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A typical homeless shelter room has bare walls & floors, minimal color and institutional linens.  Furnishings are usually worn or broken.  A Lotta Love brings change! 

We install contemporary furniture, curtains and decor, plus a bright coat of paint.  These small changes address the most basic human needs of comfort and sense of place.  Simple things like a soft pillow, comfy chair, or cheery artwork help residents and employees feel like they belong to a safe, welcoming community. They are also motivated to move forward and reach ahead.

Watch our founder, Lotta Sjoelin, and other friends share their story:

Mission & Purpose

Our Mission

We work to alleviate the trauma of homelessness by creating dignified, safe, and emotionally-inspired spaces.

Our Purpose

Our goal is to make people living and working in shelters and crisis centers feel welcomed and hopeful.  Whether it's in a bedroom, reception room, storage area, or a hangout space, we want everyone to feel like they belong to something special -- a caring and supportive community.  Primarily, we provide linens, toiletries, decor, children’s items, and other personal items that shelter residents can take with them when they leave. We also renovate larger shared spaces such as living rooms, kitchens, and reception areas as well as gardens and outdoor areas. We give people a sense of comfort as they recover from difficult situations, a sense of feeling seen and cared for, and hopefulness about moving out on their own.

Board and Teams

Our Board

Meet Our Founder

Meet our Founder

In late 2014, a friend mentioned to Charlotta (Lotta) Sjoelin that a local women's shelter, Homestart in Chapel Hill, could use some pillows. Surprised that a shelter would not have such a basic essential, Lotta visited with pillows to donate and found a place very much in need.  If a homeless shelter was supposed to be a safe space for transforming lives, she couldn't see how this physical environment could uplift anyone. Deeply saddened by the living conditions available for the homeless in her home town, she went home and cried… then got to work!

An interior designer by trade, Lotta had a vision of transformed rooms that would provide safe, dignified and inspiring living spaces for residents. Lotta teamed up with Inter-Faith Council, the non-profit that ran HomeStart, and began asking friends and others to ‘Donate A Room’ by pledging only $500.  From there she found retailers willing to help such as Lowe’s, World Market, IKEA, Sherwin Williams, Eatman's Carpet & Interiors and others, and began redoing one room at a time. ​


Executive Board

Lotta Sjoelin, Founder and Interim Executive Director

Susan Allison, President

Darliene Woolner, Vice President

Tina Lepage, Secretary

Stephanie Cain, Treasurer

Dawn Milgrom, Charlotte Representative

Tasha Melvin, Shelter Partner Representative

Kelly Hunter, Communications 

Advisory Board

Tiffany Solomon, Community Outreach 

Heloisa Bickmore, Raleigh Team Lead

Jennifer Galloway, Families Moving Forward Lead

Leslie May, Durham Crisis Response Project Lead

Elizabeth Arias, Legal Advisor

Shawna Brakefield-Haas, PR

Larger donations for common living rooms, children’s play spaces, gardens, etc. came in, as did a great number of eager volunteers. Individuals as well as organizations like youth groups, fraternities & sororities, church groups, and businesses started volunteering their time and money.  Clearly a movement was afoot… love is a powerful agent of change.  By 2019, our operations had grown to include 5 cities and multiple shelters across Central North Carolina, we recognized the need to become independent of IFC's umbrella and in January 2020, we received our designation as a 501c3 nonprofit, A Lotta Love, Inc.


A Lotta Love Inc. Headquarters - Chapel Hill:

Charlotta Sjoelin

Email:, PH: (203) 451-0963



Heloisa Bickmore

Email:, PH: (919) 621-0164


Dawn Milgrom

Email: PH: (704) 737-2320

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