This ‘furniture bank’ gives away beds, tables, and sofas to Philadelphians

Michaelle Bond, Philadelphia Inquirer
PFB's Director standing next to chairs in the warehouse

Before Earl Burwell spent about five months in a shelter, he lived in a boarding house and shared a bathroom, kitchen, and everything else. Then a Philadelphia nonprofit helped him find a one-bedroom apartment in South Philadelphia where his 13-year-old son can spend time with him.

Burwell, 58, who is on disability and receives assistance to pay rent, finally had a home of his own. He just couldn’t afford furniture for it.

But last spring, he picked out a kitchen table and chairs, a dresser, a loveseat, and other pieces to furnish his apartment and create a welcoming space for visiting family members. And it was all free from the Philadelphia Furniture Bank.

“It makes you feel complete to have a place with furniture and all that,” Burwell said. “It means a lot.”

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