Housing to Home – Meet Sharyn

Annalee Sawiak, Chief Sustainability Officer at Furniture Bank, driving sustainability and expansion.

Client Impact: Sharyn's Story

A Furniture Bank Impact Story

Millions of Canadians live with mental illness. For those with few supports, the effects can be devastating. After experiencing a brief psychotic episode five years ago, Sharyn lost custody of her four children. Her life was forever-changed. Sharyn’s story, which was captured as part of our House to Home program, highlights the transformative power of furniture.

Sharyn moved into an apartment with her eldest child and grandchild and worked hard to heal herself. She excelled at her job and won awards for her work. But at minimum wage, she struggled to provide for life’s bare necessities – let alone the ‘luxury’ of furniture.

Without dressers to store their clothing and belongings, Sharyn and her daughter used suitcases, cardboard boxes and garbage bags. 

Through CAMH’s Gifts of Light program, Sharyn received the furniture and housewares from Furniture Bank. Grateful for the support, Sharyn’s excitement was accompanied by tears of joy – and a profound sense of relief.

In her own words:

“My house looked so poor. I didn’t want people to judge me because I’m trying to put myself back together.

Having this gift of furniture has really given me a boost in life. I can now focus on other aspects of my life that I need to rebuild.

Without this generous donation, my daughter and I would have had to sacrifice our basic necessities in order to afford furniture.

Every day I come home, I’m still in awe of how wonderful my apartment looks.

I greatly appreciate everything Furniture Bank did to give me a home that I could be proud of.”

Want to help more people like Sharyn?

It costs Furniture Bank $250 to deliver furniture to an individual living in furniture poverty. Make a financial donation today and help more people like Sharyn live with the dignity, comfort, and stability of a furnished home.

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