First Stop visitors build unique furniture to benefit the nonprofit’s future

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – We’re feeling the heat of summer, but soon it will be perfect porch-sitting weather. Perhaps it’s a good time to spruce up your patio. The homeless men and women are building furniture out of donated wood at First Stop for the community to purchase.

“It keeps them out of the streets, it keeps them here working,” project manager Clay Robinson said.

First Stop is selling rocking chairs for $125 a piece, coffee tables for $100 per piece and two end tables for $75. The project is called Palletable Alternatives.

Carpenter Rick Manson said the money raised from the furniture provides for various necessities at the nonprofit.

“Food, clothing, try to help people into housing who are living on the street,”¬†Manson explained.

Manson and Robinson are the backbones of the nonprofit’s new business venture: building furniture.

“I can cut and put three of these rockers together in a day,” Manson explained.

Fortunately, a local fence company donates the wood, but the homeless builders can’t create without some extra help.

“By the time you buy the guns, the compressor, the hose, the fasteners, the screws, those are the things that First Stop actually has to buy, that’s not being donated, it can get quite expensive,” Manson said.

Pallet by pallet, the workers are creating a future through building furniture.

“We’re hoping, eventually, if we can sell enough of it, that we can employ some of them,” Robinson said.

Having a place to call home is a blessing. Perhaps new furniture for you can encourage a new chapter for others.

“It keeps them out of the street, and as long as I can keep them out of the street, they’re not doing things they shouldn’t do,” Robinson said.

To purchase furniture, you can stop by First Stop’s location at 206 Stokes Street Northwest in Huntsville. ¬†You can also donate online by visiting Firststop.org.