Lisa Robison, founder of Dwell with Dignity, has found a way to take what she’s good at, and then turn around and use those skills to make a positive impact in our community. Lisa had a career in high end interior design before taking 10 years off to raise her children. When her youngest went off to kindergarten, Lisa decided to explore how she could give back. She went to a Habitat for Humanity meeting at SMU to see if she could do interior design for that organization, but Habitat mainly focuses on the house structure itself.
So she wanted to see what she could do herself to help families in need, and Lisa began with a simple goal of helping 4 families her first year. When her friend from design school, Kim Turner, heard about what she was doing, Kim told Lisa they had to get the design community involved. Showrooms in the city started donating sample sale items, floor merchandise, extra inventory, etc. to Dwell with Dignity and it really took off. Inspired by Oprah’s quote of “figure out what makes your heart beat fast, and give that back to your community,” Lisa is helping transform lives here in our city.
About Dwell with Dignity
Do you love watching HGTV? Do you love home makeovers? About every 6 weeks, that’s what Dwell with Dignity does in neighborhoods all over Dallas. About 12 agencies like Genesis Women’s Shelter, Interfaith Family Services, Promise House, and New Friends New Life, nominate families that are transitioning from homelessness to self-sufficiency. The families are only nominated if the case workers feel like they can take the gift to grow and thrive.
When families leave a shelter, they typically have their first and last month’s rent, a mattress, a TV, and limited furniture, but it’s not enough to reallly thrive. Depression is common. Homework is done on the kitchen floor. This set up is not ideal for a good night’s sleep or for good academic performance. There aren’t family dinners or birthday parties.
When Dwell with Dignity comes in, creating a beautifully designed home for a family, the mother’s disposition improves, and she is less likely to get depressed. There is a boost in confidence. Daughters want to invite their friends for play dates at their home. Mom’s will plan birthday parties.
During the process of the makeover, Dwell with Dignitity asks the family to stay with family or friends for 2 nights. The organization’s volunteers come in, set up new furniture, lighting, window treatments, plates, and even stock the kitchen with groceries so the family can start their lives there immediately.
Lisa and Dwell with Dignity team believe that living in a beautiful and well-designed home can have a positive impact on one’s outlook in life, and even have a generational impact.