Furniture program in Troy continues, in part, due to RON MOT grant
What do these groups of people have in common?
- Families who have lost their home to a fire
- Women leaving a violent situation
- People who were homeless and have found a place to live
- People who have been released following time served in jail
- Anyone starting out in a new home
So, what’s the common thread? These individuals usually lack a furnished place to live. Through various means, people are able to secure a place to live, but just having a space is only half of the solution. An apartment or a house without a bed, chair, table, desk, or dresser doesn’t make for a warm and inviting environment: a home.
One focus of the Troy Area United Ministries (TAUM) is its Furniture Program, which provides furniture to create livable spaces. TAUM receives furniture through donations, puts it on the truck, and delivers it directly to those who need it. The process is a very efficient way of transitioning furniture from a place of surplus to a place of need, and its helps decrease landfill waste. Another aspect of this program is helping to keep families together; displaced parents who find a place to live are able to have their children stay with them – it is a New York State Department of Social Services’ policy that children are prohibited from staying in unfurnished homes.
This past year, TAUM’s Furniture Program was in need a new truck to keep things moving. The old truck had more than 150,000 miles on it and was starting to cost more in repairs than it was worth. During its 12-year lifespan as a TAUM transport, it assisted in repurposing more than $3 million in furniture, but it only got eight miles to the gallon. The new truck is a 14-foot panel truck that gets 15 mpg, which will result in a decrease of nearly 50 percent of fuel consumption. A grant from Upper New York’s Reaching Our Neighbors Ministry Oversight Team for Ministries with People in Poverty covered $1,000 of its purchase price!
“This new truck enables the ministry to continue and to make the best possible use of donations of furniture and of money!” said Pastor Donna Elia, TAUM Executive Director.
“TAUM has several other fantastic ministries, including Campus Ministry, Computers for Kids, the Damien Center, the Holiday Adopt-a-Family program, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee, and the CROP Walk, in addition to serving meals and offering meeting spaces to those who need it. The ministries offered are life-transforming, and it is so good to be partnered with them!”