It takes a village… or an amazing community in this case. And great timing. Last Friday, Red Thread was proud to attend the opening celebration of Y2Y (Youth 2 Youth), the nation’s first student-run youth shelter located in the basement of the First Parish Church in Cambridge.

The group’s mission is inspiring. “Y2Y Harvard Square (Y2Y), a student-run overnight shelter, employs a youth-to-youth model to provide a safe and affirming environment for young adults experiencing homelessness. Y2Y guests will have opportunities to collaborate with service providers, other young adults experiencing homelessness, and student volunteers to create sustainable pathways out of homelessness and develop skills for long-term success. Y2Y provides opportunities for both guests and volunteers to become the next generation’s leading advocates for young adult-driven solutions to homelessness.”

Well, you might ask how does an office furniture dealership become involved? Great timing was a factor. It just so happens that Red Thread and Steelcase are moving in December to 101 Seaport, and we have a lot of furniture that needs a new home! When we were approached by Rashmi Ramaswamy of SHED Studio in Chicago about the project, our Boston Design Manager Aimée Jean and John Dennehy jumped at the chance to provide some distinctive furniture for the truly creative space.


The extensive renovations to the basement of the church were evident during our tour of the space. Guests of the shelter will be treated to a warm, welcoming and modern space that not only supports them but truly illustrates how much the community cares. The Bix Lounge seating from our work café looks fantastic in the space and the Brody Lounge chairs will provide a comfortable place to access technology. What was truly remarkable though were the bunks that are built into the wall and will eventually stack 3 high, providing privacy and personal space for each guest. A creative and space saving design!

This project is a shining example of a community coming together to address a serious issue with creativity, ingenuity and determination. Congratulations Y2Y!