CIVIC/COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION LEADER
Repurposing Furnishings for Renewed Lives
Before meeting in 2011, Lois and Troy Hughes, founders of the nonprofit—His Hidden Treasures— lived separate lives rife with challenges and character-defining experiences, including times of great wealth and professional success along with periods of bankruptcy and near homelessness.
Now married and nourished by a strong common faith and love, and the strength and wisdom that comes with age and experience, they turned their focus to others. In 2012, Troy and Lois established a nonprofit ministry that helps people work their way out of homelessness and gain much-needed self-esteem in newly furnished homes.
When they met, Lois was working for a company that furnished executive apartments. Troy was (and still is) the owner of a junk hauling business, Junk Be Gone. Their shared skills and mission led to the development of His Hidden Treasures. “It’s a passion now not only a ministry,” Troy says.
Working in partnership with organizations dedicated to ending homelessness, His Hidden Treasures transforms transitional rental housing into homes for families, personalized with lovingly restored furniture and donated store floor samples and new housewares.
Selective about the furnishings they provide, Lois and Troy insist that every bedroom have brand new mattresses, pillows and fresh linens. “Beds are paramount to me. I won’t work with an agency that doesn’t provide beds,” Lois says.“ The body needs to restore itself before you’re mentally able to move on.”
Last year they completely furnished 50 homes and sold $200,000 worth of restored items on Craigslist to support their nonprofit endeavors.
“We consider it an honor to do this,” says Lois, adding with hope, “we could be doing so much more.”