How to Get Free Furniture. Every year millions of people are displaced from their home due to fires, floods, and tornadoes. What do you do and where do you go when you have lost everything? Furniture banks help low-income families to re-establish their households, by providing free furniture and household items to help them re-establish their homes.
If you are moving out of a temporary dwelling, hotel, shelter, or if you have been displaced by domestic abuse or a disaster, you may be eligible to receive free furniture from a U.S. furniture bank. Keep in mind, even if you are eligible for help, there is a process. You can not just walk into an get furniture.
If you need furnishings like beds, couches, lamps, dishes, pots, and pans, etc. please contact your caseworker or social worker and ask for a referral. They work with hundreds of state, local and community agencies that help screen and approve applicants for free services.
Where the Furniture Comes From
Furniture and household items are obtained by the generous donation of individuals, furniture companies and organizations in the community. If you have ever donated something to the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, Red Cross or the Goodwill Industries, or St. Vincent de Paul, know your gifts are helping disadvantaged families in your community. Most large donations receive a tax credit. Most organization will pick up large items from your home.
Items must be clean and in good condition. Because of time and the use of trucks, it is requested you donate two large items in order to receive free pick up or donations. Some larger denominational churches as part of a community outreach may have thrift stores where those falling on hard times can get the necessary items to run a home. That will also include dishes, cribs, clothing for babies and young children.
Places to Get Free Furniture
- Red Cross
- Salvation Army
- St. Vincent de Paul
- Goodwill Industries
- Local Churches
- Catholic Charities
- North American Furniture Bank
Who Qualifies for Furniture Bank Service?
- Low-income with HIV/Aids
- Victims fleeing domestic abuse
- Low-income with no furniture
- Victims of disasters like fire, flood, tornados
- Moving from shelter of welfare hotel and fit the HUD definition of homeless
Once you are approved, you are given a voucher, detailing what items you can receive, you will go the organization’s store or warehouse to pick out your items. Make an appointment to pick out your items and you can either take them with you if you have transportation or they will be delivered to you for free depending on the distance.
What is the Screening Process?
To receive services, you have to get a referral from an organization that works with the Bank. ie, Department of Social Services, Goodwill Industries, Catholic Charities, Community Poverty Organizations. Your situation and income status must be verified to make sure only those who qualify to get the help they need. Verification such as a letter from the government agency caseworker, W-2 forms, payroll stubs. Proof of your living situation, such as hotel, shelter, etc.
Items you can Receive
- small appliances
There are Free Furniture Banks in every city in U.S. Please speak with a social worker, caseworker, counselor or church administrator if you need help with furniture.
Other Places to Get Free Furniture
Craiglist and FreeCycle.org are places where you can find free furniture. Often people are moving and have not sold furniture and decided to give it away. Other times people purchase new furniture and want are willing to give it away to someone who needs it.
Go to the “Free” section in your city to find all type of unwanted furniture. With Craigslist, it is a first come first served situation. With Free Cycle, you have to join a group in order to request furniture.