There are many items that you can buy used or get for free that can make your new home very comforting, inviting and practical. Almost all furniture, dishes and appliances can be obtained for little or no money if you know where to look.
Freecycle™ is a great place to start for most of those things. If you have a little time and patience you can find someone that needs to get rid of something you need. Go on the internet (use a library terminal if you don’t have computer or internet at home) to http://www.freecycle.org/ from that main page you can look up your area and see if there is a Freecycle™ group near you, and learn more about it. Most Freecycle™ groups are yahoo based groups where people post things they want to give away, and others post things they need/want. Most groups will not allow you to ask for something in the first two weeks of being a member or until you have posted offering something. However, if you email the moderators privately and explain that you are a victim of Domestic Violence and you are starting over and need some things they will more than likely let you go ahead and post requesting items.
There are other resources similar to Freecycle™ on the internet it just takes some looking around.
Craig’s List (http://www.craigslist.org/about/cities.html) and
Cheap Cycle (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Cheapcycle_Groups/) both of these allow people to sell items, but cheaper than it would be new.
Other places to search for affordable furnishings are: Salvation Army, Good Will, and local thrift stores. Most items found at these places are usually in decent shape. Most Domestic Violence Shelters run a thrift store, so if you have trouble finding your local thrift store ask the DV Shelter for assistance. Looking in the local classifieds can also prove to be useful.