Georgie Smith Biography
Geogie Smith is a filmmaker, designer as well as a chef. She is also a founder of the nonprofit A Sense of Home (ASOH) after her random act of kindness for an aged out foster youth formed a model for a community based solution. Prior to ASOH Georgie split her time between film &TV and designing homes, interiors, landscapes and events featuring her own unique culinary expression.
Georgie Smith Design
Smith has always had the love for designing spaces which she has also implemented on her non profit organization. Her love for designing stems from her ability to design ambient spaces that enhance our ability to revel in one another’s company and deepen our connection to one another.
Some of her work can be viewed on her website
Georgie Smith A Sense of Home
Smith’s non-profit organization called A sense of Home (ASOH), is currently four years old in 2019. The organization is based in Los Angeles and is dedicated to creating homes for foster youth after exiting the foster-care system. Foster youth exiting the system are more likely to become homeless or incarcerated than any other population. In just over 4 years ASOH has created 375 homes changing the trajectory of over 1,000 young lives, ensuring the future of these youths.
Georgie Smith CNN Hero
Statistics show that many former foster youth will experience homelessness, poverty or incarceration along with higher rates of suicide, teen pregnancy and drug addiction.”They’re out on their own,” said Smith, 47. “They finally get to that amazing place of having their own space, and then they’re sleeping on the floor.”
In 2014, Smith gathered a team of volunteers, collected donated furniture and household items and transformed Barry’s (who had nothing to make out of his youth and was a foster youth) makeshift living space into a real home.
That experience led Smith to start A Sense of Home. The nonprofit has since created comfortable living spaces for 130 young people who have aged out of the system. “These kids have such resilience and are so inspiring. They are so incredibly positive and hopeful,” Smith said. “I just feel it’s incumbent on us — the community — to be their village.”
Smith was honored as a 2016 top 10 CNN Hero for her pioneering grassroots community building work.
Georgie Smith Photo
Georgie Smith Recipes
Smith opened up a site as a place holder for her friends such as Nobel Laureate for Peace, Jody Williams where they (her friends) requested for her recipes that she never documented as she mostly made them up as she went along. The videos on her website were also a request by the then head of the Cooking Channel to capture how she could create an impromptu celebration by seizing the moment and with little resources.
Georgie Smith Awards & Nominations
Smith was honored as a top 10 CNN Hero for her pioneering grassroots community building work, one for four nominees for the 2018 DVF People’s Voice Award ceremony at the United Nations, nominated as one of seven women in the 2017 Sheroes at the Women’s Choice Awards, and included in the current global book exhibit “200 Women Who Will Change the Way You See the World.
Georgie Smith Twitter
Georgie Smith Instagram
Georgie Smith Youtube
Georgie Smith Interview | CNN
CNN: You sort of stumbled into helping foster youth before you met Barry. How did that happen?
Smith: Several years ago, my partner, Melissa, and I were looking into adoption. We happened to ask about the children that are taken away from their families — what about them? That’s when I discovered the foster system. And I was frankly appalled and wanted to get involved. We were so moved by the plight of foster youth that we began to volunteer (with) organizations that care for (them).
Barry found me through a design video posted on Facebook. It was miraculous how we transformed (his apartment). And this was such an easy, tangible way to make a difference. So I just kept doing it. It just snowballed. It seemed really clear to me that we as a community could share what we have too much of, give to these kids that have no family, no community and who are sleeping, eating and studying on the floor.
CNN: How do you find the young people your group helps?
Smith: We get referrals from agencies across L.A. County and surrounding counties. The youth must have a referral so we can establish that they truly were in the system.
They also have to secure an apartment, enroll in college courses and/or be working 30 hours per week and have a GED or be studying for it. Obtaining the apartment is the most important factor. We meet them halfway. They have overcome so much to get to that place.
Nearly all of them have experienced homelessness, and most, if not all, have experienced abuse. Eighty percent are young women; 30% have their own babies. Many are guardians to their own siblings.
CNN: The spaces you and your team create look like something out of a magazine. How does it all come together?
Smith: We have an all-foster-youth staff who collect the donations, store it at the warehouse, organize what items we’re getting to them, load it onto the truck and then are there to coordinate the volunteers and help them get everything installed in the home.
Every week we do a minimum of one home, outfitting their space with every conceivable item one needs to set up their first-ever home — from soap to bedding and beds and curtains to fully stocking their kitchen with organic food. We provide them with tables and chairs and a desk on which to study.
Art is really important. So we try and find pieces that really reflect the aspirations of the youth so that they can look up and feel really inspired by the art on their walls.