Based on years of working with persons experiencing homelessness, Michael Allen founded My Very Own Bed (MVOB) in 2014 with one goal in mind: to provide a new bed to children moving into more stable housing. While other organizations provide furniture (often used) to low-income families, many children still sleep on the floor or share a bed (or a couch) with other family members.
Michael saw that a bed provides a tangible step toward the child’s stability - a small place to call their own and a means for improving their sleep and the related health and educational benefits that sleep provides. With each bed, MVOB prepares a “dream kit” for the child, which includes a set of sheets, a pillow, a blanket, and a stuffed animal
The organization’s values are as follows:
Get Better Before Getting Bigger
Focus On Excellence
Compassion And Dignity For The Families Served
HOW WE SERVE
My Very Own Bed has referral partnerships with similar organizations providing services to the homeless population. To identify children in need of new beds, MVOB partners with seven well-established programs that work with low-income children and families throughout the Twin Cities metro area: Amherst Wilder Foundation, YouthLink, Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, Simpson Housing Services, Interfaith Outreach, Parent Support Outreach Program, St. Paul Public Schools’ Project REACH, and Washburn Center for Children.
My Very Own Bed provides new twin beds, not used beds, to kids ages 2-17. Included in with our beds sets is a dream-kit. Our dream-kits include: new sheets, blankets, pillows, mattress pad, stuffed animal and book.
There is a deep personal connection between the volunteers of MVOB and the communities we serve. Building community through professional relationships, is important to MVOB.
For families who have experienced homelessness, finding stable housing is an exciting and powerful step. But it’s not the end of the story: A family may have a new home, but still struggle to afford the basic furnishings that make it truly theirs — even something as simple as a child’s bed.
My Very Own Bed has increased its impact in the community each year. Since 2017, we have more-than doubled the number of beds and dream kits we delivered annually, most recently reaching 676 children in 300 families in 2019. This year, our goal is to reach at least 750 children.
My Very Own Bed currently provides beds through the following referral partners: Washburn Center For Children, Simpson Housing Services, Interfaith Outreach, YouthLink, Anoka Hennepin Public Schools, St. Paul Public Schools Project Reach, St. Stephens, Tubman, Ain Dah Yung Center, Stable Homes Stable Schools, Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington County, East Side Neighborhood Services, Jewish Family & Children Services, The Parent Support Outreach Program, YouthLink, Beacon Interfaith Housing Collabrative and Amherst H. Wilder Foundation.