New Life Furniture helps families transform houses into homes

On a summer day in 2006, Holly Young and her friend were helping a family they knew transition out of life in a homeless shelter. 

With a truck and a Jeep, the two helped transport furniture so the family could begin to call their new place of living a home.

And in the spring of 2009, after more families started to call upon the two for assistance, New Life Furniture was formed. 

New Life Furniture is a nonprofit that operates similarly to a food bank—except with furniture.

“Families lose hope if they don’t have their space filled,” says Young, who now serves as New Life Furniture’s executive director. “So we feel like we’re at the end of their journey, and it really enables them to become self-sufficient and on their own.” 

The nonprofit is able to provide up to 18 pieces of donated, rehabbed, and sometimes built pieces of furniture to each family in need, but Young says more support is needed to be able to fulfill more individuals’ requests for assistance.

“We are barely hitting a drop in a bucket,” Young says. “There are probably, unfortunately, 5,000 to 7,000 [people] who live in extreme poverty in Cincinnati that need our assistance, and we’re probably just hitting 20 percent of that.” 

This year, the organization aims to reach more than 500 households throughout the community, which Young says should equate to about 1,300 individuals. 

“The need is just out there, and life’s just really hard,” Young says. “And without us helping one another, it’s almost impossible.” 
Do Good: 

• Support New Life Furniture by donating.

• Volunteer with New Life Furniture and help the organization reach more families.

• Connect with New Life Furniture on Twitter.

By Brittany York
Brittany York is a professor of English composition at both the University of Cincinnati and Xavier University. She also edits the For Good section of SoapboxMedia. 
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