FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A South Florida furniture giant has made the largest single corporate donation to kick off a larger capital campaign for a longstanding nonprofit organization that assists homeless children and youth.
Covenant House Florida, a non-profit agency that provides shelter and programming to children and youth who are homeless or at risk, announced a landmark one-million-dollar donation from City Furniture.
The generous contribution, which comes during National Homeless Awareness Month, is the lead gift for the Covenant House Florida statewide $10 million fundraising campaign, “Our Great Promise: Florida’s Future.” Funds raised will expand the agency’s facilities and programming to meet the growing needs of the children and youth who face homelessness in Florida.
In South Florida, Covenant House Florida will relocate from its aging beachside shelter in Fort Lauderdale to a new facility more centrally located within Broward County. That new building will be named after Kevin Koenig, late brother of Keith Koenig, CEO of City Furniture.
“Keith Koenig and City Furniture have been incredibly supportive of Covenant House Florida for more than 23 years,” said Covenant House Florida Capital Campaign Director Jim Gress. “This donation is a tremendous start to our campaign as we continue to provide a path to safety, a safe environment, nutritious meals, and guidance, health and educational programs to Florida’s youth regardless of circumstance.”
“Knowing that so many local teens are living in the shadows, we hope to be a catalyst for helping Covenant House Florida expand its vital work,” said Koenig. “Early on, my brother Kevin saw the organization’s potential to create a sense of home, safety and comfort for young people struggling to survive on the streets. For three decades, Covenant House Florida has delivered on its mission – sheltering, bringing hope and a path forward. Helping people achieve their own vision of home, enriching lives and making the world a better place – that’s what our team has always been about. With tremendous heart and professional skills, Covenant House Florida is a proven partner for us and for the communities it serves.”
Supporting Covenant House Florida’s mission is a longstanding tradition for the Koenig family and City Furniture. In the 1980s, Kevin, the entrepreneur and philanthropist who founded Waterbed City, decided to donate to Covenant House Florida when the company had a great year. “I hadn’t heard of Covenant House Florida but trusted Kevin’s judgment,” says Keith.
“Soon after, at a meeting with Covenant House Florida’s team, we were deeply touched to learn the need for their services in Broward County was so intense.”
The brothers expanded their firm as City Furniture, now South Florida’s top-selling furniture retailer, and the partnership with Covenant House Florida grew. Keith chaired the Covenant House Florida Board of Directors in the late 1990s, during the planning and opening of Covenant House Florida Orlando. Kevin passed away in 2001, and Keith established the Annual Kevin Koenig Memorial Covenant House Cup Golf and Fishing Tournament, which has netted more than $1.2 million for the charity over the years.
“Without support, young people overcoming homelessness who have often been abused or abandoned by their parents and the system, become trapped within the complex walls of poverty finding it hard to escape,” said Covenant House International President Kevin Ryan. “We appreciate all that Keith and City Furniture have done to help us to provide better shelter and stronger services now and into the future.”
According to the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness, an astonishing one in five children in the United States lives in poverty.
Covenant House Florida, which has served more than 38,500 young people overcoming homelessness, estimates there are more than 7,000 children and youth in the state each night who lack safe shelter, many of whom have been exposed to sex trafficking.
To find out more about Covenant House Florida’s programs and services, contact Mike Long at MLong@covenanthousefl.org or 954568-7925 or visit the agency’s website atwww.covenanthousefl.org.