COLUMBUS, Ohio — Huckleberry House is used to caring for at-risk and homeless youth in the Columbus community. This time, it's the one getting the helping hand.
What You Need To Know
- Huckleberry House's second floor is getting a major makeover by volunteers. The last renovations were done in the 1970s
- NARI brought the volunteers together. The team is replacing the carpet, repainting the walls and adding an extra room
- Huckleberry House Executive Director Sonya Thesing explains how the transformation will benefit at-risk youth
- The second-floor renovation is expected to wrap up this week
The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) is redoing the second floor of the building. The last renovations were done in the 70s.
The building has had minor changes done to it before, but nothing this extensive.
Since the '70s, the second floor inside Huckleberry House has been used as dorm space divided between boys and girls. The carpet was getting worn out and the walls were bland until the team of volunteers stepped in.
"I just feel good about it. That's all it really is," said Jordan Perry, one of a crew of volunteers brought on board by NARI.
Perry said a humble upbringing inspired him to help out.
“I just know the struggles of what it's like being where you are, stuck in a bad position,” said Perry. “Using my experience, as far as painting or carpentry work, I can make a difference."
The volunteers are putting in hard work to make that difference. They are replacing the carpet with uniform flooring, adding color to the walls and putting in an extra bedroom.
Once it's finished, at-risk teens will move back in.
Huckleberry House Executive Director Sonya Thesing said the new space will be more than a nice change of scenery for those teens. Thesing said it will give the teens more quiet room and areas to speak with counselors. The warm and inviting atmosphere will also better serve the kids at a time when many of them are looking for a safe place to stay.
"Reach out for help,” said Perry. “This place is what this is for. Anybody who needs help who's at a young age come to places like this. Don't be afraid or feel like they're not going to be welcome. Ask for help. Plain and simple.”