Infrastructure, Facilities and Transportation Requirements
Unlike most charities, the Furniture Bank program relies heavily on infrastructure, facilities and transportation. Most of our clients come to us with nothing more than a bag with a few items. Furnishing new beginnings for these clients means that we provide them with an opportunity to select from many items stored in our warehouse. We see as many as 220 families per month - that’s 220 mattresses, 220 sofas, 220 tables and much more that must be stored and then quickly replenished every month. This takes a large warehouse. We have a 30,000 square foot warehouse where our clients, when referred to us, can come in and select furniture for their new homes. This program has an extensive transportation component and requires that we operate three trucks providing pickup and delivery of furniture.
Successful Social Purpose Enterprise - Furniture Link
We operate one of the largest social purpose enterprises in Canada and the largest social enterprise in Toronto Enterprise Fund's portfolio. Our Furniture Link program provides job and life skills training and/or employment to people receiving Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) benefits and other people with limited employment opportunities. Our program allows marginalized or at-risk people to become more self-sufficient by further developing their skills and learning a trade.
Our volunteers are the driving force that makes our social enterprise special and unique. Their passion and devotion is incredible and they are an essential part of our success. Without their help, additional labour costs would seriously affect our ability to sustain operations. Over 580 volunteers contribute 8,700 hours of service in 2012 - helping our clients make selections in our showroom, managing and replenishing inventory in our warehouse and repairing small household items. Some of our volunteers were once clients of Furniture Bank, and are now in a position to give back as a way of saying "thank you" for our help.
Our Committment to the Environment
Last year, we diverted more than 1,500 metric tonnes of solid waste from landfill sites. This represents the equivalent of 21,364 couches. Imagine this in a green space! Some of our volunteers helped us to take our recycling to the next level by producing 842 cushions, 332 pillows, 77 pairs of curtains, 50 bed spreads, 24 lampshades and 93 reupholstered chairs all out of material that would quite possibly have made its way to landfill sites. More info...
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