Houston Furniture Bank is bringing the Greater Houston Area together to build a world of good!
On October 16th, Houston Furniture Bank is fulfilling a long-held goal, opening a second location, located in Montgomery County! Dedicated to Making Empty Houses Homes, Houston Furniture Bank is a unique organization that brings together nonprofit organizations, furniture companies, environmentalists, and charitable-minded Houstonians to do a world of good. Every month, Houston Furniture Bank works with dozens of nonprofit organizations to serve over 100 families, recycles over 2,000 mattresses, and provides jobs to more than 40 individuals.
“Once we started seeing the impact, said Board Vice-Chairman Larry Cress, “we started understanding that we can’t just do this in South Houston. Our goal is to serve the Greater Houston Area.”
The second location, known as “Houston Furniture Bank North,” is located at 295 Sawdust Road in the Woodlands. The location will be home to a Furniture Distribution Center as well as a Furniture Outlet. Houston Furniture Bank has already partnered with a number of organizations in the region, including Northwest Assistance Ministries, and Tri-County Behavioral Healthcare, to connect with families in need of essential furniture. Local churches are helping to put out the word about the need for furniture donations. The building itself is being leased from Church Project, an active church community that is moving to a larger location and is committed to ensuring that the space will continue to enrich the community.
Houston is a city of great wealth and of great need; home to many important industries and the wealth they produce. At the same time, one in three Houston area children is living in poverty. Many families struggle to meet their basic needs and it is estimated that over 300,000 children in our community do not have a bed of their own. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, families are facing unprecedented challenges. During this difficult time, Houston Furniture Bank has continued to provide families with essential furniture.
Montgomery County has similar blessings and challenges. Whereas 20% of Houstonians live below the poverty line, only 10% of those living in Montgomery County and 4% of those living in the Woodlands do so. One of the fastest-growing and wealthiest regions in the nation, the region’s affluent population growth also drives the growth of lower-paying service jobs. The needs of these communities are not always apparent, however. Julie Martinueay of the Montgomery County United Way said,
“The challenge is that people in Montgomery County don’t really see the poverty because they’re pockets that are hidden. Because everything looks beautiful, and the people in poverty are away from the main roads, [many people] don’t know it’s here.”
Growing suburban poverty is part of a national trend as well, with Houston included in the list of ten cities where this tendency is strongest. The groups that are in the greatest need include the working poor, children and seniors.
Houston Furniture Bank North will host a Furniture Distribution Center, where families in need can select the essential furniture that makes a house a home. It will also house a Furniture Outlet, where the public can support Houston Furniture Bank by purchasing quality furniture at a great price. Not only does the Furniture Outlet help fund furniture assistance programs, it also provides flexibility in terms of the donated items that Houston Furniture Bank can turn into social good.
Inspired by the concept of social businesses introduced by Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, Houston Furniture Bank runs three initiatives to support its mission of providing essential furniture to families in need. A social business is a self-sustaining enterprise, designed to address a social problem, where any profits are used to increase social impact. Houston Furniture Bank’s social businesses include its Mattress Recycling Center, Mattress Builders, and Furniture Outlet.
For 28 years, Houston’s vibrant furniture industry has enthusiastically embraced the mission of Making Empty Houses Homes, supporting Houston Furniture Bank with the knowledge, resources, and support that have allowed us to grow into the Houston institution we are today. Houston Furniture Bank benefits from relationships with wonderful companies that are committed to giving back, receiving generous donations from larger organizations and companies that import furniture through the port of Houston. “Houston Furniture Bank is a godsend for all of us in Houston that are in the retail furniture business,” said Mattress Mack this summer. “It’s a great way to make people happy.”
Houston Furniture Bank was founded in 1992 to help fill a gap. Families overcoming hardships were starting over with nothing but four walls. The social service agencies working to help these families were largely unable to take on the logistical challenges of furniture assistance. In the 28 years since its foundation, Houston Furniture Bank has grown, working with more companies and social service agencies, providing more furniture to families in need. In 2017, Houston Furniture Bank opened what is now its main campus at 8220 Mosley Rd, moving from a much smaller facility in Houston’s East End. That same year, Houston was rocked by Hurricane Harvey and Houston Furniture Bank rose to meet the need, providing over 3,500 families with much-needed furniture. In 2019, we launched our ‘No Kids on the Floor’ initiative and today we are providing over 60 beds to children in need every month thanks to the support of our community. In 2020, we are meeting the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic and also marked 100,000 mattresses recycled to date. Houston Furniture Bank provides employment to over fourthly individuals, many of whom have barriers to employment. We are proud to say that we have served over 100,000 individuals and over 30,000 families since our foundation.
Houston Furniture Bank needs your help! There are many ways that you can support the mission of “Making Empty Houses Homes.” Donating your gently-used furniture makes a big difference in the lives of your neighbors. Donating your mattress helps families and keeps 23 cubic feet of waste out of our landfills! Giving to the “No Kids on the Floor” initiative helps provide beds to children in need. You can volunteer your time at either location or even host furniture drive through your own organization. You can also shop at the Furniture Outlet at Houston Furniture Bank, enjoying great deals on furniture as well as the knowledge that your purchase goes to support a fantastic cause.
Friday, October 16th, 11 AM, 2020
295 Sawdust Rd.