Local nonprofit provides furnishings for formerly homeless families

Local nonprofit provides furnishings for formerly homeless families
October 21
09:21 2021

An organization here in Winston-Salem has made it their mission to help the formerly homeless transitioning to independent living, get the everyday essentials that can help transform a house into a home. 

If they are fortunate enough to receive housing, oftentimes displaced families are immediately tasked with finding furniture and other items, in addition to rent, utilities, and other essentials. 

With inspiration from The Green Chair Project in Raleigh, Jan Barbee and her sister, Joanna Britt, founded GreeNest in 2015 to help ease that process. 

By partnering with agencies in Forsyth County and several local churches and other programs, for a small fee, this unique program provides household furnishings for families and individuals transitioning to sustainable housing. A case manager from a partnering agency may request furnishing for a client that is being re-housed and in need. The program is supported by donations collected from homes and businesses. 

During GreeNest’s first “Step Up to the Plate” fundraising event held last week, Executive Director Julia Toone said in 2018 she fell in love with the program and six months later, she agreed to join the GreeNest Team. Toone said the program was created by two sisters who saw an unmet need in our community. “They saw that families and individuals who experienced homelessness, transitioning to a home of their own, lacked the resources to furnish their homes with essentials for life,” she continued. 

“With their dedication, with their hard work and their desire to create social change, they created GreeNest.”  

Since 2015, GreeNest has provided furniture for more than 2,000 families and veterans. GreeNest also partners with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools (WS/FCS) and has donated 700 beds and new bedding to children who attend local schools. 

Latoya Yancey, who found out about GreeNest through a local church, said it’s an awesome program. Yancey said she was overwhelmed with joy when she walked through the GreeNest showroom.

“When I came in, everyone was happy, they were willing to help me with all my needs. Any question that I had, someone was there to answer them, and if they didn’t know, they found someone who could help me,” Yancey continued. “I think that I’m blessed that someone cared enough to help me when I couldn’t help myself.” 

For more information on GreeNest, visit or visit the showroom located at 630 Brookstown Avenue.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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