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Catholic Charities expands furniture storage

Program seeing uptick in local need, struggling to meet demand

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 14, for its new furniture program warehouse in the Rotterdam Corporate Park.

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 14, for its new furniture program warehouse in the Rotterdam Corporate Park. Submitted photo

— Molly Nicol, director of development for Catholic Charities, said the struggling economy also has increased demand. Many people the group serves are only working part-time jobs.

“They are really trying to hold it together,” Nicol said. “They are living pretty much right on the edge.”

Clients of the program are not only low-income but usually in transition, which includes groups like veterans, domestic violence victims, immigrants, the disabled, the elderly, the working poor, those coming out of shelters and those released from prison.

Beckett recalled in one instance, a man facing issues with medical expenses called seeking a bed for his wife and himself, his son and another for his daughter, along with a dresser and kitchen table. After missing an original appointment, Beckett finally met with him and noticed something was wrong.

“When he arrived he had to sit outside his truck so I asked him what happened,” Beckett said. “He said his medical condition was diagnosed as cancer and he was on chemo and not feeling well and he wanted to sit in the sun.

“When they finally made it back to pick up the furniture it was his daughter, wife and son that came, so I asked about him and he had passed away,” Beckett continued. “They told me he was so proud he was able to get his family the beds, dresser and kitchen table. That is why we do this.”

The inventory at the warehouse varies based on donations, but can include mattresses and box springs, couches, dressers, coffee tables and end tables, kitchen tables, chairs, bookcases, small household appliances, linens, dishes, glasses, silverware, pots and pans.

The only thing limiting the program is what many nonprofits lack: funding. There is one truck used for the program, with a driver and helper working part time. If the program received more funding, Beckett said he would like to purchase another truck and expand to two full-time crews. The program as of Friday, Nov. 16, has furniture pick-ups scheduled into December. If there was another truck and another two-man crew, Nicol said donations could be picked up more rapidly. Anyone receiving furniture is responsible for moving the items from the warehouse to their home.

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