordinates busses for school-aged children staying at the shelter so they can continue to attend their same schools. People Serving People also provides a technology resource center, indoor and outdoor play areas, support groups and community partnerships with more than 30 local organizations. To learn more about People Serving People, please visit:peopleservingpeople.org

The American Society of Interior Designers is a community of designers, industry representatives, educators and students committed to interior design. Through education, knowledge sharing, advocacy, community building and outreach, ASID strives to advance the interior design profession and demonstrate and celebrate the power of design to positively impact the human experience in the places where we live, work, play and heal. Currently, ASID has more than 25,000 members and 47 professional chapters nationwide, including the Minnesota chapter, which also serves members in North and South Dakota. For more information on the Minnesota chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers, please visit asidmn.org.

An event celebrating the completion of the project will be held on Thursday, April 13, 2017 from 4:30-7:30 p.m. at the Radisson Red Hotel, 609 South 3rd Street, Minneapolis. The event, which will be held across the street from People Serving People, includes tours of the renovated classrooms every half hour.  

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