We recently celebrated 24 years in business. Looking back, one sentiment perfectly defines our experience: gratitude. We’ve been blessed to collaborate with inspiring clients, consultants, contractors, artisans, and designers, many of whom we also call our friends; to practice our art in many of the world’s most beautiful communities; and to see our designs fully realized as beloved forever homes.
The luxury of the materials we use and the homes we design is not lost on us. Sometimes any home at all can be a luxury, especially here in Los Angeles, where affordable housing is scarce and homelessness is tragically prolific. So when our team considered meaningful ways to mark our anniversary, helping the homeless seemed on-target for designers of shelter. We understood how transformative having a home can be, but we didn’t know how working with the homeless would transform our own lives.
We initially planned a day of maintenance at My Friend’s Place, a community center that provides life-changing services to over a third of Los Angeles’ homeless youth population. However, as our service day approached, our impact evolved into more than making small facilities repairs, and our commitment grew far beyond a just one day. We decided to help facilitate the center’s many enrichment activities, and to make and serve lunch to over one hundred homeless young people. When we learned that the center’s grill recently stopped working, we found a replacement. And donating a grill inspired our team to host a studio-wide donation drive, collecting much-needed clothing, toiletries, bags, blankets, and sleeping bags.
At each step, someone from our team stepped up to ask, “What more can we do?” In print, it appears like a lot… but in the context of our own lives and work, it quickly became apparent that there is so much more that can still be done.
As we enter the season of giving, we challenge you, too, to reflect on your good fortune — be it a wealth of energy, health, time, and/or resources. We ask you: how can you use your good fortune to give to your community? We hope that you find an answer as fulfilling as it is to those who receive it.
Wishing you an abundance of gratitude,
The Tim Barber Architects Team