There is a distinct difference between a house and a HOME. Home is where you feel safe and know in your heart that there will always be a space for you whenever times are tough. It’s not just a destination, it’s a sanctuary for the soul.
I believe to my core that everyone deserves to live beautifully. Nothing is more powerful than having a space that is the truest reflection of who you are, where you’re from and where you want to go. The Covenant House has been a shelter for homeless and trafficked youth since 1972. Not only is it a home to many that desperately need a place to heal, grow and dream, but it represents possibility and opportunity. I was honored when I was asked by Oprah to renovate the campus for the better and see if I could find a way to make a space that at times is temporary, feel like home.
The campus was 20 years old and nothing had been updated since it was first established. The beds were decades old, the carpets had seen better days and there was no work space or place to hang out.
Many of you may not know this, but when I first moved to Los Angeles in 2004, I was briefly homeless myself. I jumped around from sofa to sofa and at times lived out of my Jeep for several months. When I was able to finally move into my first apartment, it happened to be directly across the street from the Covenant House.
I know firsthand the value of having a space that is yours and the security that it comes with. These kids deserve all the beauty life has to offer, and I was determined to give it my all to support them.
My plan for Covenant House was simple: Bring in the light. I swapped the dark and dingy colors of the lobby and the living area to a brighter, more inviting palette – one with an emphasis on texture and warmth. I switched out the old carpet with light wood flooring and installed all new furniture throughout.
Thanks to help from Living Spaces, I was able to curate from their collections and not only brighten up the common area for the kids, but introduce a playful sophistication to all of the common areas.
I was also incredibly lucky to have the support, donations, and help of the staff on campus, family and friends. During install day, our hands were full. Making beds, steaming curtains, fluffing pillows and bringing in fresh flowers for the big reveal. I couldn’t believe how many people came out to work together for an amazing cause.
I’m still humbled by the opportunity I had to transform the Covenant House. Ultimately, this place is a large step towards the future and the belief that you deserve the beauty life has to offer. Covenant House is family, and these kids are our future. I’m so proud of what we have accomplished in reimagining a place that teaches kids how to forgive, live gracefully and never stop dreaming.
See more photos from Jeremiah’s Covenant House renovation in our Facebook album.