Jul 15, 2021

"Our beds were a blessing."

Summer and her daughter Lillyana
Summer and her daughter Lillyana

Two years ago, I had a constant feeling of dread that my family was going to have nowhere to live. Where would we go? Would we have to live in our car? What if I couldn’t provide a safe place for my kids to live?

For two years, Summer, a mother of 3— Lillyana, Isaac, and Angel, searched for housing for her family. The search began following the loss of Summer’s father in 2017 after which Summer had to leave the place her family once called home.

Summer knew that help was necessary to find an apartment that would fit her family. She visited the Department of Human Services for assistance. With limited options presented, Summer faced closed waiting lists or wait times of several years for low-income apartments.

She contacted a social services call center titled 211 Info and discovered ROSE Community Development, one of our partner organizations offering affordable housing in Southeast Portland for families and low-income seniors featuring strong community-building programs as well. After contacting ROSE Community Development, Summer visited the office and got on the waitlist.

"One amazing day we got a call that we had been approved for a 4-bedroom apartment. I couldn’t believe it— every kid would have their own room! And the rent was only $472 a month! This was a miracle to us."

To celebrate their new space, “We ate pizza and ice cream and watched movies together.” Summer and her family were so excited about their new space, but they had nothing to make it cozy until Community Warehouse stepped in.

“We all slept in the living room together— we had no furniture. We had nothing when we moved in,” Summer shared. “ROSE helped me with Community Warehouse. Everything I have is from there. It was so helpful. Comfortable. My pink chair was the best part. I even got an electric fireplace heater. Our beds were a blessing. Everyone got new beds, and it was brand new. I even got an iron! Our kitchen is fully stocked now.”

Here, at Community Warehouse, we are committed to serving under-furnished neighbors in the tri-county region. As your local furniture bank, we have seen the impact of furniture on children, families, and individuals over the past 20 years. We need your support to continue transforming empty spaces into comfy homes for families like Summer’s.

Summer’s youngest child, Lillyana, was happy to have a bedroom to call her own. Filled with furnishings from Community Warehouse, Lillyana shared, “I have clothespins that hang string lights with photos of my family where I can see them before I go to bed and when I wake up.”

Now that Lillyana’s room has everything she needs, she has gained a new enthusiasm for organizing. “I get to have a dresser now! Clothes and toys used to be in plastic storage bins. It means a lot to me to fold and put away my clothes. I like organizing!” Lillyana declared.

From January to May of 2021, we served 315 children in need of basic household furnishings. Beds are a critical part of a stable home environment. By supporting our goal of providing beds to children sleeping on the floor, you can offer comfort and stability to under-furnished neighbors.

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Mar 22, 2021

Story of Resilience from Ashlie, Paige, and Megan

Watch Ashlie, Paige, and Megan’s story here.

“Do you feel better that you are off the ground?” Ashlie asks her younger sister Paige.

“Yeah, I feel better that I am off the ground,” Paige answers smiling. “It was bad back then, but it is good now.”

After overcoming addiction in an abusive relationship, their mother Megan moved her two daughters into sober housing. They lived together in a single bedroom until Megan’s application was accepted for a new apartment with separate rooms for Megan, Ashlie, and Paige.  

However, the furniture that they used in sober housing had to stay there. Megan shared, “Literally, the only thing we had coming into this apartment was the clothes that we had obtained.” 

Ashlie, Paige, and Megan furnished their home with the help of Community Warehouse. Thanks to a grant from the Collins Foundation their furniture was provided free of charge!

A new room, bed, and fully furnished home brought about mixed emotions from Megan’s daughters. Ashlie expressed, 

“It was kind of scary at first sleeping by myself in my own room. If we hadn’t received furniture from Community Warehouse. I don’t think that we would be able to eat, sleep, or even have our dishes anywhere. I mean, I don’t think we would actually be able to do our school without just sitting on a plain floor.”

With Oregonian children still schooling from home, the impact of furnishings is clear. Attending school is possible when a child has a bed to get a good night’s rest. Completing school work is achievable when a child is off the floor. 

Here, at Community Warehouse, we are committed to serving under-furnished neighbors in the tri-county region, and this is a commitment that we have held steadfastly for our past 20 years of service. As your local furniture bank, we see the impact of furniture on children, families, and individuals daily.

Even during the winter months where we see the least amount of furniture donations in our Warehouses, we are glad to say that beds were available for all neighbors served throughout the season. Yet, we still need your support to ensure that children like Paige no longer sleep on the ground.

In 2020, we served 989 children that did not have access to basic household goods. We know that the need for furnishings in our region is greater now due to the pandemic. Even while Oregon’s risk levels lower, families are still without the proper furnishings to they deserve to stay at home comfortably.

By helping under-furnished neighbors, YOU are creating stronger home foundations and brighter futures for our community! Let’s continue to support under-furnished neighbors like Megan, Ashlie, and Paige now. Their resilience in overcoming hardship and transforming their house into a home is beyond worthy of admiration. 

Megan's family was featured in our annual gala called Chair Affair! Our partners at NW Natural pledged a $10,000 match for any donations made after the event. You can help us reach this match with a donation of any amount.

 

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Nov 18, 2020

Tony's story

“Shelter at home” orders are impacting all Oregon families, but some more than others.

“We have literally nothing."  Tony came to Community Warehouse on a rainy November afternoon to receive housewares for his empty apartment. As the only furniture bank in the region, Community Warehouse is a vital resource for people like Tony. After leaving prison, he needed beds for his kids, ages 15, 12, and 8. "We’d be moving in right now with just blankets and pillows. So right now this is huge."

Serving families has been challenging in 2020, as Community Warehouse faced several interruptions. In March, COVID-19 closed CW for two weeks as we figured out how to safely give donated, gently used home goods to people who need them. Our staff developed the innovative Home2Go kit, a dresser filled with new basics , including air mattresses.We served 450 families with these kits until regular service could be restored in July.

Challenges continued. By midsummer, so many donated goods were flowing into our Warehouses again, we had to seek additional off-site storage. Delivering furnishings now requires drivers to wear masks and gloves, and they can only drop off the items inside the front door of the client’s dwellings. In September, unprecedented wildfires filled Portland skies with smoke, and the unhealthy air led to further disruptions of our services.

In spite of setbacks, CW is back to serving to 30 families a week. As Tony watched a truck being loaded with beds for his kids, he explained what a furnished home means to them: “It helps with my kid’s confidence that I can do things for them, that I can take care of them. It helps with everything. Just knowing that this part is takening care of. I can go to work now. And making sure we live life.”

With your help, Community Warehouse can continue to help more families live with dignity. Much like our resilient families, neither a pandemic, natural disaster, nor heavier workloads will get in our way.

 
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