Home Again Furniture Bank is partnering with Her Majesty’s Penitentiary’s carpentry program to deliver handcrafted bureaus to people in need.
Home Again Furniture Bank is a non-profit organization that collects gently used furniture and brings it, free of charge, to households across Newfoundland’s Northeast Avalon.
Home Again works with over 30 local organizations that refer recipients to the furniture bank. These organizations include Choices For Youth, Iris Curby House, the Canadian Mental Health Association, the St. John’s Native Friendship Centre and the Association For New Canadians.
“The people who use our services are consistent only in that they are people who are in transition and are quite often in desperate need of household items and/or furniture. They range from young families with children to seniors to new-comers in the community to recent inmates,” said Amy Tulk, Co-director of Home Again.
Since launching in October of 2015, Home Again has delivered furniture and household items to over 300 homes across the island. In doing so, they have diverted over a 100 tons of furniture that would have otherwise ended up in landfills.
While the bank receives regular donations of couches and coffee tables they have been consistently low on dressers, an item clients often request.
“We very seldom get donations of dressers for the simple reason that households don’t often replace dressers, they hang on to them for years and years,” said Tulk.
Home Again recently approached the facilitators of Her Majesty’s Penitentiary’s carpentry program to see if they would be interested in a partnering to address the furniture bank’s dresser shortage. Inmates in the carpentry program have been making floats for the city’s Santa Claus Parade for years, and this summer they began making Adirondack chairs for the city.
“We knew the carpentry program provides inmates with opportunities to either gain new skills or maintain skills they already have … the partnership benefits the inmates and it benefits our organization” explained Maureen Lymburner, Co-director of Home Again.
Facilitators at the prison were excited to join forces with furniture bank.
Recently, Home Again received a grant from Eastern Health to launch Partnering to Make Houses Into Homes. The grant will help pay for materials for the dressers. Home Again are in the process of finalizing some details and aiming to launch the program this February.
Dining room sets are another rarely replaced household essential that Home Again is often short on; they are currently seeking donations of good quality tables and chairs. Tulk says the furniture bank is also hoping for more people to join the ranks of over ninety volunteers who work with the organization.
“We are always open to involvement with the furniture bank, whether it’s donating used items or donating your time, of course financial donations are always appreciated but there are lots of roles people can play with the organization.”