Clothing Closet Collaborations
Posted on: July 1, 2019
A Clothing Closet for Housing Residents
Three years ago, Scotty Burt, Senior Relapse Prevention Specialist, revamped our Housing Program’s clothing closet. Prior to that, the program had a few clothes on hand for residents in case of emergencies, but the selection wasn’t extensive. Scotty set out to change this.
He first started by asking staff members across the agency to donate in a winter clothing drive called “Coats for Caz.” Scotty, as he always does, used his personal network of friends and colleagues to obtain an impressive list of raffle prizes. It’s a smashing success every time Scotty runs a drive. In addition, Scotty’s friends started their own network to collect clothes that they donate to him about once a month. The closet has been running well since its inception.
Earlier this year, the offices of our Supportive Living program moved in with our Housing office. Since that move, Supportive Living residents have begun to take advantage of the clothing closet, too. The amount of people the closet supported doubled practically overnight. These days, maintaining this closet takes a lot of work as demand is higher than ever. Thankfully, Scotty’s not in it alone.
Scotty Has Help in Tanya
Tanya is a resident of our Housing program, and she volunteers her time to help Scotty manage the closet. The amount of donations the closet receives requires some assistance to keep everything organized, and Tanya is the perfect person to help. She actually just finished sorting and storing the winter clothing. “We had a lot of kids’ stuff, so we donated it to places that help kids,” Tanya said.
Unsurprisingly, Tanya knows the inventory in the closet like the back of her hand. A Supportive Living staff member asked if Tanya had any clothes for a female Supportive Living resident. Tanya asked the staff member about sizing and walked her over to the new summer section. She then gave her the perfect pair of capris.
Helping out in this way is very important to Tanya. “I like being able to give back to an organization that gives so freely to me,” she said. “I know how it is to be in need, so I’m just happy to help meet the needs of other people.”
Residents new to our Housing program often come from challenging situations that might involve being homeless. Having someone like Tanya helping them out can make a world of difference. “You’ve depleted a lot of your resources due to addiction and homelessness,” Tanya explained. “It helps financially to get a decent wardrobe to help you to pursue a job or go back to school.”
Tanya’s actually been helping Scotty since he restructured the clothing closet. In fact, it recently expanded to include items beyond clothes. It now features some kitchen supplies, bedding, books, and even board games. Scotty is extremely grateful for Tanya’s help with everything. “It wouldn’t be what it is without her,” he said.
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