MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS, Ohio — Aug. 17 marks National Thrift Store Day, but the Cleveland Furniture Bank is consistently bringing furniture to families and individuals.
Elizabeth Leon, a program assistant for Cleveland Furniture Bank, typically fills out tickets that say "sold" on them before she meets with her client.
“These tickets will be placed on the furniture they choose,” Leon said.
Leon helps furnish the homes of people in need through a program called Furniture for Families.
“They give us a call and let us know that they need furniture and we do require a referral," she said. "We refer them to the website where they can get the referral from. Once we receive the referral, we process it and then we schedule a client to select their furniture."
She helps her clients select their furniture through a virtual conference call.
On the video call, Leon showed her client his options. She said clients typically receive around 20 pieces of furniture for free.
“If you like something, let me know so I can put a tag on it," Leon said while walking around the showroom.
The selections are then delivered to the person’s home for a fee. Leon said she has up to 20 case calls a day, where she serves families and single individuals who are experiencing a variety of challenges.
“[They are] overcoming homelessness," she said. "Overcoming domestic violence. Overcoming a fire. Those are the kind[s] of clients that we see."
Leon feels that furniture is key to building a happy and healthy home.
“This is a basic need for the families, somewhere to sleep on, especially a bed to sleep on at night, somewhere to sit on during the day, somewhere that they can call home with their children,” she said.
It’s why she continues to help the community curate comfortable spaces.
“I don't like to see people in [need], you know, suffering because they need something,” Leon said.