Houston History Magazine has recently published its “Milestones” edition, marking important moments in Houston’s history from 1969. Edition 17 of the publication ranges from efforts to address racial inequality to the city’s leadership in space exploration, medical research, and hospitality. The magazine celebrates 50 years since the establishment of the Conrad N Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, the founding of the UH African American Studies Program and the great human achievement that was the 1969 moon landing. Founded in 1992 by Oli Mohammed, Houston Furniture Bank is honored to be featured alongside some of our city’s most notable organizations and achievements. We are proud to be an illustration of Houston’s leadership, not only in industry and science but also in creating social equity.
Please check out the full article HERE. Below, we have included some fun facts that you may not have known about Houston Furniture Bank from the article.
Special thanks to Author Ruben Castro, a US Marine Corps Veteran attending the University of Houston where he is majoring in supply chain logistics technology and minoring in political science. Castro is currently an intern at Houston History magazine as well as the UH-Oral History of Houston Project.
- Executive Director Oli Mohammed got his Masters in Political Science in Bangladesh at the University of Dhaka.
- In the 1980s, Oli worked as a consultant for the United Nations Environmental Programme in Nairobi, Kenya. In 1987, Oli immigrated to the U.S., where he worked at a transmission shop and delivered pizzas and newspapers to make ends meet.
- Houston Furniture Bank opened its first location in 1999 at a 20,000-square-foot building with two acres of land on Bowling Green Street. One year later, the roof caved in and Houston Furniture Bank was relocated to 2199 Hussion Street.
- In 2005, Houston Furniture Bank was able to assist survivors from Louisiana and Mississippi who were forced to leave their homes and begin a new life in Houston.
- Created in 2008, the Furniture Outlet at Houston Furniture Bank was inspired by Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohammed Yunus. Yunus’s social business concept allows non-profits to be self-sufficient and not depend on charitable funding. Today, the Furniture Outlet covers 40-45% of the Furniture Banks operating budget.
- In 2012, the Mattress Recycling Center was founded. Today, HFB accepts all mattress donations, no matter the condition. Mattresses that are unable to be reused will be salvaged for parts. Foam and padding are recycled into padding for carpets and the metal springs are compressed and resold. This program helps the environment by keeping mattresses out of the landfill.
- In the middle of the night in 2015, the Houston Furniture Bank caught on fire. While the loss from the fire was tragic, there was a positive outcome. Houston Furniture Bank was able to relocate to a much larger, 75,000 square foot warehouse located on 5 acres of land.
- In 2018, the Houston Furniture Bank recycled 15,000 mattresses. However, that number is just scratching the surface. Every year Houstonians send roughly 750,000 to one million mattresses to landfills. You can fill NRG stadium twice all the way to the top with the number of mattresses going to our landfill yearly.
- Houston Furniture Bank helped 3,000 families who were affected by Hurricane Harvey with essential furniture.
- Mattress Builders at Houston Furniture Bank was founded in 2018 in response to the need after Hurricane Harvey. This workspace allows the Furniture Bank to manufacture its own mattresses in-house.