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Providing the feeling of ‘home again’ |

Providing the feeling of ‘home again’

A couple of weeks ago Wendy Carter had very few furnishings in her new Summerville apartment.

Carter, a formerly homeless veteran, needed some help in assembling her new digs, and ended up finding a helping hand from John Michael Stagliano and his organization, “Home Again.”

John Michael’s willingness to pitch in goes back to years ago when he started helping his sister, Katie – namesake of Katie’s Krops – feed the homeless.

Now he is meeting another need by furnishing their homes as formerly homeless residents re-establish themselves and start a new chapter in their lives.

John Michael, 14, has been involved in preparing homemade meals at Home of Hope, the men’s homeless shelter in Summerville. As these people began moving on from shelter life, John Michael found a need in providing donated furniture.

“We were doing the meals for the Home of Help because I have been cooking for Katie’s Krops for a while…but then we learned that (they) don’t get any furniture when they move out, so we’re trying to furnish their homes when they leave the Home of Hope,” he said.

Home Again has been working mainly with Home of Hope and the Veterans Affairs office but John Michael said they want to help out anybody that they find out about who needs it.

John Michael and his mom, Stacy, met Carter through the Veterans Affairs office.

“It’s such a great thing that he’s doing, helping homeless vets,” Carter said.

Through the VA and John Michael, Carter said she considers herself “very blessed.”

Among the provisions John Michael has provided Carter was a bedroom set, a couch; a dining room table and chairs; an armoire piece; pots and pans; miscellaneous bakeware, cookware, Tupperware and utensils; a day twin bed with a mattress and box springs for her youngest daughter, plus a dresser and mirror and white bookshelf. Carter is a mother to two girls.

The furniture John Michael has accumulated has been donated from “everywhere.”

“Our neighbors, our friends, some people in our family” – John Michael pointed out a dresser that was provided to Carter – “we got that dresser from my grandmother.”

John Michael said he has gotten a lot from family and friends. He and his mom said they work at it pretty much every day.

“He does so much work with the Home of Hope…that’s very near and dear to him,” Stacy Stagliano said. “They’re kind of streamlining the process now for the guys who move out so they connect with him early on, so then we can get the word out about what they need.”

John Michael keeps the donated furniture in a storage unit that Shady Oaks Storage has provided for a year, though Stacy Stagliano said they have gotten so much stuff that they’ve had to rent out a second unit.

Some of the items the Staglianos said they really try to find for new residents are small kitchen tables and chairs, small dressers, twin and full size beds, lamps, washers and dryers and coffee tables. Stacy said she thinks they have helped at least 20 people by now.

Residents can help donate by visiting Home Again’s Facebook page – search “Home Again of the Lowcountry.”

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