The Resource Exchange

A Program of the St. Vincent de Paul Church Social Action Committee

How the Problem of Homelessness is Addressed

We now know that homelessness can kill. TRE move_homeThose on the street waiting to ‘qualify’ for housing use all their energy getting something to eat, dry clothes to wear, medical care, and a safe place to sleep. Newer grant programs identify and place the most vulnerable of those without homes directly in housing and then work with them to stabilize their lives. Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) is one community agency doing this kind of work. Since their grant money is limited, often there is little left for more than rent for the newly-housed clients.

The Donation Coordinator at 410-657-5874 or by email at for more information on how you can participate.

What The Resource Exchange Does

TRE move_Peggy MOur mission is to turn that empty rental unit into a home by providing basic furniture and household items. Our program optimizes the chance of success for those newly housed, and it affirms for each of them that there are people who care and believe in them. Most importantly, it frees up HCH grant money to place more clients in places of their own.

At this time, we only work with clients referred by   HCH, which provides ongoing support services to the newly-housed.

Often apartments have no furniture or items necessary for cooking simple meals or cleaning. There are no sheets, towels, or a bed. And yet we encounter deep gratitude for the safety of a locked door and the stability of a ‘place of their own.’ The Resource Exchange brings new bedding, makes up the bed, and adds towels, mat, and shower curtains to the bath. We bring living room furniture and kitchen table and chairs along with pots, dishes, and utensils.


What You Can Do

There are a number of ways that churches, groups, and individuals can be part of the solution to Baltimore’s homeless problem:

As a Partner Church or Group

Provide entire Home Starter Kits on a regular basis

Collect furniture from donors and deliver it to our downtown storage facility

Join the home visitation team who sets up the new bed and unpacks the starter kits

Regularly request donations in your church bulletin or group newsletter

Financially support us as we must purchase new beds and other needed items and pay rent for our storage space

As an Individual

Donate gently used furniture or household goods (see below)

Financially support the program

How Does This Work?

For household furniture, The Resource Exchange (TRE) volunteers work with your group to accept donations of useable furniture. Because of LIMITED storage space, TRE can ONLY carry one month’s inventory (furniture for 8 – 10 apartments). We do not take beds, sofa beds, mirrors or stemware.

For home starter kits, TRE can store several home starter kits.

The Donation Coordinator at 410-657-5874 or by email at for more information on how you can participate.

Home Furnishing Needed for One Apartment

  • Small sofa/loveseat
  • End tables
  • Coffee table
  • Easy chair
  • Table lamps (2)
  • Floor lamp
  • TV stand
  • Kitchen table with 2-4 chairs
  • Dresser (4 or 5 drawer)
  • Night table

Home Starter Kit Contents
Most items may be used but in good condition.


  • Pots and pans , covers optional (2)
  • Frying pans (2)
  • Casserole dish
  • Cooking utensils—spatula, lg spoons, can opener, knives
  • Mixing bowl, measuring cup and spoons, cutting board
  • Dishes: plate, salad plate, bowl (4 place settings )
  • Glasses and Mugs (4)
  • Set of flatware (4)
  • Plastic containers for food storage
  • Dish towels and washcloths (2), pot holders (2)
  • Paper napkins
  • Ice cube trays
  • Colander

Cleaning Supplies:

  • Paper towels and sponges
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Laundry detergent
  • Small broom and dustpan
  • Laundry basket, hangers
  • Toilet brush
  • Plastic bucket


  • Shower curtain and rings
  • Floor bath mat
  • Towels, hand towels and wash cloths (2 sets)
  • Toilet paper (4 rolls), soap (2 bars)


  • Sheets and pillowcases for full size bed
  • mattress pad (new – full)
  • Blanket and/or bedspread or comforter (full)
  • Pillow (new – standard)


  • Lightbulbs

Wish List (items not required for move-ins, but desired):

  • Flat Screen (ONLY) Televisions
  • Radios
  • Microwave ovens
  • Toasters

Thank you for your interest in this important ministry.  Keep in mind…

“Christ has no body now but yours
No hands, no feet on earth but yours
Yours are the eyes through which He looks compassion on this world
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”

attributed to 
Saint Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)