Free or Cheap Furniture for Low-Income Families or Those in Need
The information in this article is current as of February 15, 2022.
Whether you have just moved into your first home, are starting over, or simply need a new bed or couch, finding furniture doesn’t have to break the bank.
This blog post will spotlight different ways for those in need or on a budget to get affordable and cheap furniture. Additionally, qualified low-income families can access vouchers for free or discounted furniture.
Furniture Vouchers for Low-Income
If you or someone you know qualifies as low-income, furniture vouchers can help families or individuals receive free or heavily discounted furniture. Nonprofits and charitable organizations such as Catholic Charities, Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul, The American Red Cross, Salvation Army, and more can assist with furniture vouchers.
To qualify for furniture vouchers, eligible low-income applicants are usually:
- Formerly homeless and now residing in a home
- A single parent
- People who do not possess any furniture
- Disabled or have a severe health issue
- Victims of domestic violence setting up their own home
Ashley Furniture – Hope to Dream Program
Ashley Furniture’s Hope To Dream program “believes that every child should have a good night’s sleep and a bed to call their own.” The furniture retailer donates a portion of the mattress sales to Hope to Dream.
The program provides children with a twin mattress, a bedframe, bedding, and even a pillow. Visit ahopetodream.com/participating-homestores to learn more.
Founded in 1910, Catholic Charities can help those who need it by finding food, clothing, housing, and mental and physical healthcare. The organization also helps at-risk individuals and low-income families with getting free furniture. Contact your local Catholic Charities to learn more.
The goal of furniture banks is to “ensure good furniture and housewares end up back into the community to support getting children off the floor, and families established in a furnished home.” The furniture bank network connects furniture with those who need it.
To find a furniture bank near you:
- Search the North American directory of furniture reuse social purpose organizations.
- Check the individual furniture bank’s website for details on accessing their services.
- Visit the directory to get started furniturebanks.org/furniture-banks.
Goodwill Industries Furniture Vouchers
Goodwill offers a Voucher Assistance Program which allows them to partner with other nonprofit agencies to help low-income families and individuals in the community. However, according to the organization’s website, funds are limited, one-time, and the following guidelines apply:
- Vouchers are distributed to nonprofit social service organizations (you must include a 501(c)(3) verification letter with application). Vouchers cannot be issued directly to individuals.
- All requests for vouchers must be submitted using an official form. Forms can be found on the website. For example, here’s a voucher form for Southern Pennsylvania.
- All furniture requests must include details of the circumstances or reason for needing a voucher – this could be due to a natural disaster, loss of work, domestic violence, etc.
- Vouchers may only be valid at the Goodwill location listed on the form.
Goodwill requests applicants allow up to 4-8 weeks for the review process, notification, and voucher delivery.
The American Red Cross
Survivors of natural disasters like hurricanes and floods can reach out to The American Red Cross for help setting up their homes. The organization provides those in need with free furniture and helps with food, education, and healthcare.
St. Vincent de Paul Furniture Vouchers
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul helps local neighbors in need. A local St. Vincent de Paul can help with rent, utilities, transportation, clothing, food, furniture, household goods, housing, and referrals no matter where you live.
Much like Catholic Charities and The Salvation Army, furniture vouchers are provided through the organization. Click here to find local assistance and services from a St. Vincent de Paul near you.
The Salvation Army Furniture Vouchers
Another option for cheap or free furniture is The Salvation Army. The organization relies on financial and furniture donations from the community to give back to those in need.
If looking for a Salvation Army furniture voucher, the organization suggests you visit your nearest location.
Don’t qualify as low-income? You can always search your local store for gently used furniture.
Habitat ReStores are independently owned reuse stores operated by local Habitat for Humanity organizations. ReStores sell high-quality merchandise to the public at a fraction of the retail price.
The purchase of donated items helps Habitat for Humanity partner with local families to build, rehabilitate and repair safe and affordable homes in your community and worldwide.
