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.

 

Links:

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.

Jul 21, 2020

How Community Warehouse Stepped Up In The Pandemic

Community Warehouse responded to the COVID-19 pandemic as quickly as possible by closing our regular operations on March 16. The nature of our service requires close contact with used goods and people (over 2,000 unique contacts per week!), so we made this decision to protect public health until we could create a plan for modified service. 
Unfortunately, closing to the public meant losing our earned revenue (Estate Store sales and fees for service). Due to these closures and the postponing of our biggest fundraising event, we had to furlough 77% of our staff. 
In less than a week, our remaining skeleton crew formulated a plan and were back up and running with modified client services. We began providing "Home 2 Go" kits consisting of a custom-made dresser packed with brand-new, sanitized items (an air mattress, pots and pans, dishware, linens, and more) and shrink-wrapped for safety and portability. (Link for more info: https://www.communitywarehouse.org/home-2-go/)
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By April, we had provided 170 Home2Go kits to 319 neighbors in need referred by 30 partner organizations. By May, Community Warehouse was fully staffed again, and began collecting a limited list of donated items from the public to supplement the Home2Go program. Community Warehouse was asked to present our COVID-19 process and operations to the national Furniture Bank Network, due to the success of our services during this unprecedented time.
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From a case manager at the VA: Thank you so much for doing this!  My team was just talking today about what we were going to do for our vets that moved into new places right before you guys had to shut down. We rely on you guys so much! I am very glad you closed when you did (absolutely the right decision) AND, you have been missed.
 
These are difficult times for everyone. We know it's more important than ever to continue providing the comforts of home so families in need do not have to shelter in place in an empty space. 

As Community Warehouse transitions to newly modified services, your support is even more critical. There is more need in our community as families struggle to make ends meet due to COVID-19. 

There are a lot of unknowns. But at least we have a simple solution to furnishing the homes of folks in need. 

Thanks to your support, Community Warehouse will continue doing just that, today and in the future. 

Together, we'll get through this.

Here is video that tells the story of our response: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMS3YdLsrpc

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