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The Junk Drawer: A Simple Luxury Beyond the Reach of Those Experiencing Homelessness

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It’s a small, seemingly insignificant part of every household—the junk drawer. Overflowing with batteries, half-used candles, spare keys, and an assortment of screws, it’s a haphazard collection of things we might need “someday.” Though often messy and disorganized, the junk drawer serves as a subtle reminder of the stability and security that comes with having a home. But what about those who are experiencing homelessness? For them, the concept of a “junk drawer” represents a distant luxury, an everyday item that underscores the privileges associated with having a home.

A drawer full of random items, junk drawer

The Comfort of “Someday”

The junk drawer is a manifestation of the luxury of planning for a “someday” that isn’t clouded by immediate concerns about where to sleep or find the next meal. It’s a small yet powerful symbol of long-term stability. Those experiencing homelessness often live in the immediacy of the present, forced to focus on day-to-day survival. The mental, emotional, and physical space to collect items for future use is a freedom they simply can’t afford.

More than a Storage Space

To the casual observer, a junk drawer might seem chaotic or even unnecessary. But its very existence suggests the availability of additional storage spaces: closets, cupboards, a garage, or even a basement. These areas allow us to sort our lives into categories, from essentials to non-essentials, seasonal items, or sentimental keepsakes. People experiencing homelessness often carry their whole world in a single bag. There’s no room for non-essentials, much less a space dedicated to random items.

Fred Victor: Recognizing the Importance of Home

At Fred Victor we understand that a home is more than just a place to sleep; it’s a foundational element for stability and personal well-being. Without a safe place to call home, people cannot begin to rebuild their lives. That’s why our mission is dedicated to helping people who are experiencing homelessness, with the ultimate objective of securing stable and permanent housing for them.

Through programs offering affordable housing, transitional spaces, drop-in spaces, and shelters Fred Victor works to provide more than just a roof over people’s heads. We help people to rebuild their lives and we provide the dignity of a home —a place where they can, perhaps for the first time, think about the luxury of “someday.”

The Intangible Benefits of a Permanent Address

A home does more than offer physical shelter; it provides a psychological sanctuary and a starting point to rebuild one’s life. The seemingly trivial junk drawer becomes a tiny but important milestone on the road to recovery and stability. The moment one can afford the luxury of planning for “maybe” or “someday” is the moment the cycle of homelessness begins to break.

A New Perspective on Everyday Luxuries

So, the next time you rummage through your junk drawer looking for a stray screw or a forgotten battery, take a moment to recognize the security it represents. Consider how this simple drawer is a luxury for those struggling with housing stability, and how organizations like Fred Victor are tirelessly working to ensure that everyone can enjoy the mundane yet meaningful comforts of having a home.

If you’re passionate about empowering people on their transformative journey out of homelessness, please donate today.

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