Community Warehouse: Turning houses into homes

By Emily Neelon |

Take a minute to picture where you grew up. Did you sit around a kitchen table each night and eat dinner with your family? Did you burrow under your blankets and hug your pillow when you had bad dreams? Did you substitute pots and pans for bongos and drums and sheets as the walls of your forts?

What if you didn’t have a kitchen table, blanket or pillow? What if you didn’t have pots, pans or sheets? What if the rooms were empty, the blank walls and bare carpet giving your apartment the feeling of the haunted house in your favorite scary movie rather than a home?

An inability to furnish one’s home is a reality for many Portlanders struggling to get by. This is where Community Warehouse comes in.

With a mission to help impoverished Portlanders furnish their homes, Community Warehouse was founded in 2001 in Portland, Oregon and expanded to Tualatin, Washington in 2012.

With potential plans for further expansion into Clark and Clackamas counties in upcoming years, Community Warehouse hopes to help their clients become more self sufficient by acting as a first step toward independence after securing housing.

Community Warehouse serves an average of 60 families a week and has helped 22,000 families in the last three years alone. As the only full-service furniture bank in the Portland area, Community Warehouse partners with over 180 community organizations to provide necessary home furnishing items to those that need them. The Warehouse’s clientele range from homeless veterans to victims of domestic violence.

After a visit to one of the Community Warehouse locations, a participating individual or family will leave the Warehouse with mattresses, furniture, linens, silverware, and everything in-between. Recipients are often referred by social service agencies and can fill out an application prior to their visit requesting particular items they may need.

Community Warehouse relies upon 132 volunteers and 19 paid staffers to keep their organization up and running. With an annual budget of $997,000, the non-profit raises funds through grants, donations, and profits from their third-party estate stores in Portland and Tualatin that sell high-end donated goods.

Community Warehouse visited PRP throughout the week to speak more about their efforts to help families make their housing into homes.

2 replies
  1. Rena Satre Meloy
    Rena Satre Meloy says:

    Beautiful article Emily! On behalf of everyone here at the Warehouse, we can’t thank you enough. Big cheers for a well-written piece and for having us on the show this week. You folks are a lot of fun and we so appreciate your support!


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