Pinellas County non-profit makes over homes for people in need
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - With many families struggling to make ends meet, a Pinellas County non-profit has stepped in to do something no one else is doing - turning houses into homes.
The Pineapple Projects collects new and gently used furniture, bedding, tables & decor and transforms the houses of those in need. The pineapple symbolizes welcome, warmth and hospitality.
Ashley Cornetet is a realtor with experience staging homes and she came up with the idea a few years ago.
"I love what home represents," Cornetet stated. "I think home is where everything begins so if we can create that loving environment, that's what I want to do."
She started The Pineapple Projects in 2020. It’s an all-volunteer non-profit and immediately felt the need for people like Chiquerria Jones.
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Jones, a mother of four children under the age of 7, says she exhausted all of her savings to rent the house she found for her children, but struggled to decorate it.
Single mother Chiquerria Jones recently received a home makeover from the Pineapple Projects.
One of Jones' co-workers nominated her to be a Pineapple Projects home and we were there when they re-decorated her house.
"I just want to be comfortable," she told FOX13's Mark Wilson while waiting patiently outside her home before she went in. "Oh wow! I love it!" she exclaimed as she gazed around her new kitchen and den. She has a new couch, rug, table, and even new artwork on the walls.
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Her daughter Olivia couldn't wait to see her new room and screamed, "It's mine!" with a big smile when she saw the princess decor in her bedroom. She also now has her own bed, as she and her sister had been sharing a single mattress.
The Pineapple Projects is a non-profit made up of volunteers that furnish homes for people on need.
The boys now have new bunk beds with a superhero theme, and even new superhero action figures.
"They're going to love it when they get home," Jones said.
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But Jones's tears came when she finally saw her new master bedroom. A complete makeover included a new bed, bedding, nightstands, artwork and her favorite part - a sitting chair for her to relax and read after a long day’s work.
Chiquerria Jones’ master bedroom after the Pineapple Projects renovated it.
"This isn't just stuff to us, you know? I mean, yeah, it's things and it and it all looks pretty, but we want this family to start thriving again. We want them to heal. And I believe that they can do big things," Cornetet stated.
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In two years, the Pineapple Projects has helped more than 30 families, averaging a little over a family a month. And they have a huge waiting list. They also have a warehouse storage problem. "Our roof is leaking so we are having to turn some donated items away until we can find a safe place to store everything," says Cornetet. In the meantime, they'll continue transforming homes and lives.
Chiquerria Jones is excited to look at her home after it was furnished by the Pineapple Projects.
"I'm so happy, it feels like home," Jones said.
There truly is no place like home.
LINK: For more on the Pineapple Projects visit https://www.thepineappleprojects.org/.