Furniture Banks are intrinsic to the work that advocates do daily in working with households that are at risk of being homeless or who are homeless and being re-housed. Historically, this function has been funded nearly 100% with private dollars. As noted by the Executive Director of The Wish Project (Donna Hunnewell) there has been a group of furniture banks and homeless advocacy organizations that have banded together to seek language/funding in the MA state budget which furniture banks would have to apply. On the other side of this issue, is the fact that furniture/goods banks provide a great means of recycling furniture/home goods that you no longer use. Your donations to furniture banks provide you with a tax deduction, you don’t have to pay to dispose of the item and your donation is enjoyed by a new family. In fact, furniture banks across the country are able to keep hundreds of tons of good/usable items out of our waste stream. So if you support furniture banks, let your legislator know!
It’s a Win-Win all the way around!
per Donna Hunnewell, The Wish Project
Thanks to work by the group below several of the 12 furniture banks in MA support from
the State of MA may be on the horizon. The below group is working hard
with our legislators to get a permanent item in the MA budget to support our work to help your clients thrive in that first year out of homelessness. It is only for $200,000 and each furniture bank would have to apply for what they need that year. Furniture banks require large buildings to operate and most are almost entirely privately funded so every day is a struggle to pay for the rent and heat to give out free furniture. This funding would be critical for keeping the existing furniture banks functioning as well as helping to promote more furniture banks here. Many furniture banks around the country charge clients for the furniture. Please help us all to keep that burden off of those we serve through our furniture banks.
The proposed line item language is:
In Line Item 7004-0099, DHCD Administrative Account:
“provided further, that not less than $200,000 shall be expended through performance-based contracts with organizations and agencies to provide furniture and household goods to families and individuals exiting homelessness.”
Christina Knowles (Facilitator) and Kelly Turley, Coalition for the Homeless, Jennifer Kinsman, Springfield HAP – Jessica Cox, Ann Gibbons-Smith, Grace Carmark, Central Mass Housing Alliance – Donna Hunnewell, The Wish Project