In 2020, Houston Furniture Bank worked with over 45 local nonprofits to provide essential furniture to 1,272 families, distributing 14,374 pieces of furniture. Included in this number were over 1,000 beds provided to children as a part of Houston Furniture Bank’s “No Kids on the Floor” initiative, up from 662 in 2019. Every day at Houston Furniture Bank, families arrive with their caseworker to select furniture for their homes. . We are able to provide them with essential furniture, thanks to your donations! In 2020, we gave away a lot of furniture! Here a just a few furniture items and numbers:
- 1,000 kid’s beds
- 916 sofas
- 640 dining room tables
- 2,241 dining room chairs
- 538 dressers
Numbers are important. Since 1992, we have served over 100,000 individuals and over 30,000 families. But as anyone who has the privilege of working to connect families with the services they need knows, it is the individual people whose stories keep us motivated and dedicated to this important work. We interviewed a few of the clients who recently received services from Houston Furniture Bank and were kind enough to share some of their stories with us. We are using first names for privacy.
Chasity moved into her apartment two weeks ahead of her visit to Houston Furniture Bank. She didn’t have any furniture and was sleeping on an air mattress on the floor. She has a newborn, a 1-year-old, and a three-year-old. At Houston Furniture Bank, she was able to get two twin mattresses, a bed for herself, a couch, a dining table, new bedding and new art. “Even though It was only two weeks without furniture, it was really hard, especially with a newborn,” she told us.
India was living without furniture for three months. “It was really difficult,” she told us. Through her caseworker, she was able to get a couch, two beds, a mirror, and bedding for her kids. She has a boy and girl, ages 3 and 4, who were “really excited” about their blankets. “This has helped me tremendously during the pandemic while we have had to stay home for the most part,” she said.
Sharon was homeless for three months. “I was eventually able to get housing but I didn’t have any furniture,” she told us. She was connected with Houston Furniture Bank through her children’s school. “All of my kids love the furniture,” she told us. “It’s so comfy and cozy, I am so grateful.” Shiela has a 13, 12, and 1 year old. The two older children received twin beds and the youngest received a crib.
Kristine’s family endured without furniture from July of 2020 until January of 2021, making do with a palette made from blankets. At Houston Furniture Bank, she was able to select beds, a couch, a dining table for her home. “My house looks like a home,” she says. “I can finally have people over and they have somewhere to sit. My three kids, 15,13, and 11 all have a place to sleep now.”
When Hurricane Laura hit, old wiring caused a fire that would consume all of Susan’s family’s belongings. Everyone was able to safely escape, but the family was left with nothing. The family of four includes two young boys, aged 9 and 5. While their home is being rebuilt, they are staying at their grandmother’s home. Through the YMCA, the family visited Houston Furniture Bank where they selected a loveseat, a sectional couch, a dining table with 6 chairs, and two twin beds. In Susan’s own words, “This furniture made a tremendous difference to me and my family while our home is being rebuilt.”
At Houston Furniture Bank, we do not forget for one moment that these stories are made possible by a village of people and organizations who are committed to the cause of “Making Empty Houses Homes.” None of this work would be possible without the individuals who donate furniture, funds and time, the over 45 local nonprofit organizations that partner with Houston Furniture Bank to serve families in need, the many businesses and foundations whose in-kind and generous monetary donations sustain this work, as well as the Houston Furniture Bank employees who have made service their vocation. Together, we are working symbiotically, making our city greener and more equitable. Together with the families we serve, we are one community. We love you, Houston!