MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – A local LGBTQ non-profit received a haul of donated home goods from the Memphis IKEA.
The non-profit has a program that helps find housing for homeless LGBTQ youth in the area. Molly Quinn, a spokesperson for Out Memphis, said LGBTQ youth homelessness is a large problem in Memphis.
“LGBTQ youth homelessness is a problem across the country,” Quinn said. “And we know based on all the different factors, including living in the South and being in an urban area, that the risks of LGBTQ youth homelessness are even higher here in Memphis.”
IKEA stores can choose a charity in its community that it can help. Carol Smith of Memphis IKEA said it’s the company’s mission to help provide a better life for those they can.
“It’s important for us to remember that the company’s theme is a better everyday living for everyone,” Smith said. “And that means everyone. That’s inclusive. We include everyone.”
With furniture commonly being a necessity for a home, Smith said the company wanted to help in any way that they could.
“It’s a good feeling to know that the things we see every day mean so much to people,” Smith said. “Just to have a table, a bed, a chair… this could mean everything to somebody.”
Quinn said finding a home for homeless LGBTQ individuals is key to helping them have a better life.
“We’ve been working with young people for about five or six years now, and we have learned over that period that all of the things that we do that we really can’t support young people stability and security without housing,” Quinn said.
Smith said the IKEA in Memphis will be selling rainbow reusable bags with all the proceeds going towards helping the LGBTQ community.
“Sometimes it’s easy for us, since we look at it every day, to take it for granted,” Smith said. “But when you see somebody receive this and know that it makes such a big difference in their lives, that’s a great feeling. It really is good.”