Interior Designer Develops Innovative Scheme to Help the Homeless

Dr Roshan Radhakrishnan

Interior designer Jessica Helgerson balances modern aesthetics with personal touches for her projects and over a two-decade career has earned herself an applause-laden national reputation. Inspired by a pro-bono client – Portland Homeless Family Solutions – Jessica decided she wanted to do more for those who had no homes of their own. 

“Every day, I see the effects of our country’s devastating wealth gap playing out on our sidewalk. I had to do something.” 
- Jessica Helgerson, One Percent Project

woman smiling

Jessica founded the One Percent Project that helped connect local businesses to local non-profit groups, aiming to end homelessness and create a kinder, healthier and happier Portland where everyone had a home. They did this by requesting those in the business of homes they work with to incorporate 1 percent to their final bills to help award grants to properly vetted non-profit partners, helping them serve the needy better.

Since its inception, the One Percent Project has got designers, architects and builders from all across the city to join in and implement similar one percent donations on their invoices to their clients. 

“As people who work in the business of homes, its our duty to do whatever we can to help end homelessness once and for all.” 
- Kate Sullivan, Managing Director

Till date, the One Percent Project has provided nine Portland Oregon state organizations with funds to fight homelessness. The tiny 1 % they have charged clients over less than 2 years has, as of the start of 2021, accumulated to an amazing $ 150,000 (Rs 1.12 crores), with more than a dozen interior designing related businesses having now joined Jessica’s cause and incorporated 1% into their bills to help those who need it the most.

You can check their work at their site here, on Instagram or if you’re in the mood for some lovely d├ęcor, check out Jessica’s mesmerizing interior designs here.

Author's note:

Since 2017, every year, I take up the #BlogchatterA2Z challenge and focus on showcasing lovely real-life heroes from around the worldThe aim is to remind you that there is still plenty of good human beings all around you... to inspire you to smile once more.

Want more stories of compassion? 

I have Hundreds of 'Heroes of Kindness' to brighten your day here. Earlier editions can be viewed from the links below:

2017 edition (Articles - 40, Heroes - 67)
2018 edition (Articles - 34, Heroes - 52)
2019 edition (Articles - 31, Heroes - 42)
2020 edition (Articles - 30, Heroes - 64)

The 2020 Edition is also available as a book on Kindle too, if you want it that wayyy! (IndiaUS)

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Let me know what you think.

  1. One more hero to be lauded! A roof over the head is a basic need and it is so laudable that Jessica has started this venture.

  2. One percent project is great initiative by Jessica helgerson. She is helping people fulfill there dream of having a home and thus end homelessness.

  3. What a wonderful thought and gesture by Jessica. So glad others are helping her out too.

  4. One person can bring a difference and hope is the reason why we get up everyday. Very inspiring series.

    - Ujjwal Mishra MywordsMywisdom

  5. Such talent would do more good to the community

  6. Another heroic story of compassion. One percent project is doing great by reducing homelessness.

  7. Where there is a will, there is a way. Those who are committed to doing something, they will find a way ultimately!! Another brilliant project, that inspired many others too, to join in. Kudos to these heroes!!

  8. There is a well known saying in Hindi.. Boond Boond se Sagar banta hai.. Which is so apt here.. Jessica's initiative bought home for homeless people. Very inspiring.

  9. Giving a roof over the head to the homeless through such brilliant ways is such a noble deed. Kudos to the people who chipped in too.

  10. The intentions to help can lead to big goals. And bigger gains. Another inspiring story
    Deepika Sharma

  11. One Percent Project is so inspiring.
    Great impact. Kindness goes a long way.

  12. I have no words, look like so much goodness still left in the world and this is so inspiring!!

  13. Jessica has done an incredible job with her one percent project in helping homeless people. again an inspiring tale that motivate us to think about others and help them with our best possible efforts.

  14. Jessica and her one percent project are indeed worth lots of appreciation doc.

  15. Wow what a great intaitive by Jessica . She is helping people fulfill there dream of having a home.


  16. Great and unique initiative by interior designer Jessica Helgerson. She is real designer who knows to design home for not only who pay for it but also those who need it. In india max crowd of interior designers comes from the celebrity's spouses, but never heard such kind gesture from anyone.

  17. Great deed by providing a home. Thank for for introducing this wonderful human being

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