It's a dream
Over the past seven years, I have worked at Turning Points for Children CUA 3 servicing families in the Child Welfare System within the City of Philadelphia. During the course of my work, I have witnessed many struggles and hardships that our low-income populations face trying to make ends meet. The greatest challenges families face are food, clothing and shelter/lack of housing. Within the city, there are many programs to assist families with connecting to these concrete goods or resources. However, the greatest challenge as a case manager has been finding agencies to provide furniture for my clients especially when they transfer from shelters to independent housing. For years, I have struggled to find a resource that provided low-cost or free furniture for my clients and was unsuccessful. My search ended when my agency became affiliated with the Philadelphia Furniture Bank last year.
To date, I have referred three families and escorted them to Philadelphia Furniture Bank. These families had empty homes and just needed a helping hand in life. When entering the furniture bank, the staff (Tom Maroon and Howard Pinder) greets the case worker and client at the door with the brightest smile and warmest handshake. They treat the client with dignity and guide them throughout the facility. My clients are in disbelief that they are qualified to receive free furniture and permitted to choose their own items. Once the furniture is settled in the homes, my clients are excited when I visit. The atmosphere of the house changes for the better. It is amazing how spirits within a family are up-lifted because they now have a place to eat dinner together.
As a case worker, I also experience the same emotions as my clients. We get excited to pick out the tables and couches. We take pictures of loading up the truck. Philadelphia Furniture Bank is a case manager’s dream resource. The program does more than just assist with furniture. It gives families a second chance at life.
By: Christina Mayhugh, Turning Points for Children CUA 3 After-Care Worker