Cleveland Furniture Bank sees need rise as donations go down

Kitchen sets and dressers needed most

BROOKLYN, Ohio - Just as the well known Cleveland Food Bank provides food for those in need, the less well known Cleveland Furniture Bank provides for those in need as well, with gently used furniture and household items for people trying to get their lives back together.  

The Cleveland Furniture Bank was established in 2006 and provides more than 3000 families or individuals in need with furniture each year.  It works with more than 330 agencies and serves people from Cuyahoga, Lake, Lorain, Geauga, Medina and Summit counties.  

Executive Director Tom Gaghan has seen the need for furniture increase as more agencies make use of its services.

"We're scheduling out into December already for clients, that's how many we're seeing. We're averaging 8 to 10 families a day that are coming through here."

But lately, items coming into the furniture bank have dropped off.

"For some reason this year, the donations have been down about 20 percent," said Gaghan. "The problem with that is that our client base, the number of clients we're serving, has increased 20 percent in that same time frame so that's not a good situation."

Gaghan said sofas and mattresses are still coming in but other types of needed items have become more rare.

"We're getting very few, if any, of kitchen and dining room sets and dressers, and almost every family that we're dealing with needs a dresser for sure, and most of them also need a kitchen set."

Gaghan is asking that people reconsider donating any furniture that they can spare.

"If it's a piece of furniture that you say, ‘Well, I really don't use it anymore but it's still too good to throw out', and it's not broken, stained or torn in any way, consider donating it to the Cleveland Furniture Bank and we will then make sure that it gets into the hands of a needy family who's trying to rebuild their lives right here in northeast Ohio."

For more information about The Cleveland Furniture Bank and how to donate, call 216-459-2265 Ext. 101 or go to their website at clevelandfurniturebank.org

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