A Free Clothing Store for the Homeless Is Opening in Five Points

The Humanity storefront on Welton Street.
The Humanity storefront on Welton Street. Facebook / Impact Locally
Denver is about to open a free clothing store for the homeless. Beginning Tuesday, March 20, a local nonprofit will operate what it’s calling the world’s first free retail clothing store for the homeless out of a storefront at 2526 Welton Street, in the Five Points neighborhood.

Humanity will feature a fitting room and clothing off the racks that will range from street wear and cold-weather outfits to more formal interview attire. No payment is required, though Impact Locally, the nonprofit behind the effort, says that any donations will go back into its programs and services (which also include things like providing sack lunches, haircuts and laundry services to the homeless throughout the Denver metro area).

click to enlarge Impact Locally's volunteers. - FACEBOOK / IMPACT LOCALLY
Impact Locally's volunteers.
Facebook / Impact Locally
Humanity will be open Tuesday through Thursday from noon to 5 p.m. According to the nonprofit, the free clothing store will be one-of-a-kind because it’s less restrictive than similar operations already in existence. “Unlike other incarnations of the concept, such as Street Store, Dress for Success and the Free Store, Humanity does not require an appointment, referral, enrollment, or state documentation,” according to a statement from Impact Locally.

Information for those who would like to donate clothing and other items like sleeping bags and backpacks can be found on the nonprofit’s website. Impact Locally will be accepting donations at the Welton Street storefront as soon as it opens next week.

According to Impact Locally, the idea for Humanity came out of a realization that operating a brick-and-mortar storefront would be more efficient than the clothing drives and distribution efforts that it had previously conducted on the streets of Five Points. The store will also serve as a headquarters to connect people experiencing homelessness with other services; Humanity is also partnering with Five Point businesses to offer haircuts and neighborhood beautification.

Founded in 2010 and headed by Travis Smith (who has personally battled with homelessness), Impact Locally also focuses on domestic-violence guidance counseling, youth mentorship and homelessness prevention.

The nonprofit is holding a move-in event at the store on March 17 that you can volunteer for.
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Chris Walker is a freelancer and former staff writer at Westword. Before moving to the Mile High City he spent two years bicycling across Eurasia, during which he wrote feature stories for VICE, NPR, Forbes, and The Atlantic. Read more of Chris's feature work and view his portfolio here.
Contact: Chris Walker