Dave is a member of the Pathways' community. He now works part-time at the Philadelphia Furniture Bank (PFB) as part of Pathways' Transitional Supported Employment Program. He agreed to talk to Howard Pinder, PFB's Assistant Director, about his experiences. We believe that our stories are as important as our successes.
Q: What is the story that connected you with Pathways?
On a sunny June day, Yonnette came into the Philadelphia Furniture Bank. The Philadelphia Furniture Bank, a project of Pathways to Housing PA, provides furniture for individuals and families moving out of homelessness. Most clients that come into the furniture bank live in homes without couches, beds, tables, and even lights. Yonnette was one of thsoe individuals.
"Do you have any kids?" we asked.
"Yes, I have two boys, ages 9 and 10. I also have two twins on the way!" she said with glee.
"Wonderful. Do you have any furniture in your house?"
This week at the Philadelphia Furniture Bank we interviewed Manny, a Mission Year volunteer. Manny has been working at the furniture bank for seven months. Mission Year is a Christian volunteer program meant to provide a lifestyle led by faith, community, and service. This program provides services in Chicago, Philadelphia, and Houston and partners with local churches, non-profits, and activists trying to transform their communities. Before Manny's experience at the furniture bank comes to a close on July 27th, we sat down and asked him a few questions.
The Philadelphia Furniture Bank was awarded a complete IKEA makeover from the IKEA store in South Philadelphia. The makeover will create a gathering space for families moving out of homelessness and furniture bank volunteers that is functional, inviting and well-designed — a place our community can feel welcome and comfortable.
"'Welcoming' is what we most want to be for the people we serve. Ikea’s makeover will transform our space into a 'welcome place' and we are truly grateful for that gift, expressed Chris Simiriglia, CEO of Pathways to Housing PA.
In honor of National Volunteer Week from April 10-16th, it's our pleasure to highlight some of our awesome volunteers. Recently at the Philadelphia Furniture Bank, an enthusiastic group of volunteers from EvolveIP gave their time to help families who are moving out of homelessness. They were rock stars, assembling a total of 36 tables and 64 chairs!
I will never forget meeting Heather. It was my first time at the Philadelphia Furniture Bank as an intern of Pathways to Housing PA, and I was eager to see our work in action. As you may know, the furniture bank is an incredible organization by Pathways to Housing PA that allows low-income families to receive furniture for free. At Pathways, we work to house homeless Philadelphians, however we quickly learned that four walls do not make a home. A house without any furniture is not really a home at all. This is the story of Heather, and her journey in making her house a home.
While an intern at the Philadelphia Furniture Bank, Brittany Thomas not only made a difference, but was changed for the better.
Last month concluded my internship at the Philadelphia Furniture Bank, and I have to say with all honesty that I will miss it tremendously. In the short time I spent there working alongside its amazing staff and the multitude of case workers it had a significant role in allowing me to discover what I am truly passionate about, and for a 20-something year old fresh out of college, that is a huge deal.