The quality of housing, the neighborhood in which one lives, 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.


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pp. 1656-1668
Launched on MUSE
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