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Keeping the Plates Spinning

by Tracy Mohr

At greeNest, home is at the heart of everything we do. More than a structure or place, home is the foundation for building lives and making memories. Nothing is more rewarding to greeNest’s staff and volunteers than watching our participants fill their homes with beautiful furnishings from our showroom.

But the sense of stability, happiness, and warmth we associate with home may ring hollow to nearly 50% of the households in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County that are rent burdened, spending more than 30% of their income on housing expenses.

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In a Bridges Out of Poverty workshop offered by Crisis Control Ministries, the image of a person struggling to keep several plates spinning in the air at once is used to illustrate the fragility of a low-income family’s economic stability. The head of a household may be successfully, albeit shakily, keeping the plates spinning…until another plate is unexpectedly added. The precarious balance is lost, and all the plates drop and shatter. When a household’s resources are stretched thin, minor emergencies can become catastrophic and lead to a family’s displacement, creating a ripple effect that negatively impacts schools, neighborhoods, and physical and mental health.

There are so many plates to spin when managing a household. For our participants, moving from homelessness or an unstable environment into a new home, and furnishing a home from scratch, can feel daunting and overwhelming, like the addition of a plate to spin. With the support of our volunteers and donors, greeNest makes creating a beautifully furnished home an exciting and joyful experience.

Helpful Links:

>Academic article on the impact of greeNest's mission

>Find local data and resources

>Local officials discussion of affordable housing

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greeNest Asks....Karen Blaylock

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Karen Blaylock - current Events Committee Chair, past Board Member, past Board Chair

How and when did you get involved at greeNest?

They opened April of 2015, and I started in May. I saw an online post from a friend, Joyce Comerford, who was an early board member. Both of my parents passed the October prior. I am an only child, and I had just sold my business, and I saw this and thought I wanted to get involved. I came once for a visit, and the rest is history.

What is one of your favorite hobbies?

Aside from my family and grandkids, we like to spend time at our mountain house, and we like to travel. But really, greeNest is my hobby.

What is one of your favorite ways to ‘nest’ or make your home unique or special?

I love to decorate for the holidays and entertain friends and family at home.

Do you have a book or movie recommendation related to the greeNest mission?

It is a book and a movie - “Same Kind of Different As Me”. It's a true story of the power of friendship and how it relates to social change. It's written by two men, a man experiencing homelessness and a very successful man, and how they came to inspire each other.

Upcoming Events

  • greeNest is the featured non-profit for the month of March at Wiseman Brewing as part of their Healthy, Wealthy & Wise program - a portion of sales will be donated to greeNest and we will be there every Tuesday from 6 -8 pm with an informational table.
    • 4/11 - 4/15 - greeNest's 8th Birthday Celebration Week - Essential Item Drive and Birthday Cake at greeNeest, during regular business hours. >>>Meet the Founders Day  - April 12, 2023 from 1 - 3 pm.<<<
      • 4/20/23 - Step Up To The Plate - Annual Friendraiser luncheon at Truist Field Concourse from 11:30 - 1:00 Click for event details.
      • Student Saturday is every Second Saturday (9am - 12pm) of the month for High School and College student volunteers
      • New Volunteer Orientation: 3/17, 3/29, 4/14, 5/12
      • Volunteer Eat & Chat: 3/15, 4/19, 5/17
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        Trellis Supportive Care Employees

        Essential Donors and greeNest Volunteers

        Essential Items

        For our Finally Home and Up Off the Floor Programs, greeNest is often in need of the following items:

        Twin bedding

        Dressers/chest of drawers

        Cleaning supplies

        Laundry baskets

        and much more!


        Helpful Links:

        >List of items we can and cannot accept

        >Donation FAQs - We Do Pickups!!

        >Flyer for Printing

        " Magic happens when people apply their passion in a place where there is a great need. And that is exactly how it works at greeNest."

        -greeNest volunteer

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        Open Hours

        Tuesday - Friday 10 am - 4 pm

        Saturday 9 am - 12 pm

        630 Brookstown Avenue

        Winston-Salem, NC 27101



        [email protected]

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        Working together to transform our community, one nest at a time.

        The mission of greeNest is to provide access to affordable home furnishings to families transitioning from crisis situations into sustainable housing. 

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