With news that Ontario will pledge $8.5 million to help settle international refugees in the province, Furniture Bank stands ready to assist in the new migrants’ efforts to find dignity and stability in their new homes. The funding is to be used to “offer [refugees] a wide array of support once they arrive.”
Furniture Bank is exactly the sort of service that provides such support. Through the provision of free furniture to individuals and families transitioning out of displacement, we give recipients the best possible chance to succeed in their new lives. The money saved from receiving free furniture could be used to purchase food, transportation, meet school and health needs, clothing etc., with the furniture itself providing psychological and health benefits.
Furniture Bank works with several social service agencies such as:
- Adam House, Birkdale Residence
- Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture
- Christie Refugee Welcome Centre
- COSTI Immigrant Services
- FCJ Refugee Centre
- Lifeline Syria
- Matthew House
- Mennonite New Life Centre
- Romero House
- Sojourn House
- The Learning Enrichment Foundation
- The Redwood
- Thorncliffe Neighbourhood
- Toronto Community Hostel
- Working Women Community Centre
all of which refer refugees and new immigrants to Furniture Bank to select items of furniture that suit their lifestyles and their new homes. We are on track to serve almost 2000 clients who were refugees or newly arrived in Canada in 2015.
Furniture Bank Client demographics:
Dan Kershaw, Furniture Bank Executive Director said, “At Furniture Bank we believe everyone deserves the warmth, comfort and dignity that comes with a furnished home. For new Canadians this means the stability and security we hold dear, a part of our Canadian identity.
“Since Furniture Bank started, we have helped close to 65,000 individuals by providing them with a bed to sleep on, a dining table to share family meals and a desk to study on. Over 15,000 of those individuals were newcomers to Canada seeking refuge or a better life here in Canada. We stand ready to support any and all agencies supporting refugees settling into new lives here in Canada,” he added.
With an additional 1,000 Syrian refugees coming to Canada as permanent residents to resettle in the Greater Toronto Area over the next two years, we have added additional trucks on the road to pick up more furniture from the community, and deliver them to our clients. That will equate to over 1,500,000 lbs of furniture that we will provide to support these newcomer families.
Immigrants & refugees served by Furniture Bank in last 5 years