Update 7: Help an Essential Service through this!

Furniture Bank our impact room 2

You can help families set up homes so that they can quarantine successfully from your own home today.

Dear Partners and Friends,

As a long-time supporter of Furniture Bank and someone who cares deeply about the eradication of furniture poverty, and supporting those living in the margins, we want to thank you for standing by us. This morning the list of Essential Services was released by the province and similar to other outreach, shelters, permanent supportive housing and interim shelters, Furniture Bank will continue providing the necessities of life for families in this crisis.

These are precarious times, but one thing we know for sure is that with uncertainty ahead of us, we need YOU now more than ever. The families we serve do not have the means of ‘stocking up’ on the necessities, let alone purchasing a warm bed and comfortable couch to ‘wait out’ the pandemic. 

At Furniture Bank, we know that basic home essentials are vital to our clients and mission, but the old operational model was not one that is conducive to physical distancing. On a daily basis, we had a significant volume of staff, clients, visitors and volunteers come through our doors, and during this time we are prioritizing their safety, and are committed to a responsible reaction to COVID-19. This means we have put our volunteer program and client attendance for furniture selection on hold. Furniture is being selected by Furniture Bank staff and shipped to clients. On March 20th we completed our first distanced deliveries of furniture to a COVID-19 isolation case for the City of Toronto. To serve more folks at a distance during this time, we are working to optimize this process where staff select furniture on behalf of agencies and then complete a safe and contact-less delivery. 

At Furniture Bank, our Furniture Removal Social Enterprise is not only fundamental to our mission but also funds the majority of our operations. We have responded to the health concerns raised by customers and staff by changing our processes. Canada’s first Distanced Furniture Removal Services are now open ­–( you can read more about this here ).

Even with the changes to our operating model, our revenues for the month are down to twenty percent of previous years. We are facing the fact that Furniture Bank may have to severely cut back on service availability or even close its doors if the current situation is prolonged. Economists are already warning that most charities will not survive an extended shut down period without support from donors, businesses and government. At a minimum, we are looking at severe cutbacks in service without your support.

Help us stay in operation during this critical period because, in addition to creating jobs, providing training, diverting waste and poverty reduction, our efforts are needed to help stabilize thousands of lives by making it possible for families to self-isolate and quarantine successfully.

Families, foundations and firms can all help out from a distance. If you’re able, please consider supporting Furniture Bank by making a financial donation or booking your distanced furniture pick-up both provide the resources for Furniture Bank. Your support now will help to ensure that families in critical need have the furniture and resources they need to isolate in quarantine and our staff will continue to have meaningful employment.

Thank you for your ongoing support of our mission and vision – we are lucky to have you on our side during these difficult times.

Thank you and please take care,

Regards

Dan Kershaw
Executive Director
Furniture Bank 
dan.kershaw@furniturebank.org
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