At the beginning of 2014, there are nearly 80 furniture banks in the United States and Canada. The earliest furniture banks were established in the early 1980s, and more began to appear in the 1990s. After the year 2000, more and more cities began to establish their furniture banks, and the more established furniture banks began to share best practices and provide encouragement to newly forming organizations. Mr. Tom Polk (founder of the Furniture Bank of Metro Atlanta) founded the “National Furniture Bank Association” in 2001, to encourage furniture banks to share best practices and to facilitate national publicity of the furniture bank concept.
In 2012, the organization was renamed the “Furniture Bank Association of North America“, to recognize and include the growing number of furniture banks in Canada.
While each furniture bank is different, in general their missions are to provide furniture at little or no cost to families and individuals living in poverty and with other severe life crises, such that they cannot financially afford to furnish their own homes to even a minimal standard.
The mission of the Furniture Bank Association is to help build the capacity and capability of furniture banks in the United States and Canada to serve their communities, and to encourage and guide more cities to establish furniture banks for the benefit of their residents and their environment.