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Furniture bank provides free essentials to people leaving homelessness

By Admin User on December 15, 2021

FIND Edmonton is a thrift store in Landsdowne with a twist.

“We’re ending homelessness,” said Janine Tremblay, Marketing and Donations Coordinator at FIND.

FIND partners with Housing First organizations in Edmonton by providing furniture for free to people coming out of homelessness.

Housing First, or HF, is the philosophy that before a person experiencing homelessness can work on any compounding factors they face, like addiction or mental health, they need to have a long-term and stable place to live. This means that the client does not need to be sober or agree to go to treatment, for example, for housing. There is evidence this model works: in Edmonton, more than 80 per cent of those housed through HF have remained housed.

The staff at FIND are excited to help clients pick out their furniture.

“We get the fun part,” said Tremblay.

After the staff at one of the housing agencies secures the housing for the client, they go to FIND and pick out essentials. The clients pick out a couch, a chair, a dining room set and a dresser for each bedroom. They also receive a starter kitchen set with cutlery and pots and pans. 

Homeward Trust Edmonton is the parent organization of FIND. They say clients having a choice in the furniture in their new apartment can give their housing future a positive prognosis.

“It’s about making a home. It’s really one of those critical steps from leaving homelessness,” said Emily Ruttan, Chief Programs Officer at Homeward Trust Edmonton. “Having furniture that you chose helps make a home and you’re more likely to stay in that home cause it really works for you.”

FIND Edmonton carries a selection of vintage furniture.

The public is also welcome to come browse the selection of donations at regular prices. The donations are professionally steam cleaned and are checked for any pests. FIND attributes the high quality of the donations to their donors.

“We’ve got a really great support system in the Edmonton community,” said Tremblay. “Folks really understand what we do and they are happy to give stuff that would otherwise go somewhere else.”

The need for housing agencies has gone up during the pandemic as the rate of homelessness has doubled since before the pandemic.

homelessness infographic by Stephanie Swensrude



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