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? The inability to furnish one’s home is a reality for many Portlanders struggling to get by. This is where Community Warehouse comes in. This week we’re digging into the archives to feature the organization as a part of our award-winning Community Voices series.

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. Their efforts help clients become more self sufficient by acting as a first step toward independence after securing housing.

As the only full-service furniture bank in the Portland area, Community Warehouse partners with other 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. Last year, the organization gave 3269 mattresses, 997 dining tables, 3820 pillows and 5904 dish sets to families in need.

Community Warehouse relies upon volunteers to keep their organization up and running and raises funds through grants, donations, and profits from their third-party estate stores in Portland and Tualatin that sell high-end donated goods. For more information on how to get involved or donate goods, visit their website.

Past interviews with key members of the organization can be found below.