Nationally, more than 1.6 million children or 1 in 45 are homeless in America
According to a report by The National Center on Family Homelessness. That is a 38% increase since the start of the U.S. recession in 2007. Due to circumstances, albeit family dynamics or a family member losing their job, teens find themselves sofa surfing but still very committed to completing their studies.
Today our ‘retail store without a cash register’ provides free new clothing to high school students currently homeless, unaccompanied or in need.
The dedication came from of one particular woman who devoted her life to The Main Place. Initially, Sharon Johnston started jean drive at the Irving Women’s Network holiday luncheon. Fast forward less than 10 years, and The Main Place center is one of the most organized and efficiently run operations. The store boasts over 6,000 square feet, sometimes overflowing with new clothes. Sharon’s passion and tireless work has created a team of dedicated ladies who serve on the Homeless Teens Committee.
The apprehensive teens come to the center often worrying about things that teens don’t typically need to be worrying about. We, the volunteers, love seeing that apprehension turn into excitement as in many cases where that teen may be going on their first job interview or simply being teens attending their prom or reaching their goal of graduation. We treat the teens to a unique boutique experience of serving them and making the experience as fun as possible. All the while we stand ready to offer advice: perhaps on the questions to ask on that first job interview or helping them to discover what outfits look good and appropriate.
As the homeless situation looks to be increasing, we are constantly on the look for new clothes,volunteers and funds to keep the operation paying it forward. We have had several teens who we served who later returned to The Main Place center and gave of their time or clothes.
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