PLATINUM2023

Bridging-AZ Furniture Bank, Inc.

Empowering People and Bridging Lives

aka Veterans Furniture Project   |   Mesa, AZ   |  www.bridgingaz.org

Mission

Mission Statement:  
Empowering People and Bridging Lives Toward Self Sufficiency.

Bridging AZ provides basic furniture and household goods to economically disadvantaged individuals and families living in Arizona, primarily Maricopa County. Our main clients are chronically homeless veterans and their families and developmentally disabled adults.

Ruling year info

2005

Executive Director

Jim Piscopo

Main address

25 N. Extension

Mesa, AZ 85201 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

20-1207001

NTEE code info

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Other Housing Support Services (L80)

Employment Procurement Assistance and Job Training (J20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The emphasis in today's fight against homelessness is on a "housing first" approach. Before counselors can help remedy many of the underlying causes of homelessness -- substance abuse, mental illness, chronic medical issues -- their clients need a stable, comfortable place to call home. But an empty apartment really isn't "home" until it's furnished with a bed, a kitchen table, a sofa, a dresser and the other furnishings that make it livable. Bridging plays a big role in this "housing first" approach by acting as a clearinghouse for furniture donations -- both gently used and new -- that are passed along to social service agencies who provide housing. After 13 years filling this role, Bridging also has begun two specialized programs. Beds for Kids provides beds to children in need. The Veterans Furniture Project trains unemployed/disabled veterans in woodworking skills, sometimes to repair or build furniture needed to furnish apartments.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Veterans Furniture Project

Bridging AZ does one thing and we do it well – Furniture. As Arizona’s first Furniture Bank, (est. 2004) Bridging AZ has distributed over 280,000 items supporting over 200 social service programs with basic furniture and household goods for their clients. Bridging AZ does not have case managers or navigators we rely on collaborations and partnerships with other social service agencies to identify and qualify people in need of furniture.

Population(s) Served

Bridging AZ provides basic furniture and household items to previously homeless veterans and people with disabilities.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Veterans
Adults

In 2019 we opened Got Legs Furniture - a higher end resale furniture store in Scottsdale to generate income to support the Furniture Bank program. In 2021 (still during COVID) the store had over $220,000 in sales.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Low-income people
Extremely poor people
Homeless people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Estimated number of funding dollars secured for the sector

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Veterans, People with disabilities

Related Program

Got Legs Furniture & Decor

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

These are direct sales from our resale store to help support the organization

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Bridging's most recent annual goals fall under three program areas, listed below.

FURNITURE BANK

- Provide furnishings for 400+ apartments annually for individuals and families challenged by homelessness, mental illness or other dire circumstances.
- Continue to provide furniture and timely deliveries to our partner agencies at very low cost, which makes the entire social-services system more efficient and effective.

VETERANS FURNITURE PROJECT

- Engage unemployed and/or disabled U.S. military veterans in the Veterans Furniture Project, where they will learn woodworking skills and, more importantly, basic job skills, such as time management, teamwork and workplace safety. Bridging's specific goal is to engage 4 to 8 veterans annually in this training.
- Move the workshop toward sustainability by developing products that can be marketed under the Veterans Furniture Project brand.
- Engage larger groups of veterans, 80 or more annually, in woodworking classes, both as an opportunity for socializing and to build support in the veteran community for the Veterans Furniture Project.

BEDS FOR KIDS

- To provide 50 or more twin-size beds for children whose parents or guardians cannot afford them, and who have a demonstrated need for a decent place for children to sleep and dream.

Bridging's strategies, grouped by program, include:

FURNITURE BANK

1. Continue to deliver effective services to partner agencies by providing timely, reliable deliveries and quality furniture to clients.
2. Continue to improve furniture inventory tracking and boost sales and exchanges of items not needed to furnish apartments.

VETERANS FURNITURE PROJECT

1. Implement training for apprenticeship-like programs for woodworking.
2. Develop and implement marketing strategies for craft items made in the woodshop, e.g., wood pens.
3. Implement woodworking training program at local senior centers and veterans' organizations.

BEDS FOR KIDS

1. Continue to refine order and delivery systems with partner agencies who identify children in need of beds.

Bridging's key capabilities include the following:

-Demonstrated experience in the furniture business. The agency will celebrate its 14th anniversary as a nonprofit in 2018. It has developed a broad network among social service agencies and for-profit entities that help support Bridging with in-kind and cash contributions.

- Development of a fully-equipped wood workshop at the main Bridging warehouse. Bridging has taken an innovative approach and converted four 40-by-8-foot cargo shipping containers into a flexible workshop space. As the Veterans Furniture Project grows and needs more space, the containers can be repurposed.

- Effective use of volunteers and students. Bridging maintains a very small permanent staff (with only four full-time positions) and has been able to engage AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers, as well volunteers in many other programs, to help meet its objectives and goals.

During its 13-plus years, Bridging has provided more than 160,000 pieces of furniture and household items to more than 60,000 clients.

The furniture bank program is averaging furniture deliveries to apartments and living units for about 400 families and individuals annually.

The newly-instituted Beds for Kids program has supplied more than 30 beds to children since mid-2017 and has expanded its network of social service agencies recommending families who need beds.

The Veterans Furniture Project has completed the construction and initial equipping of a woodworking shop, developed a range of prototype products and developed most of the beginning curriculum for wood-turning classes to produce wood pens. These classes also will serve as an introduction to veterans enrolled in the program.

The VFP also has established a referral network with several agencies serving veterans -- to identify those veterans who may most benefit from the workshop program.

Financials

Bridging-AZ Furniture Bank, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Bridging-AZ Furniture Bank, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 12/17/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Kim Airres

Profit Plus Accounting

Term: 2019 - 2024

Jane Gharibian

Harvard Medical School, Retired

Lindsay Estrabrooks

Computer consultant

Pat Dodds

City of Scottsdale Communications, retired

Jim Piscopo

Founder, Bridging AZ

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 4/28/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data