Indy furniture company gives workers second chance, hope

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 23, 2014)-- It's estimated that more than 9,000 people in Marion County experience homelessness during the course of a year.

Many of those people can't find work to break the cycle of poverty.

Purposeful Design is one program in Indianapolis that's truly changed a former heroin addict's life this Christmas season.

Organizations such as Wheeler Mission recommend men who are ready to work at Purposeful Designs.

The company sources rough cut wood from Hebron, a substance abuse rehabilitation camp in Brown County. where a saw mill is operated. The saw mill provides the Hebron men work, training and income.

Purposeful Design creates and finishes beautiful, hand-made, rustic furniture and sells the finished product to customers across the city. Just like each family is a little different, each piece of furniture produced is just a little different.

Andrew Gibson started working at Purposeful Designs in the spring.

A year ago, Gibson was addicted to Heroin. Gibson's family left him, and he "hit rock bottom."

"If I didn`t have something to occupy my time, I`d probably be on the streets running around just working for drug money and stealing from people," said Gibson.

This holiday season, Gibson is sober for the first time in 17 years. Gibson's also re-connected with his wife and two children.

"This will be by far the best Christmas I ever had in my life," said Gibson.

David Palmer started Purposeful Design in 2013.

"Purposeful Design is attacking joblessness in Indianapolis. It is a real road block to people taking a step forward in life providing for their families and creating confidence in a sense of fulfillment," said Palmer.

The company started crafting the pieces this spring. There are six full-time employees, and they start each day with prayer.

"It is a lot more than just building furniture. We are rebuilding men`s lives at the same time. I have a dream that one day many of the homes our city will have a piece of purposeful design furniture or a décor item. Not about what it does for my home or your home if you have a piece, but what it will do for the men and their families of the men that we employ," explained Palmer.

It's an opportunity Andrew Gibson is thankful he has - especially this holiday season.

"It is an awesome thing what is happening here," said Gibson.

All the furniture created at Purposeful Design is for sale. Click here to order online.