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Furniture Nonprofit To Move To Square |

Furniture Nonprofit To Move To Square

Furnishing Hope—a nonprofit that provides furniture to help with the transition out of homelessness—is due to open in Harvard Square next month, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony set for noon on October 28.

Currently located in Central Square, Furnishing Hope’s more spacious Harvard Square digs on Mt. Auburn Street will serve as a spot for Square residents to donate used or unwanted furniture.

Furnishing Hope Executive Director Suzy Palitz said she hopes the move can help her organization “become more a part of the community and create new relationships with other agencies in Cambridge.”

Denise Jillson, the executive director of the Harvard Business Square Administration, believes that the nonprofit will come to fulfil an important role in the Square.

“The fact that we will have one place now that we can donate the furniture and the linens and the kitchen equipment and utensils and plates and dinnerware is really wonderful,” Jillson said. “There is a great need for this.”

Palitz said she started Founding Hope in 2012 after realizing that many families who escaped homelessness still did not have the funds to buy furniture for their new homes.

“I found out that there were groups of families that had fallen through the cracks that ended up housed with nothing,” Palitz said. “I found out that six months, 12 months later many people were still sleeping on the floor.”

Palitz said Furnishing Hope aimed to address this problem by helping families create a “secure home and base for development.”

Now, the nonprofit collaborates with a variety of other organizations in the Cambridge area including Didriks, Gentle Giant, and Cradles to Crayons to connect with and deliver furniture to financially-strained, newly-settled individuals.

Eleanor S. Austin, a Furnishing Hope employee and Extension school student, said the organization often individually tailors donations to the preferences of the children in the families they work with.

“When the referrals come in, thinking of what people would like and what their kids might like, and putting things together is really fun for me,” she said.

Austin said she is also passionate about Furnishing Hope beyond her work responsibilities.

“I have a special understanding of what [Palitz] does because there was a brief time in my life where I was living in my car and did not feel like I had a safe place to go” she said. “I feel really strongly about what she is doing.”

—Staff writer Motoy A. Kuno-Lewis can be reached at

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