Why furniture is essential

“How do you think you would cope without a bed?” This is the first question posed by the End Furniture Poverty campaign, which is meant to raise awareness around the lack of essential furniture that exists in some households.

The term ‘furniture poverty’ is considered somewhat broad. What might be an essential furniture item to some households isn’t in another. For example, one family might consider a washing machine an essential item, while other households can manage without one, or may not even consider this furniture.

A research project led by the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom created a list of essential items that every household needs to have a basic level of quality of life, which includes things like beds and mattresses, a table and chairs, and wardrobes and drawers. These are all items that are collected by the JRCC Furniture Depot, which accepts donations of used furniture items and redistributes them to vulnerable populations throughout the GTA.

As the final report of the project outlined, furniture poverty is not just about meeting a certain standard of living. It is also about feeling ‘normal.’ For example, a family that is experiencing furniture poverty may not feel comfortable having family over for dinner, or their children’s friends over for a sleepover. In these situations, not having proper furniture has a greater impact than the household’s living conditions — it prevents households from having normal social experiences and can make them feel even more isolated and neglected.

Very often, we take our furniture for granted. Many of us never have to think about how to get a full night’s sleep without a bed, for example. Yet there are many people for whom this is a reality. They might not have the income necessary to make major purchases of large furniture items, or they may have to furnish entirely new homes after fleeing dangerous home situations.

Donating the JRCC Furniture is therefore a great way to ensure that your used furniture ends up with a family who truly needs it. If you have used furniture items like mattresses, box springs, tables, chairs, etc. contact us to arrange a donation today. (Please note that we do not accept appliances and electronics.)