March 29, 2023

The Oasis Alliance team—founder Danielle Woodhouse Johnson, style and design director Cat Guerra, and director of operations Yvette Guerra, with a shopper. Prime: The Oasis Alliance board.

The Oasis Alliance commenced immediately after Danielle Woodhouse Johnson seasoned an unexpectedly lifetime-altering event as a result of a residence staging undertaking. She was a part of the outreach team at her church when a nearby shelter named mainly because a mother and her daughter were being homeless and relocating into their initial home. “The expertise was so beautiful,” claims Johnson of relocating them in. “The tears and joy were the times I realized what I wanted to do for the rest of my everyday living. That planted the seed for Oasis Alliance.”

Following that 1st residence installation, Johnson commenced to enlist other imaginative mates with humanitarian streaks to assist in her endeavours to transform the life of trauma survivors by way of design and style. Now, 5 years afterwards, the group is a registered 501(c)3 and has undertaken shut to 80 pro bono assignments.

To Johnson, the Oasis Alliance is the excellent culmination of her two passions: social solutions and structure. Right before Johnson commenced the Oasis Alliance, she served in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic. Later on, she went into social expert services encouraging undocumented immigrants in mental well being clinics for providers like housing, where she would generally access out to the neighborhood for donations to support with the housing requirements of these in want.


preview for Dream Rentals
living room

The Alliance focuses on building areas that evoke relaxed.

What most struck Johnson about her do the job in that capability was the high-quality of items donated to people in need: She would get things that, in her words, had been “disgusting and damaged.”

“There’s this thought that people who really don’t have nearly anything need to be grateful for what they get, even if it can be something you would not even give to your worst enemy,” Johnson says. “It applied to make me so offended. Just since folks are struggling at this minute, it doesn’t signify they are entitled to trash.”

The strategy that all men and women are entitled to a secure and happy home—and a single that displays their personality—became a foundational tenet of OA. Individuals are worthy of selection and top quality,” suggests Johnson.

a makeover featured in a recent news segment

A makeover showcased in a current news section.

The Alliance’s structure director is Cat Guerra, whom Johnson achieved when Guerra served as her supervisor at a home staging enterprise. Substantially like a designer at any for-profit organization, Guerra is effective instantly with each client for style and design consultations and set up, using treatment to make spaces that get the job done for them. She retains every little thing on monitor by means of fundraising attempts, coordinating in between groups, and guaranteeing the set up process is easy for just about every consumer.

living room transformation

Each challenge is tailored to its receiver.

“For trauma survivors, house isn’t a safe and sound space, and we’re attempting to modify that,” Johnson tells Household Lovely. “Many of our shoppers are victims of domestic violence or sexual violence. We want to make a new house where you are not emotion activated, and you can experience protected.” To achieve this, Guerra focuses on generating sensory spaces and picking out elements that provide the outdoors in for trauma survivors.

“At Reveal Working day, several purchasers really feel like they do not ought to have it,” notes Johnson. “So to overcome that emotion in the course of the design system, we really try out to above-provide and give a message of abundance. Each job starts with a style and design session so we can comprehend what they want and want in their dwelling. We also have each property owner involved in the style and design approach by carrying out an artwork challenge like portray a place or producing a piece of artwork.”

All of this contributes to building a home which is not only secure and secure, but in which its inhabitants can genuinely sense at dwelling.

The Alliance has massive strategies for its future few years: The team hopes to tap into industrial spaces in the DMV that get the job done with trauma victims, extend fundraising, and, longterm, create a framework for other cities to undertake the Oasis design (this would also entail instructing designers how to engage with trauma survivors in a dignified way outside of design principles). Johnson, Guerra, and staff were not long ago profiled on Fox5 Washington DC for their do the job, an fascinating milestone in spreading the phrase about the corporation (see the clip here).

Want to help the mission? The Alliance operates on a donation and volunteer basis—to support its attempts, you can volunteer your time or deliver a financial donation.