Makeover inside Huckleberry House helps at-risk teens


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Huckleberry House is experienced in caring for at-risk and homeless youth in the Columbus community. This time, it is he who lends the hand.

What do you want to know

  • The second floor of Huckleberry House is getting a facelift by volunteers. The last renovations were made in the 1970s
  • NARI brought together the volunteers. The team replaces the carpet, repaints the walls and adds an additional room
  • Huckleberry House Executive Director Sonya Thesing explains how the transformation will benefit at-risk youth
  • The renovation of the second floor is expected to be completed this week

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) is redecorating the second floor of the building. The last renovations were made in the 70s.

The building had minor changes before, but nothing too major.

Since the 1970s, the second floor of Huckleberry House has been used as a dormitory space divided between boys and girls. The carpet was getting worn and the walls were bland until the team of volunteers intervened.

“I feel good about it. That’s all it really is,” said Jordan Perry, one of the volunteers brought on board by NARI.

Perry said a humble upbringing inspired him to help.

“I just know the struggles of what it’s like to be where you are, stuck in a bad position,” Perry said. “With my experience, both in painting and carpentry, I can make a difference.”

Volunteers work hard to make a difference. They replace the carpet with a uniform floor covering, add color to the walls and furnish an additional bedroom.

Once completed, at-risk adolescents will return to the home.

Huckleberry House executive director Sonya Thesing said the new space will be more than a nice change of scenery for these teenagers. Thesing said it would give teens space and quieter areas to talk with counsellors. The warm and inviting atmosphere will also serve children better at a time when many of them are looking for a safe place to stay.

“Ask for help,” Perry said. “This place is for that. Anyone who needs help and is at a young age comes to places like this. Don’t be afraid or feel like they won’t be not welcome. Ask for help. It’s plain and simple.”

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