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Nonprofit Makes Houses Feel Like Homes With Donated Furniture

During the pandemic, Niki Mock noticed something in her Bethesda, MD, neighborhood. Neighbors were leaving furniture outside on their curbs as trash. Mock realized that used furniture could be put to good use rather than it turning to waste in a landfill. 

She and Adrien Herbert brainstormed the idea behind FurnishHopeDC. The nonprofit collects gently used pieces of furniture and gives that furniture to Washington, DC, residents in need. The focus is on the city’s Wards 7 and 8, where nearly 20% of residents live below the poverty line.

Photo Courtesy FurnishHopeDC

“Around the corner from me, there was a beautiful queen mattress sitting out with the garbage. You know me. I had to stop. I went and knocked on the door,” Mock told CBS News. She soon had a light bulb moment: there is certainly enough quality used furniture in the city to furnish the homes of those in need. She could help residents in a sustainable way by thoughtfully reusing quality furniture and household items.

FurnishHopeDC quickly discovered that many of those in need of furniture are seniors in public housing, people who have escaped domestic violence situations, and families transitioning to their own place after living in homeless shelters. In those cases, many people sleep on floors, and many children do homework without a desk or couch. 

The organization works to provide everything a resident might need to make their house a safe home. Items include furniture for bedrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms, as well as kitchen items and even baby clothing. FurnishHopeDC also provides computers, bicycles, and basketball hoops.

Photo Courtesy FurnishHopeDC

To receive furniture, applicants schedule a home visit from FurnishHopeDC staff, which helps determine whether they are candidates. Selected residents then can go to the nonprofit’s offices and pick whatever furniture they like. The organization then arranges for delivery and set-up in the resident’s home. 

So far, FurnishHopeDC has helped 550 houses feel more like homes. For Mock, it’s been an incredible experience to work with the nonprofit’s many volunteers and recipients.

“I love the people on both ends. I’m awed by the generosity of the people that help me,” Mock said to MoCo 360. “On the other end, there are moms who I can’t imagine how they get through the day and make everything happen. I feel privileged that I get to see all of this.”

Photo Courtesy FurnishHopeDC  

FurnishHopeDC is not only helping those in need get back on their feet in a safe, secure home with quality and safe furniture, the organization is also keeping tons of waste out of landfills. This type of circular giving helps create a more sustainable, healthy environment for everyone in Washington, D.C. Those who wish to give directly to the nonprofit can drop items at the office, or if the donations are located more than 20 miles away, schedule a pick-up.

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