It’s Dan Kershaw here, your friend and Executive Director at Furniture Bank. I’m thrilled to share some heartwarming news that’s set to bring more smiles, comfort, and furniture to more homes in our beloved city.
Bridging Gaps, Furnishing Dreams
Since our journey began, we’ve turned thousands of empty spaces into loving homes. The joy of a child seeing their new bed, the relief in a parent’s eyes when we deliver a dining table – these moments fuel our mission. Heading into 2024, we’re not slowing down. In fact, we’re picking up the pace and bringing our mission to the vibrant community of East Toronto!
A Second Home for Furniture Bank in East Toronto
We’ve found an additional home for hope at 7 Labatt Avenue. This 8,000 square-foot space is our answer to the ever-growing need for our services. It’s more than a warehouse; it’s a beacon of community, support, and sustainability. The space, generously provided by TAS, a Toronto-based impact real estate company, allows us to temporarily repurpose under-utilized commercial real estate as a ‘meanwhile space’. This collaboration is a testament to the shared vision of both our organizations to make a positive impact in the community through practical solutions.
The Story Behind the Space
Let me paint the picture of our journey to this momentous occasion. Our West Toronto location in Etobicoke has been a hive of activity, supporting 3600 families annually. But we knew there were over 20,000 families out there who could benefit from our Housing First Support Services. The pandemic brought challenges but also opportunities. Through initiatives like the Rapid Housing Initiative, we’ve broadened our reach and refined our approach to homing – blending donated and procured goods to furnish homes with dignity.
A Nod from the City of Toronto
Our efforts align with Toronto’s broader strategies such as: the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan, the Long Term Waste Management Strategy, and the Circular Economy Road Map. In July 2022, Toronto City Council recognized the potential of Social Impact Hubs (MM47.31), advocating for repurposed ‘meanwhile spaces’ for charitable use. We took this to heart and started to weave our own strategy into this citywide vision.
January 2024: The Doors Open
Come January 2024, our East Toronto doors will open, inviting families to a world where furniture awaits to start its second life in their homes. We’re adding appointments to our Case Portal as we speak, gearing up for a future where no family lacks the basic comforts of home. This new impact hub is a test model, for potentially many more low cost ‘meanwhile spaces’ around the community – going to the communities that need us most.
The Impact: By the Numbers
This new space isn’t just about square footage; it’s about reach. We’re expecting to embrace an additional 1000 families each year. That’s 1000 more living rooms filled with laughter, 1000 more families gathering around a table, 1000 more children tucked into beds at night. With support to add more outposts in Toronto, we aim to grow this capacity well beyond these numbers.
Join Us on This Journey
As we step into this new chapter, we invite you to be part of the narrative. We’re calling on community members, home furnishing retailers, and everyone who believes in a furnished home for all to support our cause. Your gently used furniture can set the stage for countless new stories of hope and comfort.
Get involved with Furniture Bank
You can make a real impact in the fight against furniture poverty.
Our 2024 Mindset: Homing, Hope, and Humanity
The world is broken, but heading into 2024, we at Furniture Bank are committed to doing our part to fix it. The sight of empty housing, children without beds, and families without the comfort of a furnished homes drives us to act. We have been on this journey for over a decade trying to help more families better – creating more capacity to get more families up off the floor.
Looking ahead, our mission is crystal clear: empty housing must become a thing of the past. This year is all about putting our values to work. We are announcing several new programs that will take every unwanted piece of furniture from households and businesses and make sure it finds a new home, a new story. It’s not just about the physical items; it’s about what they represent—a community that takes care of its own and builds a future where everyone has the opportunity to thrive in furnished homes.
A Call to Action: Furnishing Second
We believe in a Housing First, Furnishing Second philosophy. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and work with partners who share our vision. Let’s connect if you’re a corporation, a local business, or someone who simply wants to make a difference. Together, we can turn houses into homes. Let’s connect to support this new location and the many locations we need to end furniture poverty in our community.
The Future Is Furnished
In closing, I want to express my deepest gratitude to everyone who’s been part of our journey. Your support, donations, buying social, time, advice and support have brought us to this exciting new frontier. The opening of our East Toronto location is not just an expansion; it’s a testament to what we can achieve together.
Let’s continue to build a future where furniture poverty is a thing of the past, and every home is a sanctuary of hope.
With warm regards
Interested in collaborating lets make time to talk IMPACT.
Please book a time to connect.