In keeping with the University and Public Health Department's focus on social justice, Associate Professor Kari Hartwig, DrPH and former MPH graduate student Fatma Mohamed MPH '18 conducted a qualitative evaluation of the nonprofit Bridging.
Bridging provides gently used furniture and household goods to families and individuals emerging from homelessness. Hartwig and Mohamed interviewed 35 former clients and case workers about the impact of these on their sense of home and overall well-being.
From statements such as "It made me feel complete," they heard repeated themes of how these goods supported self-respect and created a sense of "home," physical comfort, and emotional well-being. The study highlighted the value of social support services to provide access to low-cost, quality furniture and household goods to low-income families in parallel with housing support programs.