The sounds of power tools and the smell of fresh construction have been frequent companions for us lately. For the last several months, we’ve been renovating several of our spaces at Outside In. The third floor of our downtown location is part of our transitional housing program. On the third floor, residents live in one of three color-themed pods. Each pod is a shared living space where youth have private bedrooms but share the common spaces of the living room, kitchen, dining room, and bathroom. You can read more about life in transitional living at this link. 

Since last fall we’ve been renovating these pods. The work has included fresh paint, replacing carpet with vinyl floors, installing new fixtures and appliances, and updating the furniture. Since construction began, the renovations have been finished on Purple Pod. That work was completed thanks in part to the generous support of a local partner, PCC Structurals. Green Pod’s remodel is currently underway and construction on Red Pod will start in the coming months.

These updates are important because we want to ensure that our youth residents (aged 18-24) have the best, most welcoming space possible. The updates to rooms include furniture that is more supportive and durable, and built with our participants and program needs in mind. The new vinyl floors will be easier to clean, which is especially important as we work with our residents on the skills needed to maintain shared living spaces. One specific example is increasing the size of the fridges. Our previous, smaller refrigerators were not conducive to youth developing grocery shopping and meal preparation skills. Installing larger refrigerators provides the space to help youth build skills that will enable them to transition to independent living and create lifelong healthy habits. It’s critical to us that these spaces are kept current and functionally able to meet the needs of our youth residents while also being warm, cozy, and feeling like home.     

“Since Purple Pod’s refurbish, we have already seen the difference in the way the residents take care of their space!,” Lindsay Hyland, Housing Program Manager, shared with us. “We’ve had no power struggles over chores, and this group of residents is even holding self-planned movie nights and dinners together.  They love their environment, they feel the care that we put into making it clean and comfortable for them, and they are keeping it in great shape.” 

We’re grateful for all our donors and funders who have made this work possible. Another key supporter we’re honored to highlight is Lowe’s Hometowns. Hometowns is a signature community investment project that Lowe’s Hardware is running from 2022-2026. They’re investing $100 million, focused on revitalizing and rebuilding in cities and towns across the country. Customers can nominate projects and Outside In was nominated and selected to be one of only 100 projects chosen in 2022! Their investment supported the ongoing renovation of the Green Pod. 

As a part of the project, they sent a team of Lowe’s volunteers to work on the construction. Some pictures from their “Red Vest Day” are below. It was an exciting day welcoming the Lowe’s team into our spaces. We’re so thankful for Lowe’s Hometowns, PCC Structurals, and all our generous donors and funders who have made these important updates possible.  

This isn’t the only renovation work we’re doing at Outside In! We’ll soon be starting construction on a remodel of our downtown lobby and reception area. We’re excited to update our welcome space for our clients, patients, and community members. Construction is planned to begin later this winter. So if you come visit our spaces in the coming months, please: Pardon our dust!