Fredericton Anti Poverty Organization a Resource for the People of Fredericton
In January, David Coon, MLA for Fredericton South and Leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick had the chance to visit the Fredericton Anti Poverty Organization (FAPO), a social enterprise founded in 1983 to provide services and advocate for people living in poverty in Fredericton. Their organization is housed in an older white house on Fredericton’s northside that is filled with donated furniture, appliances, household goods and clothing. Customers pay what they can for the items in the store: much of the stock is given freely to individuals and families in need. Everyone is welcome to shop at the FAPO store. Buying from FAPO ensures that the proceeds flow directly back into the community.
In its early days, FAPO received government funding which allowed them to grow. “We got bigger and in ‘91, we bought this place,” said FAPO spokesperson Dan Weston in reference to the white house at 242 Gibson St. Today FAPO receives no government support. The success of the organization depends on the people who use and support it. People donate their time or their used furniture or they shop there, all of which helps to keep the doors open for those who need it most.
FAPO exists to champion issues facing those in poverty. They maintain semi- paid and semi- volunteer employees to ensure the organization meets and provides basic needs to the community.
“There is dead capital sitting in people’s basements”, said Weston. “Many people have unused furniture just collecting dust that someone who needs it could greatly use. If you’re furnishing a new apartment or house, look here first.” Weston explained that FAPO is now using Kijiji as a source to expand the clientele.
FAPO is a resource for everyone. The organization provides an opportunity to give a new purpose to second hand goods in the homes of people who need them. It’s a give and take environment that relies largely on donations and the kindness that is characteristic of Fredericton.