Community Warehouse: Portland furniture bank says demand high, especially for mattresses

Volunteers sort items coming into the Community Warehouse in Northeast Portland. (KATU)

Escaping homelessness comes with its own challenges; chief among them is furnishing a home or apartment with beds, dressers, sofas, pots and pans and appliances.

As the region’s only full-service furniture bank, the Community Warehouse in Northeast Portland served 52 families just last week and distributed 287 mattresses in November. In all, 129 adults and 57 children were supplied with 1,374 items.

“It’s that very special time where people are in that very point of starting to move forward,” said the warehouse’s executive director, Dunetchka Otero-Serrano. “The challenge is that during this time of year we don’t receive enough beds.”

The warehouse partners with 200 social service agencies to connect people with the goods they need to get a household started. Their slogan is “Used goods to good use.”

Mattresses are in high demand.

“We would need 150 beds to satisfy the need, and if you look around there are not enough beds for the 150 individuals that we are planning to serve this very week,” Otero-Serrano said. “The holiday season is usually harder because everyone is overwhelmed with holiday preparations. Unfortunately, it is when we need it the most.”

Items deemed worthy for sale are sold in the warehouse's retail outlet, with the proceeds going to fund the warehouse.

"We encourage families, neighbors and our friends to do a little bit of spring cleaning in December. Check around. The impact will be huge,” Otero-Serrano said.

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