Building Futures with The Workshop
Did you know that Furniture Bank’s Workshop is a game-changer in breaking the cycle of furniture poverty? It’s all about providing meaningful work, training, and opportunities to IBPOC individuals in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). And we couldn’t have done it without the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF)!
How does The Workshop help?
The Workshop’s mission is to:
- Train and employ IBPOC individuals in the refurbishing, reupholstering, and repair field
- Create long-term, living wage social employment opportunities
- Provide sustainable careers in a market where tradespeople are aging out
- Produce more quality furnishings for people in need
Thanks to OTF funding, we’ve scaled up our Workshop to:
- Employed more people and provide them with training support, job-specific skills, and wrap-around supports
- Purchased equipment systems that increase productivity and serve more clients coming out of crisis
- Contributed to the repair and assembly of bed frames and other furniture for families coming out of crisis each year using reclaimed furniture
Impacting lives and the environment
Furniture Bank’s partnership with OTF is about more than just numbers. It’s about the real-life impact we’re making together:
- Serving 5,550+ individuals and families in the GTA living without proper furniture annually
- Reducing negative outcomes related to long-term unemployment
- Providing life skills training, mental wellbeing supports, and financial literacy training
- Rapidly homing services within 72h of expressed need
- Working toward a year round furniture repair social enterprise offsetting costs for training and repair programs
A catalyst for greater impact
OTF’s support has been instrumental in accelerating the progress of our Workshop Impact Team. The Workshop is apart of a wider integrated group of teams that work together like a well-orchestrated symphony to make sure that donated furniture reaches the people who need it most:
- The Pickup Team: professionally removes furniture and scales up operations
- The Trucks: expands our fleet of large commercial trucks for collecting and delivering furniture
- The Receiving Team: enhances efficiency in unloading, sorting, inspecting, and processing items
- The Workshop & Repurposing Teams: runs an Indigenous-led workshop, creating bed frames for 1,000+ families annually
- The Showroom Team: maintains a positive and welcoming environment for families in need
- The Shipping Team: ensures timely and efficient delivery operations
- The Delivery Teams: transports furnishings, turning empty housing into furnished homes for families in crisis
The OTF triple bottom line
The support from OTF has had a far-reaching impact on three main areas:
- Environmental Stewardship: Diverting furniture from landfills, reducing our carbon footprint, and promoting sustainability
- Social Outcomes: Empowering vulnerable individuals, providing social employment opportunities, supporting diverse groups, and aligning with the Social Return on Investment (SROI) framework
- Economic Outcomes: Employment and cost savings from keeping items out of landfills
The Power of Gratitude
We can’t emphasize enough how grateful we are to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for their contributions. Their support has helped us break the cycle of furniture poverty and achieve a Triple Bottom Line. In 2022 alone, we had an SROI of $11 for every $1 invested – that’s a $1.1M impact on our community!
So, what can you do to join in and make a difference? Share this message, engage with Furniture Bank, and let’s continue to transform lives together. Remember, when we work together, we can create a world where everyone has a place to call home.
Furniture Bank: A Home for Everyone
Our mission is simple: break Canada’s cycle of furniture poverty. Together with the Ontario Trillium Foundation, we’re transferring unwanted furniture and household goods to people coming out of crisis. We’re working in partnership with 155 community agencies and shelters to assist those who are economically vulnerable, making a positive impact on thousands of lives.
Join us in celebrating our partnership with the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the incredible work being done through the Workshop. Let’s continue building futures, one piece of furniture at a time!