This afternoon, I was given a tour of the Furniture Bank at 25 Connell Court near Kipling and Evans. It's quite remarkable what's happening there. Here's what they do in their own words, and then I'll follow that up with my own words and photos.
Furniture Bank is committed to offering a hand to the formerly homeless, women and children escaping abusive situations, and newcomer families and refugees. In fact anyone in need of a fresh start.
We work in partnership with over 90 community agencies and shelters to assist individuals who require furniture and household goods for their homes. All items selected by our clients are provided to them free of charge.
Our partner agencies play a critical role by helping to screen potential furniture recipients. This helps us focus on our commitment to ensuring those who transition out of displacement are given the best possible chance to succeed in life.
It all starts with you. Let's say you have a dining room table and chairs you no longer need, or a couch you're replacing, or a television you're upgrading, or dinnerware, or any furniture or household items you're willing to part with, you donate that to the Furniture Bank. You can drop it off, or pay a nominal fee to have it picked up. And before you squawk at having to pay a fee to get your donations picked up, just know that the bulk of their financing comes from those fees.
Your donations arrive at the Furniture Bank and are inspected. Some may be ready for the showroom floor immediately, other items may need cleaning or some additional tlc. I saw chairs getting fresh paint, new upholstery, and other such repairs. Electrical items are tested by an electrician. Once the furniture or household items are deemed ready for primetime, they're put on display in the showroom.
Here's a few pictures of the showroom. Shoutout to Endy Mattresses for donating every mattress that's returned within their 100 day window.
Families in need book appointments through a partner agency and spend time in the showroom deciding what they want for their home. The chosen items are then delivered to the recipient.
It's remarkable what's been happening a short 15 minute bike ride from my home without me realizing. If I was clueless, you may be as well. The Furniture Bank needs your furniture and housewares, but they could also use your money. To donate money, visit https://www.furniturebank.org/create-a-home/. All donations come with a tax receipt.
If you're in the GTA and would like your donation picked up, visit https://www.furniturebank.org/furniture-pickup-request-2/. If you'd prefer to drop it off yourself, visit https://www.furniturebank.org/furniture-dropoff/.
The Furniture Bank furnished the homes of more than 10,000 marginalized neighbours in 2018 and provided meaningful work for over 20 individuals facing barriers to employment. I tip my hat to them!