Turning the Page to a New Chapter of Life

Moving into a new chapter of life can be difficult. A successful transition often depends on a helping hand giving you the opportunity to overcome the inevitable hurdles. That’s exactly what NW Furniture Bank does for its clients—and for many of its employees.

Joe Goree was encouraged by a friend to apply at NW Furniture Bank when he was at Progress House, a work release program run by Washington State Department of Corrections. After being incarcerated for more than 18 years, Goree was uncertain of his next chapter. Fast-forward a year and a half and you can find him working hard in the warehouse—keeping it organized, accepting donations and loading truckloads of furniture for clients.

“The way this organization is run puts a smile on my face,” says Goree. “It feels good to give back and to see people leave with a smile on their faces.” He knows that the opportunity to work at NW Furniture Bank is important for his new beginning and he’s committed to sticking with it.

Goree’s story is one of many similar accounts among employees at NW Furniture Bank. The Tacoma-based nonprofit’s primary mission is to help provide basic furnishings for people starting a new chapter. These might be survivors of domestic abuse, people suffering loss from fire and natural disasters, foster children, and especially families coming from transitional housing who are trying to re-build their lives. At minimum, each client family receives a sofa, dining set and a bed for each person.

NW Furniture Bank also has gone a step further by employing individuals who may be overlooked because of their past. Executive Director Bill Lemke is proud that the organization has been able to evolve since he founded it 10 years ago. “Helping improve the lives of our 34 employees is as important to me as helping our clients, ”he says. “It’s good stuff!” JULIE LEYDELMEYER

NW Furniture Bank

117 Puyallup Ave, Tacoma