For Immediate Release – February 13, 2015
Furniture Bank hosts Municipal, Provincial and Federal Representatives as they announce new funding to combat homelessness
An extra $86 million of Federal funds granted to the City of Toronto to combat homelessness through an extension of the Homelessness Partnering Strategy
Toronto, Ontario – Furniture Bank was today honoured to host the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development, the Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Finance and Minister Responsible for the Greater Toronto Area, and Bernard Trottier, Member of Parliament for Etobicoke–Lakeshore, together with Toronto Mayor John Tory to announce new funding of $86 million for the City of Toronto to combat homelessness through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy.
The Homelessness Partnering Strategy is part of the Federal Government’s Action Plan to ensure vulnerable Canadians who are chronically and episodically homeless have access to quality housing.
The measures are especially significant for Furniture Bank which has been tackling issues surrounding poverty and homelessness since 1998, by distributing donated furniture to the formerly homeless, women and children escaping abusive situations, and newcomer families and refugees. The funding enables the City of Toronto to work directly with community agencies and charities like Furniture Bank to tackle some of the root causes of homelessness in our communities.
“Furniture plays a powerful, albeit silent, role in all our lives… just try studying for an exam, resting after a hard day’s work, preparing a meal, or raising a family. Without furniture, even mundane tasks are near impossible. The funding announced empowers organizations like ours to give our clients the best possible chance to succeed in their life after homelessness,” Furniture Bank Executive Director, Dan Kershaw said.
The choice of Furniture Bank for the announcement is testament to our growth and impact in the last few years. Last year, we served over 5000 clients, while we have supported over 60,000 individuals transition out of homelessness since 1998. Furniture Bank also serves an important environmental function by diverting items (amounting to a lifetime value of over 11,000 tonnes) which would otherwise find their way to landfills and by recycling items not fit for re-donation.
All representatives paid tribute to Furniture Bank, our founder Sister Anne, and our contribution to ensuring recipients achieve the dignity, security and stability associated with having a place to call home, which in turn has a positive, knock on effect in other areas of their lives.
The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development had this to say: “We are pleased to partner with the City of Toronto to implement Housing First. Through this evidenced-based approach and with the help of organizations like Furniture Bank, we can move out of crisis mode in terms of managing homelessness and work toward eliminating it altogether, building stronger communities and ensuring Canada’s long-term prosperity.”
About Furniture Bank
Furniture Bank is a registered charity and social enterprise that offers a furniture removal / pickup service.
We transfer gently used furniture and household goods donated by individuals and corporations to people who have recently transitioned out of homelessness, women and children escaping abusive situations, and refugees & newcomers to Canada.
In the process, we help turn an empty space into a true home.