Chicago Furniture Bank takes used items for families in need

Can't get rid of grandma's couch or your husband's armchair? The Chicago Furniture Bank will pick it up for a donation and gift it to families in need.

The bank opened on the West Side just nine months ago and has already furnished the homes of more than 630 families in need. The non-profit was founded by three recent college grads who discovered a similar furniture bank in Philadelphia and then won seed funding from their university to start their own.

"Giving an equal opportunity to everyone no matter where you come from, this really just embodies that for all three of us," co-founder James McPhail said.

One of their clients is a single mother of five who was recently homeless.

"It's a blessing, it's better than being at the shelter. It's a new start for me and my kids," said Sherese Tinsey.

Tinsey and her children have been living in an empty apartment in Lawndale for two months. Her caseworkers with Near West Side CDC Family Works referred her to the furniture bank and paid the $50 fee to take goods.

Tinsey will get beds for her entire household, a couch, end tables, a dinner table, chairs, dressers, lamps, dishes, cookware, wall art and rugs. Once she makes her selections, the Chicago Furniture Bank delivers the items for free.

"Families that have been living in shelters or living on the streets and are finally getting their first place, it really means so much to them to not only have stuff in there but be able to pick and choose that stuff that they like and make their own home," said McPail.

The furniture bank will pick up your used furniture for a donation, and they do come to the suburbs. You can also drop off items at their location at 4800 West Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL 60644.

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