Client Impact: Sandra's Story
A Furniture Bank Impact Story
Sandra’s story – in her own words:
“My story is not that uncommon, but at the time I felt very isolated and alone.
“As a young mother of a three-year-old, I separated from my husband of five years. Our relationship had become very abusive and unhealthy, and once I left, he became increasingly hostile. Luckily, I was able to receive housing on an expedited basis, but I did not have the financial capacity to buy furniture. I didn’t have the work experience to find a job as I had been a stay-at-home mother, and I didn’t have any education credentials. I was very vulnerable and I needed help.
“Because I was leaving a hostile environment and the hostility towards me continued after the separation, having furniture wasn’t just a luxury, it was a necessity. I had to prove that I had a home that was suitable for my child and her well being. I needed furniture so that I would be able to have a bed for my child and a dresser drawer to store her clothes.
“When your parenting is under scrutiny and you’re trying to provide a stable and warm home for your child, you have to have furniture. It’s one of those things we take for granted until we are sitting in an empty room without it..”
“Additionally, I was just finishing the Academic Bridging Program at the University of Toronto when all of this was happening, and as a student, I really needed a desk to study at, and a place to store my books. It’s pretty hard to study on a bare floor and I couldn’t just get up and go to the library with a toddler
“It’s been several years since I went to Furniture Bank to receive furniture. I graduated with my Honours Bachelor of Arts, started my Masters, and found a meaningful career. Would I have been able to do that without furniture and the Furniture Bank? Maybe, maybe not, but it sure is nice to have support in creating your home, having a bed for your daughter, and the dignity in choosing your own furniture to set you up for the future.”
*Names have been changed to protect privacy.