Chattanooga Goodwill Industries and the Chattanooga Furniture Bank have teamed up to grow an area program that turns houses into homes and unneeded furniture into more stable lives for individuals and families.
Chattanooga Goodwill Industries, with almost 90 years’ experience in recycling gently-used household items, replaces The Salvation Army as the primary partner of the Chattanooga Furniture Bank, a community resource offered by the United Way of Greater Chattanooga.
Goodwill and the Furniture Bank joined efforts on April 1, after the Salvation Army decided to focus its efforts in other directions. The partnership is a natural fit, said Dennis Brice, president and CEO of Chattanooga Goodwill Industries.
“Goodwill has regularly supplied the Furniture Bank with furniture, mattresses, and other items that we do not sell in our stores,” said Mr. Brice. “This new undertaking will allow Goodwill to serve 250 to 500 additional people this year. With our expertise in warehousing and our resource base, we look to grow the service numbers in the years to come.”
Furniture Bank service numbers saw a 50% increase over the projected figures for May 2012. Thirty families, which included 44 dependents, or children, were served.
The Furniture Bank opened in March 2010 and employs two people, both of whom joined the Goodwill employee team on April 1.
The program provides household furnishings to individuals and families as they move from homelessness to permanent housing. Agencies that work with displaced or homeless people and families refer families and individuals to the Furniture Bank.
The Furniture Bank reaches out to area furniture companies, realtors, retailers, hotels/motels, civic groups and individuals for its furniture donations. Organizations and individuals wishing to donate to the Furniture Bank should take items to the Furniture Bank location, 700 East 11th Street in Chattanooga. Furniture Bank donations will not be accepted at Goodwill stores, donation centers or donation trucks.
The new partnership provides donors with an additional outlet for household items that previously could not be accepted by Goodwill. Mattresses and large kitchen appliances which Goodwill does not accept as donations for sale at its retail stores can be taken to the Furniture Bank.
Chattanooga Goodwill Industry has a 23-county service area in Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia and offers free job training, medical equipment, trained assistance dogs and other resources for people with disabilities and other disadvantages. For more information on Chattanooga Goodwill Industries and for retail store locations, visit www.goodwillchatt.org .