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Indianapolis-Based Purposeful Design Helps Those Battling Addiction, Homelessness, Poverty

INDIANAPOLIS–Homelessness, addiction, and poverty are difficult things for anyone to overcome, but the staff at Indianapolis-based Purposeful Design says they are helping people dealing with those things get back on their feet.

Purposeful Design is a nonprofit agency that makes furniture. It opened in 2013.

“We target men who have been through incarceration, homelessness, addiction, broken relationship and who are ready to try and give life another shot,” said David Palmer, executive director for Purposeful Design, in an interview with Inside Indiana Business. “We try to build strength into people who have really found themselves in a pretty weakened spot.”

Palmer said Purposeful Design sells the furniture to businesses and schools. Some of their clients include Eli Lilly, Indianapolis International Airport, and Salesforce.

Jesse Slaugh credits Palmer with helping him turn his life around.

“All I knew how to do is read a tape measure. I didn’t know how to build anything. I am no longer an alcoholic. I am no longer a drug addict. I’ve got myself a wife that makes sure that I am straight and narrow and doing what I’m supposed to be doing in life because I’m not just living for me anymore, but I’m living for her and my son,” said Slaugh to Inside Indiana Business.

Jameel Hamid, 24, said Purposeful Design turned his life around.

“It’s amazing. Best thing that happened to me since I moved down to Indiana for sure. And I’m just trying to get my life started on the right track,” said Hamid.

Palmer says he teaches his workers about discipline, responsibilities, and time management, among other things.


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