Cheap or Free Furniture Near You – By State
Crisis Assistance Ministry in North Carolina
Suppose you happen to live in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. In that case, the Crisis Assistance Ministry assists Mecklenburg County families with emergency rent and utility assistance, clothing, household goods, furniture, beds, and appliances.
Locals can also depend on the Crisis Assistance Ministry for referrals to nearby food providers, federal food support programs, and access to an onsite emergency pantry.
Household Goods in Massachusetts
Household Goods works with hundreds of human service organizations in Massachusetts to help fill empty living spaces with the items they need most to make their house a home.
This organization provides quality used beds, furniture, sheets, towels, kitchen items, and more for free for low-income individuals or families.
To receive furniture or household items from Household Good, the organization requires a referral from a social service agency, healthcare provider, faith community, or other organization.
If you have questions about obtaining furniture, contact the organization at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 978-635-1710.
Household Goods Inc. is at 530 Main Street, Acton, MA 01720.
Mustard Seed of Central Florida
If you live in the Central Florida area, you can work with the Mustard Seed for help with free furniture. Applicants must obtain a referral from an authorized Mustard Seed Referring Agency.
The way it works is a referring agency representative visits your home to help you determine your furniture needs before referring you to the Mustard Seed.
You must make an appointment to receive furniture from the furniture program by calling 407-875-2040 x 114, and they ask that you please bring the following items with you:
- Client Referral Form
- Client Checklist
- Photo IDs for adults living in the home
- Birth certificates for all minor children living in the home
- A $150.00 processing fee in the form of cash, money order, or debit/credit card
- Transportation to move the furniture – pickup truck or open trailer – furniture cannot be placed in an SUV or van
- If you need assistance placing items into your truck, they ask that you provide an additional $20
New Beginnings of Central Florida
New Beginnings provides furniture vouchers to folks in the Clermont, Florida area in exchange for volunteer hours. In addition, the thrift store helps generate funding for its homeless outreach and poverty prevention ministry.
If you need help and live in the Central Florida area, contact them at @nbcfl.org or visit the Clermont thrift store and speak to the store manager.
Stooping – Free Furniture in New York City
It is not uncommon to find furniture or other home goods left outside the curbs and stoops of New York City. Shopping for free secondhand furniture from the curbs is called stooping.
The StoopingNYC Instagram account became increasingly popular during the pandemic and let anyone access many used home goods and furniture. You never know what you may find shared in a post, from bookshelves to baking pans.
Cheap or Free Furniture Online
In case you didn’t know, back in 2000, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) designated 211 as the three-digit number for information and referrals to social services and other assistance.
America’s 211 network responds to more than 20 million requests for help every year. Most calls, webchats, and text messages are from people looking for help meeting basic needs like housing, food, transportation, and healthcare.
211 service is made possible by more than 200 local organizations including, United Ways, Goodwill, Community Action Partnerships, and local crisis centers serving their communities.
These local experts make it easier for those in need to find help. In addition, these trained community specialists are available to help you access the best local resources and services.
Created with the idea of reusing and recycling in mind, Freecycle is a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people giving and getting stuff for free in their local areas.
The goal is to keep decent items out of landfills and into the homes of those who need them. Membership is free.
Did you know that Craigslist has a free section? Visit your town or city’s Craigslist page. Under the “For Sale” area, you’ll find free stuff. Look for that chair, dresser, lamp, or whatever it is you’re hoping to score.
LetGo or OfferUp
By visiting LetGo, a part of OfferUp, you can search for furniture in your local area. If you filter items from the lowest to the highest price, you may find several free or inexpensive pieces of furniture for your home.
Neighborhood residents can promote their services and sell home goods and furniture on this app/website. Often people need to unload a couch or unwanted item. Keep an eye out for free or inexpensive furniture here.
Save Money on Your Wireless Phone Service
If you qualify for federal benefits, you may also qualify for Lifeline service. Lifeline is a federal benefit program that allows low-income consumers to receive free or heavily discounted communication services. Click here to find out more and apply for this valuable benefit.