Central Furniture Rescue of Cedar Rapids has a noble mission: to provide furniture for those who transition from homelessness to their first/next home or those in quick need of living arrangements after escaping abusive relationships.
The Cedar Rapids Gazette says that in 2021, the organization provided furniture to 473 households, up from 422 in 2020 and 227 in 2019. But, for almost three years as a nonprofit, they have been low on space themselves.
That's why they were both excited and relieved to reach a deal on what they expect to be a long-term and secure warehouse home. They will move from their most recent location at 407 Ninth Ave. SE to 2275 16th Ave. SW. A five-year lease gives them the freedom and space to execute their mission and go about their very important business. The founder of Central Furniture Rescue, Susan Johnston told the Gazette:
We can get comfortable, and we can set policy, and we can set procedure, and we can go home
Even that Ninth Avenue location was more stable than her initial workspace which started in six garages at three locations.
Jeff and Connie Palmer bought the Old China Buffet on December 31 and will lease it out to Johnston's group for at least five years.
After moving out the buffet and restaurant furniture, it's a wide-open space perfect for the organization's needs, with an additional out-building that came with the property and will also be used by Central Furniture Rescue.
They have a website where you can learn about volunteer and donation opportunities as well as a Facebook page where you can message them. Volunteers are helping them move into the new space as well, today, Friday, February 11, and tomorrow, Saturday, February 12.