Title of Work
From Housing Instability to a Home: The Effects of Furniture and Household Goods on Well-being
The quality of housing, the neighborhood in which you live, and community social structures all affect one’s physical and mental health. We conducted a qualitative evaluation of one non-profit organization’s mission to provide furniture and household goods to low-income families. Based on semi-structured interviews with 20 clients and 15 caseworkers, we assessed how furniture and household goods contributed to individuals sense of home and overall well-being. Results of our thematic analysis revealed four themes: (1) respect; (2) creating a home; (3) physical comfort; and (4) emotional well-being. Participants described how the absence of furniture, dishes, and other goods affected their self-esteem, mental health, and physical health. This study suggests the need to include the presence or absence of furniture in housing quality assessments. Social support services that provide access to low-cost, quality furniture to low-income families should exist in parallel with housing support programs.
Hartwig, Kari and Mohamed, Fatma, "From Housing Instability to a Home: The Effects of Furniture and Household Goods on Well-being" (2020). Public Health Faculty Scholarship. 72.