Houston Furniture Bank is a non-profit that works with a network of 80 other charities to help underprivileged people get furniture. Since their founding in 1992, they’ve helped over 21,000 families get furniture, allowing 50,000 children to sleep in beds instead of on the floor. Their mission is built on the principle that furniture is a key step to improving living conditions, allowing families to eat at a table instead of on the floor. Families that receive items from Houston Furniture Bank are in the process of transitioning to independent living, most while struggling with extreme poverty. They’ve helped get almost a quarter of a million pieces of furniture into needy hands.
That is, until recently. At about 2:30 AM on Sunday, August 9, their 10,000-foot warehouse burned down. Although there is no news yet on what started the fire, the fact remains that the charity was devastated. They’ve lost everything, all the furniture that they had stored, as well as two delivery trucks. All that survived was the skeleton of the building and those trucks, and some files from the office.
The charity has started a drive to generate the funds to rent a new warehouse and begin stocking it with furniture. Oli Mohammad, the group’s executive director, has no intention of giving up on the group’s mission. In fact, he’s even tying to see the bright side. Although Houston Furniture Bank has done a lot of good, they could do more. Mohammad says that the need for furniture is one that many people don’t realize exists. People acknowledge poverty, and they acknowledge homelessness, and there are plenty of programs that try to address those needs, but even broke twenty-somethings who rely on used furniture for their own homes don’t realize that people who are worse off not only need those kinds of items, but struggle to obtain them.
Mohammad hopes that this fire, tragic though it is, will help to spread awareness of this need, which in turn could help Houston Furniture Bank do even more good.