Who we are
Founded in 1998, Furniture Bank is a registered charity and social enterprise which redistributes gently-used furniture and housewares from donors in the community to families and individuals experiencing furniture poverty.
Revenues generated through our furniture removal service, which is run as a social enterprise, funds our charitable activities as we work to end furniture poverty – one sofa and one family at a time.
Working to end furniture poverty one family at a time.
A Canada in which everyone has the stability and dignity of a furnished home.
What is furniture poverty?
Any person or a family without the financial means to make their empty housing into a furnished home is said to live in furniture poverty. Not having a bed to sleep on, not having a table to eat at, not having a couch to sit on. There are harmful physical, emotional, and financial consequences of furniture poverty.
Our mission is to break the cycle of furniture poverty. We are a social enterprise-powered charity that provides low-income individuals and families with home essentials needed to create conditions of comfort, dignity and stability that come from having a furnished home, a service that enhances both psychological and financial stability.
Our social employment programs eliminate barriers to meaningful work by providing training, creating long-term employment opportunities, and providing sustainable careers that allow us to support more families experiencing furniture poverty.
Your contribution to our mission
We transfer your unwanted furniture and household goods to people coming out of crisis. Our program works in partnership with over 150 community agencies to assist people who are economically vulnerable including women and children leaving shelters, the formerly homeless, Indigenous peoples, those struggling with mental health, members of the LGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities, newcomers and refugees who require furniture and household goods. With your donations, we are able to transform houses into homes, and providing financial and psychological stability in the process.
Revenue generated through our furniture removal service funds our charitable activities as we work to end furniture poverty one sofa, and one family at a time.
Who you support
Furniture Bank supports marginalized and displaced families and individuals experiencing furniture poverty.
Women and children leaving shelters, the formerly homeless, Indigenous peoples, those struggling with mental health, members of the LGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities, newcomers and refugees are referred to us by over 200 community agency partners.
For those we support, furniture has a profound impact on their quality of life:
- Decreased likelihood of re-experiencing displacement or homelessness.
- Improved physical and mental health.
- Improved financial stability by freeing up funds for other essential items.
- Increased ability and likelihood to participate in and contribute to the community and improved relationships with family and friends.
Programs you support
In addition to our socially responsible furniture removal service, your support also allows us to operate the following programs:
Leg Up social employment
Our Leg Up social employment program works with local employment agencies to provide work experience, life and skills training, and meaningful employment for youth, newcomers to Canada and other individuals facing barriers to employment.
Embedded in all aspects of Furniture Bank’s operations, Leg Up employees hold positions in our warehouse, trucking fleet, workshop, call centre, and accounting and administrative departments.
Since its inception in 2013, we have provided meaningful employment and skills development for over 250 employees, many of whom transition successfully to jobs in other industries and organizations.
Furniture Bank’s Indigenous-led Workshop eliminates barriers in to meaningful work by providing trade training, and creating long-term employment opportunities, and providing sustainable careers in the woodworking, refurbishing and reupholstering field.
Since its inception in 2015, we have provided over 20 participants with opportunities to learn employable skills, and repaired and salvaged 9,000 items, ensuring furniture stays out of our landfills, and working towards The City of Toronto’s goal of zero waste.
You’re helping the environment
Furniture Bank plays a key role in protecting our environment by diverting millions of pounds of furniture from the landfill each year. Reusing and repairing are key tenets in Furniture Bank’s mandate and mission, as we move into a sustainable, environmentally-friendly circular economy model. This closed-loop system, minimizes the use of resource inputs and the creation of waste, pollution and carbon emissions.
Since 2010, Furniture Bank has handled and processed 500,000 pieces furniture, diverting 3 million pounds of furniture from landfills annually, the equivalent of 6.5 million kilograms of carbon dioxide.
Furniture Bank Learning Centre
Our charitable objectives include a goal of working with other organizations with goals similar to Furniture Bank.
Over the last five years, we have had over 30 communities approach Furniture Bank for help in learning, understanding, expanding, and inspiring more intentional furniture bank programs across North America.
The Learning Centre is an online educational site aimed at supporting social innovation and social replication of the furniture bank model into other communities