Prague is opening a furniture bank for the needy and collecting unwanted items

The city will also be working with companies to take in slightly damaged goods to repair and redistribute.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 14.01.2021 09:51 (updated on 14.01.2021)

The city of Prague has opened its own furniture bank in Prague 4–Libuš. It will provide furniture and basic household equipment to people in material need. Small donors and companies can donate unwanted furniture to the bank.

“As a city, we want to take care of all needy Praguers who get into a difficult dilemma: whether to pay the rent, buy a bed for their children, or buy a stove so they can cook for them,” City Councilor Milena Johnová (Praha sobě) said.

“At the same time, we save things that often end up in a collection yard or a junkyard, while they are still functioning well. I am glad that I managed to convince the city management of the need to have our own furniture bank in Prague,” she added.

People and companies can bring used furniture and appliances that they no longer want or use to the central warehouse in Prague-Libuš. Everything will be distributed to people in need in Prague on the basis of cooperation with social services and social departments of city districts.

Some items in the furniture bank. (photo: Praha.EU)
Some items in the furniture bank. (photo: Praha.EU)

The furniture bank’s team currently consists of four people, led by Tomáš Valenta, who coordinates the receipt and distribution of furniture.

After contacting him, it is possible to bring the furniture directly into the hall in Obrataňská Street, where the furniture bank is located, or the employees of the furniture bank will come for them with their own vehicle. It is also possible to donate furniture with minor defects that can be repaired to the bank.

“For the purpose of furniture repairs, we will have a fully equipped carpentry workshop on the premises of the furniture bank. We want to make sure that our clients always get functional and proven furniture,” Valenta said.

“In the future, we also want to offer a job opportunity in the carpentry workshop to people with disabilities or those who are difficult to employ in the regular labor market,” he added.

The municipal furniture bank is operated by the municipal contributory organization Center for Social Services in Prague (CSSP). Until now, the services of the furniture bank for Prague were temporarily provided by the non-profit company R-most. The city established cooperation with the firm last year, before it was possible to find suitable city-owned premises to start its own furniture bank.

Exterior of the furniture bank. (photo: Praha.EU)
Exterior of the furniture bank. (photo: Praha.EU)

Initially, the bank will collect basic furniture, and it gradually aims to purchase and further provide other household equipment from citizens, companies, authorities, and companies.

“The first official partner of the Prague furniture bank that we are negotiating with is Ikea,”CSSP director Martin Šimáček said.

“It should supply furniture and other household equipment, which, for example, has been slightly damaged during handling and transport. I firmly believe that other companies in the field of sales and production of furniture and household equipment will also be involved,” Šimáček said.

Johnová said she was very pleased that the city opened a furniture bank on the border of Libuš and Kunratice, and that the management of both town halls supports the project. “I look forward to future cooperation,” she added.

More information is available on the CSSP website.