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Our Story began in 1992 when the Mental Health Mental Retardation Authority of Harris County (MHMRA) initiated the Furniture Bank to serve patients who were transitioning out of mental health facilities. Three years later, the Furniture Bank service was extended to other Harris County non-profit agency clients. By the end of 2003, Houston Furniture Bank had been established as an independent organization serving the Greater Houston Metropolitan area.
In its first two decades the Houston Furniture Bank has received donations of almost a quarter million pieces of furniture which has made it possible to serve over 21,000 families in need. Over 50,000 children have slept in beds rather than on a cold, hard floor, and have been able to be seated at a table to share their meals instead of using discarded cardboard boxes. In total, Houston Furniture Bank has served more than 80,000 individuals since 1992.
Oli Mohammed, founder of the Furniture Bank for MHMRA and now the Executive Director of this independent 501©3 non-profit organization, explains the mission this way: “Furniture is a critical stepping stone to improve living conditions and elevate an individual’s personal pride and dignity.” Recipients are referred to the Houston Furniture Bank by more than 75 Social Service Agencies in the Greater Houston area. These families are transitioning to independent living while struggling with extreme poverty. Some have become impoverished due to natural disasters, such as floods or fires; for others, their access to independence has been affected by mental challenges, physical disabilities, chemical dependencies, or catastrophic health issues such as AIDS. While some are victims of domestic violence or refugees of political persecution, still others such as Veterans, Senior Citizens, or single parents, have become unable to gain employment or earn adequate wages to support themselves.
As important as it is to remember our history, it is also vitally important that we develop a vision for the future growth of this organization. Part of that vision includes a Social Business concept reflected in the furniture thrift store known as the Bargain Bazaar. Another part of that vision for the future is the Mattress Recycling Program, first of its kind in Houston, saving valuable landfill space while creating earned income for the Furniture Bank.
While this entity seeks to be self-sustaining through the implementation of a variety of green endeavors the heart of the Houston Furniture Bank remains the deep commitment of caring neighbors throughout the area. With increased awareness and increased donations of furniture, funds, and volunteer hours this vital organization has the potential to make Houston a city where a child will never have to sleep on a cold hard floor – ever!!!
The Houston Furniture Bank’s mission is to furnish hope by making empty houses homes.
DONATE YOUR FURNITURE — Help us with our mission.
Please call us to schedule a free pick-up of your gently-used household furnishings:
Any household item in good, usable condition can make a difference in someone’s life.
CLICK HERE to read guidelines for donated items.