PONTIAC, Mich. (WXYZ) — For more than 50 years, the Furniture Bank of Southeastern Michigan has supported more than 85,000 vulnerable families across metro Detroit by providing beds and other essential furniture items for the home.
But, the organization says they're now struggling to help all families because in the last few months, they've experienced a dramatic increase in requests and are unable to meet the demand.
Thirty-five-year-old Mary Summers recently moved from Arizona and has come to the Furniture Bank to pick essential items for her new home in Detroit.
Summers is a single parent of two kids and takes care of her 65-year-old mom who suffers from dementia and heart disease.
Because of the responsibility, she can’t work.
“It’s very hard, physically and mentally. I can get up, go to work—and I want to go to work but mentally, it’s a wear and tear on you because you are limited in what you can do,” Summers said.
That’s why she says something as simple as having a dining table would mean a lot to her.
Summers is just one of the many vulnerable families that the bank assists.
In fact, the bank’s Executive Director Robert Boyle says last year, the organization served nearly 2,000 families, of which 87% reported an annual household income of under $20,000. But, this year helping families is turning out to be a challenge.
He says the problem exacerbated with the end of the eviction moratorium and last year’s floods.
With nearly 200 families on the waiting list, Boyle says it’s a classic problem of supply and demand, which can only be solved by encouraging more people to donate furniture.
That’s why Summers is rocking a big smile, picking out dressers, nightstands, bed sets, couches and more.
“This is happy furniture day for us and we can’t wait," Summers said.
If you have reusable furniture that you would like to donate as part of your spring cleaning, please consider getting in touch with the Furniture Bank of Southeastern Michigan. Your donation can make a big difference in someone's life.
The Furniture Bank can also pick up donated items for free.
Anyone interested in helping out a fellow Michigander or learning more about the furniture bank can click, here.