During Love INC's development phase, a community survey was conducted to determine ministry priorities. The number one request made to Love INC developers was to establish a furniture ministry similar to Mid-Missouri furniture bank; the ministry created to assist hurricane Katrina evacuees who relocated to Columbia. When Love INC opened its doors in 2008, we inherited the Mid-Missouri furniture bank's 1988 box truck and this served as our initial storage and delivery mechanism. In 2009 a local business owner, Rocky Phillippe, provided 4,000 square feet of donated space and The Love Seat furniture ministry was birthed.
The Love Seat expanded through our partnership with Missouri Department of Corrections. We were awarded grants that allowed us to purchase another truck and provide transitional employment for ex-offenders returning to the community. Ex-offenders were provided with work experience and mentoring and given an opportunity to give back to the community. Love INC has also partnered with Experience Works and Missouri Department of Vocational Rehabilitation to provide transitional employment for older and disabled individuals transitioning back to the workforce.
In order to financially support the ministry efforts, The Love Seat Resale Store was opened in 2010. The store provides low cost items for customers as well as vouchers for free items to individuals involved in our programs.
The Love Seat seeks to minister to those in crisis and transition. The Love Seat Furniture/Clothing Ministry provide for the following people:
- transitioning for shelters, halfway houses, incarcerations and treatment facilities
- disaster victims
- individuals aging out of foster care
- individuals prioritized by local agencies or churches
In 2012 we provided 1,249 pieces of furniture (at an estimated value of $47,953.00) to individuals and families in need.