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The New England Patriots and Bob’s Discount Furniture Champion Young Adults at Foster Forward

In honor of Foster Care Awareness Month, Bob’s Discount Furniture and the New England Patriots Foundation teamed up with Foster Forward to fully furnish three new apartment units in the new Residences at Riverside Square in East Providence, Rhode Island.

The three-story brick development, set alongside the East Bay Bike Path, is home to three young women who have recently aged out of foster care and applied for residences with the support of Foster Forward.

Photos courtesy of the New England Patriots Foundation.

Thanks to a very capable group of football players from the New England Patriots, moving day for the young women of Foster Forward was a dream. After a quick huddle, the players got straight to work, carrying boxes up flights of stairs and unpacking like professionals.

“We’re fortunate to be here today to help a couple of foster kids move into their first place,” said New England Patriots quarterback Jacoby Brissett. “I know how exciting that was for me when I was coming into adulthood, so I can only imagine what it’s like for them. It’s exciting helping them unpack and move in.”

Brissett was joined by teammates Antonio Gibson, Austin Hooper, Kevin Harris, Tyrone Wheatley Jr., and Nathan Rourke.

 

Bob’s Discount Furniture fully furnished the three apartments for the residents providing bedroom, living room and kitchen sets.

 

The new start for the women supported by Foster Forward is more than just a first apartment, explained Lisa Guillette, Executive Director of Foster Forward.

“These new homes, in this vibrant Riverside Community, will be more than just a place to live,” said Guillette. “This is a place for these young people to build social equity and become part of a thriving community.”

Meet Christelle

Christelle is one of three young women who moved into the Residences at Riverside Square supported by Foster Forward and furnished by Bob’s Discount Furniture. As a new flight attendant for Breeze Airways, Christelle said coming home to her new apartment was like a dream.

“It feels very unreal,” said Christelle. “I get to wake up to this every single day. It’s surreal. My bed! I just love it so much. It’s like the bed of my dreams.”


Christelle shared that she’s been on her own since about age 13, estranged from family. She was supported by foster care for about a year before aging out. “I was living in my car. I didn’t really have a home,” she shared. “I was couch surfing a lot, so once I found Foster Forward, it was kind of like they made me feel secure. Like everything was going to be OK.”

Christelle not only loves her new Bob’s furniture, but noted her gratitude for being able to live in the Riverside community.

“I feel like this puts me on a better path. Me waking up in this apartment and seeing my whole house furnished and so beautiful, it motivates me. It makes me want to keep doing better for me.”

Furnished with Love

“Bob’s Discount Furniture believes everyone deserves a home they love, and it was an honor to invite the youth of Foster Forward to select their new home furnishings,” shared Lindsay Ruszczyk, Bob’s Discount Furniture Communications and Community Outreach Director.

“We always love to support the community through our ability to offer furniture, but it was very special to have these young women select the bedroom, living room, and kitchen furniture they wanted,” said Lindsay. “We are delighted that Bob’s could help make their new housing a home.”

“At Foster Forward we don’t do anything without the people we are working with,” said Guillette. “We really try to center the voices of youth in every action, policy, decision making that we are doing and this project and the partnership with the Patriots and Bob’s Discount Furniture is a wonderful illustration of that.”

The mission of Foster Forward is to empower the lives of individuals impacted by foster care. The organization provides an integrated suite of programming for young adults transitioning out of foster care and into adulthood, including but not limited to housing support, financial literacy and asset building, career exploration and workforce development, therapy and wellness, and mentoring.

The Residences at Riverside Square is a ONE Neighborhood Builders development and houses 16 total affordable rental apartments for extremely low-income to moderate-income households. 

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