PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s always good news when someone can move out of a homeless shelter and into their own space, but they’re usually starting from scratch, without furniture or household goods. In Chester County, a group of volunteers has filled a warehouse with what they need. We went there to see how it works.
Kathleen Bonner’s 3-year-old twins have their own ways of playing with a puzzle. One fills a toy truck with the pieces while his sister pieces together a puzzle on a table.
Mom has been putting together pieces, too, making her new rental in Coatesville into a home for her twins and her two teenagers.
“I say I was making bad choices for a while. About three years ago, I found myself in between homes,” Kathleen said.
A social services agency helped her find a rental house. Then it asked Kathleen, what did she need?
“I gave them the list and I think within a week, they said, ‘We’ll get a truck and we’ll go over there,'” Kathleen said.
“There” was the Community Warehouse Project of Chester County. Kathleen met executive director Glenda Brion, who helps people coming out of homelessness.
“They get housing, but they don’t have any furniture because they’ve been a shelter, or they had to leave their home in a hurry,” Glenda said.
The Warehouse is set up like a thrift store, and everything is free, donated by the community: things for the living room, the kitchen, the bedroom, the floor, and more.
“It’s incredible how much people are so willing and excited to give items away, knowing that they are going right back out to people in need,” Glenda said.
Kathleen got to choose what she wanted and get it delivered to her home, such as a sofa, tables, a lamp, and a rug. “This couch is beautiful!” Kathleen said, “So I was thinking ‘I want to grab that couch, and I love the carpet, the table is really nice.'”
Glenda rarely gets a chance to see a finished home, but Kathleen shared pictures of her new space.
“You really made our house feel like a home,” Kathleen told Glenda.
Glenda teared up. “It’s very powerful to see we can make a difference in someone’s life.”
Glenda appreciates every single donation. She says their biggest need is twin beds. They often run short.
If you would like to find out how to help, whether by donating or delivering furniture, contact the Community Warehouse Project at 484-473-4360. Phone messages are checked every few days, and donation days and times are arranged in advance.