Ideas + Advice

 Sgt. Angel Alvarez
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Furnishing Hope Furnishes a Brighter Future for Veterans

Our partnership with Furnishing Hope has not only allowed us to help veterans heal at home, it has introduced us to wounded heroes with deeply inspiring stories. We’re sharing their tales of personal challenges and triumphs in our Furnishing Hope blog post series, so you can learn more about these courageous individuals and the lives they’re leading now. What follows is an account of their experiences before and after Furnishing Hope put together a new home for them.

Furnishing a Brighter Future for Sgt. Angel Alvarez

"The last couple of years have been trials and tribulations . . . a little bit of adversity. I was homeless twice. My PTSD and issues I had from my combat experience impacted my school and my work. I was always trying to conquer and overcome, and I did for a while, but then I would find myself homeless. I was living in my car for almost eight months and that made my symptoms even worse. I didn’t feel safe. It set off all my red flags. I felt lost. I was just trying to find my mission and purpose after I got out, but I was struggling to re-acclimate. I know that sounds cliche, but that’s how it’s been."

welcome mat
Furnishing Hope team member hanging wall art

"Luckily, being the tough Marine I am, I could keep on persevering. It was a struggle. I didn’t have any support, and didn’t have the team like I did in the Corps. I was alone, disconnected.

2018 is going to be a better year. I have an apartment, it’s beautifully furnished . . . way beyond what I thought. I’m super grateful. With God on my side and being in a safe community. It’s home. I just graduated from a program at the Aspire Center."

furnished living room with decor
furnished bedroom with decor

"I’m not cured, but I’m better equipped to deal with my symptoms. I have support networks, breathing exercises and therapies. I have my body right and my mind right. The apartment was the last piece. I just wanted to have a place where I can feel safe, not just a place to lay my head, but a place that is home. Before, I had a lot of mix and match things . . . stuff that I found on the street because I couldn’t afford more. I couldn’t afford this, this would take me a long time. I’m super, super grateful and appreciative, and it makes a big difference. After struggling for so long, all these good things are happening and it’s a little overwhelming."

Purple Heart Recipient, Sgt. Povas Miknaitis Opens the Chapter to His Happily Ever After

When asked what it means to have his home furnished by Furnishing Hope, Sgt. Povas Miknaitis said: "Since this is my first home, and a home that I hope to one day raise children in, I am so blessed to have Furnishing Hope help make my new house a real home."

"I enjoy entertaining guests and I can’t wait to have a home and yard large enough to comfortably spend time with my girlfriend, friends and family. Transitioning out of the Marine Corps after recovering from my injuries was hard. I was so busy going to school and then getting my first civilian job."

"It means a lot to me that there are people in my community who want to help me start the next chapter of my life.” Sgt. Miknaitis joined the military because he wanted to serve his country. He was awarded the Navy Commendation with “V” for Valor in combat and a Purple Heart."

In 2006, while moving into a building, an IED detonated and injured Sgt. Miknaitis and his team. He ignored his wounds and tended to his team in order to stabilize them. Medevac took 2 hours to get into position, so the fact that he and the corpsman were able to keep his team alive was nothing short of a miracle. Once Medevac arrived at their position, Sgt. Miknaitis carried one of his teammates, who had lost both of his legs, to the vehicle. Only then did the rescuing party realize that Sgt. Miknaitis had received a serious head wound, which resulted in the removal of his ear and one-third of his mouth.
Now that he is recovered, retired and residing in San Diego with his dog, Striker, Sgt. Miknaitis is looking forward to furthering his career, raising a family one day and,“living happily ever after.”

9/04/19: Photos from the LS x Furnishing Hope Install

On the morning of September 4, 2019, the Furnishing Hope team, with the help of Living Spaces employees, furnished and decorated the home of army veteran David and his family.
furnishing hope partners
Kristin Minasian Chris Kelly Volunteers
furniture volunteers
Kristin Minasian volunteer
Chris Kelly furnishing hope
Kristin Minasian and Chris Kelly
Chris Kelly and Kristin Minasian, taking a breather!
giving spaces
A view of the finished living room!
They're on a roll!
living spaces charity
Opening the door for the big reveal!
living spaces charities
The family sees their newly-furnished home for the first time.
living spaces team
home makeover
Learn more about Living Spaces’ partnership with Furnishing Hope here.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.