Furniture bank collects for homeless families in transition - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

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Furniture bank collects items for homeless families in transition

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When Tami Jackson started volunteering with homeless groups she noticed a big need for homeless families who were trying to get back on their feet.

"Many of them are transitioning into house and they have nothing and I thought, this is so sad. We've got to be able to do something about that," she said.

Jackson came up with an idea to collect used and donated furniture. A fellow volunteer then stepped in with something to help her plan off the ground.

"He came back with a key to a storage unit and said, this is yours for six months and so that's where the Furniture Bank started.

She spread the word about her Furniture Bank endeavor, held a couple of fundraisers and has been amazed by the response.

"The storage unit gets full. We'll get phone calls. It might empty out and then the furniture comes flowing in again," she said about the number of donations she's been receiving in the year since she started Furniture Bank.

In some cases she's able to furnish an entire house for a family, down to the dishes. She even decorated an entire room for two teenaged sisters.

"They're no longer sleeping on the floors so they're very grateful that they're getting a fresh start," she added.

Jackson says many of the families cry when the furniture is delivered because what they're getting isn't a "hand out" but a "hand up".

We're turning their house into a home and I think that's just a great way to move forward… we're really able to provide them with a beginning," she said.

Families that benefit from Furniture Bank are referred by agencies that work with the Valley's homeless.

Jackson says it costs about $8K a year in storage and transportation costs to furnish homes for 50 families.

Visit Furniture Bank if you'd like to help or make a furniture donation.

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