What a year 2016 has been for the Houston Furniture Bank! This has been the first full year since the fire that burned down our warehouse at 2100 Hussion and with it the old ways in which our operation worked. With that said today we are here to highlight some key milestones and accomplishments the Houston Furniture Bank has made this year.
Online Distribution Services
The fire had large impacts on us. We were without warehouse, trucks, inventory, and had to let go of staff to keep afloat in trying times. During this period we had to develop a new system to keep our mission alive. At the time we didn’t have a warehouse where people could walk in to like before. Thus we created web based services where clients and agents could go online, login, and select furniture that was available in our temporary facility. This has been our absolute saving grace because without it we couldn’t have continued helping out Houstonians. That said here is what we accomplished in distribution by the numbers.
- Provided basic furnishings to an average of 55 families per month or in total 678 families this year.
- Collected an average of 450 pieces of furniture a month or 5,400 yearly.
- Distributed 377 pieces of furniture a month or 4,524
- Acquired 3 new trucks for pickups and deliveries thanks to Grainger and the City of Houston.
Along with continuing our distribution operations we have also bolstered our
green initiative, mattress recycling. This aspect of HFB serves three needs for the local community. The first is that over 600,000 mattresses go in Houston Area landfills each year. This program aims to reduce this number more and more as time goes on saving our environment. Second is that we provide a second chance program through this effort by hiring people who were either recently released prisoners or recently housed homeless in order to teach these people the skills they need to make it in the workplace. The third is that it helps fund our operations. When we tear down mattresses and box springs the components are sold to other firms, thus funding our distribution efforts. With that said let’s look at HFB Mattress Recycling by the numbers.
- Recycled an average of 750 mattresses per month which is about 9,000 per year. (The area of a football field)
- Hired 10 people that fit our hiring criteria
Furniture Outlet is a ‘social business’ of the HFB. The idea is to generate funding for the Furniture Bank’s operation by offering furniture at resale prices. Only about 5% of any donations received by HFB end up at our outlet but this becomes nearly 40% of our annual income. The formula for this business has remained untouched for sometime but this year saw some changes to our formula. The introduction of an online shopping site where customers can see what is in stock before they come in or buy it online. You can check it out now. Also the Outlet Center will be moving from its current location and reopening at 8220 Mosley Rd. on January 4th and will be open Wednesday to Saturday 9am to 4pm and Sunday from 12pm to 4pm.
Events and Programs
Many of these events are put on by organizations that heavily support our efforts. Here is a quick list of Honorable mentions.
- Colliers of Houston: Go
- Houston Design After Dark: Lip Sync Battle
- Wild Stallion Vineyard: Night with the Vintners
- Houston Design Center: Designer Sample Sale
- IIDA: Product Runway
Again thank you to all of these organizations, businesses, and individuals for putting on these fantastic events.
We have had lots of continued success with our programs and even started some others. The D.I.V.A.S. as always has done a fantastic job of redecorating the interiors of some of our clients and making empty houses beautiful homes.
During the Tax Day floods we had a program set in place to get people their basic immediate furniture needs. Many in the Houston community Overall that program was a success in that it helped 190 families in a period of 3 months recover from flooding.
Adopt a Family Program has been revived after being dormant for many years. This will continue to run and you can find out more about it and donate here.
Houston Furniture Bank will officially have a new building in the upcoming year. We have been hard at work to get the new place up and running by making renovations to it. Renovations will be completed by Feb 2017 so lookout for our official opening event.