November 30, 2023

Furniture Bank

Swing Your Furniture Bank

Avalon furniture bank low on stock as wait list grows

Amy Tulk, left, and Maureen Lymburner, with Home Again, say the number of people who access the furniture assistance program is growing. (Bruce Tilley/CBC)

For Maureen Lymburner and Amy Tulk, something as basic as a bed or a coffee table can help them reunite a family, or get someone out of the hospital. 

Right now, the pair — who work with the Home Again Furniture Bank, a non-profit based in Mount Pearl — are keen to find dining room tables and chairs. 

​Home Again helps find used furniture and other household items to people who need it. 

“The demand is absolutely incredible, and seems to have been increasing for sure,” said Lymburner.

The group has been busy, furnishing more than 940 homes over the last three and a half years. 

“There were some months last year that we got over 50 requests for furniture, but only got maybe 30 donations of furniture,” she said.

“So that of course means the wait list grows and grows.”

At the moment, there are about 170 people on that wait list, but Lymburner says they’re getting new requests every day. 

After more than three years in operation, Home Again does six to eight deliveries a week.

That’s all the furniture they have, and they only get about a third of the donations they need to meet demand.

Furniture pickups and dropoffs happen even in the frigid weather. (Submitted by Home Again Furniture Bank)

The items people request change weekly, and while it might be dining sets this week, the group puts out a call for donations every Wednesday, and delivers to people on Friday. 

Some of the people they help are referred through some of the city’s outreach organizations  groups like the Gathering Place, Stella’s Circle and Choices for Youth. 

Child visitation can be affected

But they do get requests from other people as well. 

“Most recently we’ve been noticing there a lot of divorcees,” said Tulk.

“If you split and one spouse gets everything, when there’s children involved you need to have beds, you need to have furniture before you can have your child visitation. We’ve had people who are not able to be released from the hospital after a major surgery because they don’t have a bed to sleep in.”

Lifting with the knees, and not the back, is solid advice for people pitching in to give furniture a new home. (Submitted by Home Again Furniture Bank)

Home Again delivers the furniture for free, and will pick up donations for $25. 

Tulk says they can see the difference a simple piece of furniture can make, when they drop it off at a home.

“People are so grateful for everything,”she said.

“The impact that we make on their lives is immediate. We come in, we knock on the door, they answer the door, we deliver furniture, they hug us, they thank us, we walk out the door and immediately their lives have improved, have changed.”

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