Our History

The St. Vincent DePaul Society (SVDP) offers person to person service to the needy and suffering and is inspired by Gospel values. The St. John Vianney Furniture Bank is a special program of SVDP providing needy families throughout Lake County with gently used furniture, household items and appliances at no cost.

Operation

The St. John Vianney Furniture Bank is an all-volunteer organization.  We accept donated “gently used” furniture, household items and appliances from the general population in Lake County. We house the furniture in a warehouse in Mentor and then distribute to low income/needy families who reside in Lake County. We accept all clients regardless of race, religion or ethnicity and strive to serve them to the best of our ability with the resources available.

History

The St. Vincent DePaul Society at St. John Vianney Church has operated a furniture ministry for many years. After the heavy flooding in Lake County in August of 2006, United Way asked three churches, which operated small furniture banks, to join together and pool resources to help those families devastated by the floods in Lake County.  St. Noel Catholic Church in Willoughby Hills, Hope Ridge United Methodist Church in Concord, and St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Mentor came together to aid in this effort. After that project was completed the three churches decided that we could better serve the community if we continued to work together.  We then rented a small business unit (1,100 sq. ft.) and began the Lake-Geauga Furniture Bank.  St Noel’s had a 15’ box truck, so it made collecting furniture much easier and efficient.  We continued in this mode for almost five years and the space was so small all the sofas were stacked on end and it was almost impossible for our clients to pick out what they needed.  Over the course of these five years St. Noel’s had to drop out, then Hope Ridge did the same, and this left the volunteers from St. John Vianney running the operation.  In 2011 the Furniture Bank moved into a 3,600 square feet warehouse on East Avenue in Mentor and this has now been expanded to 6,000 square feet.   In 2014 the Furniture Bank became an agency of United Way of Lake County. We have grown from serving about 400 families a year with furniture to now we serve over 1,000 families each year and we continue to grow.  Since the Furniture Bank is operated strictly by volunteers of St. John Vianney Church and funded, in part, by the Church, it was decided to change the name of the organization to The St. John Vianney Furniture Bank. The Furniture Bank continues to serve all of Lake County.