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KPLR TV Channel 11 interviewer John Fuller sits down with John Alipertz of Harris House St. Louis and Craig Jung of St. Louis Green to talk about the Precious Earth: Green Furniture and Metal To Food Program.
(This interview has been transcribed.)
John Fuller: First of all Craig what is this furniture and metal to food program?
Craig: There is a program that Operation Food Search started about four years ago. What they do is take all of the old furniture and all of the old metal that comes from all of the corporations that partner with their programs. Well the program got a little large for them to manage. So they came to us St. Louis Green and said hey would you be willing to take this program over. We acquired it in October. Since October we have worked in all the programs that we’ve done with all the people and diverted 300,000 pounds of furniture in something like 60 days so it’s been fabulous. A group like Johns is one of the groups that we’ll send the furniture to if it’s still useable.
John Fuller: A beneficiary?
Craig: A beneficiary.
John Fuller: Well then how can a company help as long as we’re talking about the program.
Craig: A beneficiary. Well the biggest thing is to get a hold of us if you’re planning on moving anything let us decide if it’s of value or not for us to come in and say yes we can get someone to use it here or we can use it there that the best way for us. Just call us if you would.
John Fuller: Now the beneficiary or the group the Harris House tell us about the Harris House John
John Alipertz: Harris House is a not for profit United Way agency located in south St Louis we provide residential treatment services for men and women suffering from alcoholism chemical dependency and mental health issues. We have 99 beds. Being a not for profit we have a relatively limit budget so; the furniture and various items that we have gotten from St Louis Green. It’s just been like Christmas for us.
John Fuller: How big of a problem is substance abuse and alcoholism you say you have 99 beds how many people do you provide services too.
John Alipertz: Close to five hundred a year
John Fuller: Wow.
John Alipertz: The impact of Harris House goes well beyond that five hundred people leave the Harris House and they return to the work place. We help people get jobs. Provide employment skills. A lot of the women come to Harris House in an effort to regain custody of their children they lost due to their addiction. So it’s a tremendous impact on their community.
John Fuller: What would be some of the items that you would reuse from Craig’s group?
John Alipertz: We got some beautiful furniture and it’s gonna be the first time in our 50 years history that we have matching furniture in our living room. (Everyone Laughing) We’re pretty excited about that!
Craig: Washington University redid their library last week the nineteenth. We went in there with five agencies and took four floors of old furniture from Wash U. and they were one of the agencies that got some of that furniture. It’s just fabulous.
John Fuller: Wow and it’s keeping it out of the landfills as a waste
Craig: Yeah everybody wins.
John Fuller: Thank you John and Craig also for joining us today about how about precious earth segment can help other by repurposing furniture for those who need it.
See the video interview from KPLR 11 Precious Earth: Green Furniture and Metal To Food Program