By Ukee Washington
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Helping the homeless one sale at a time. That’s the mission of a thrift boutique in the trendy neighborhood of Fairmount.
The shop opened less than a year ago and is already a popular place for fashionistas. The more the store sells — the more they can help.
At the HOME Spun Resale Boutique in Fairmount, Philadelphia’s most fashionable can literally window shop! Inside the racks are full of bargains on everything from clothing to accessories.
The store looks like a trendy boutique. But the fashion here is donated. The local community giving new and nearly-new clothes to help the mission of Project HOME.
“We’ve created a business where we can employ residents of the Project HOME community,” said Jenna Bryant, the store manager.
The money raised goes to the people who work here being helped out of homelessness. They learn valuable job skills.
“I do some display work outside of the store, some cleaning,” explained store associate Ocie E. Laurel Jr. “and it has helped me.”
“Hopefully they can transfer those skills to a business outside Project HOME,” Bryant said.
Sadly the store isn’t immune to shoplifting. About a month ago, the store manager says, a group of women walked in during a busy time.
“While helping other customers at the register,” Laurel said, “I noticed they slipped out.”
They walked out of the store with a designer bag. A similar theft was reported a few blocks away at another charity thrift store, the Wardrobe Boutique by Career Wardrobe.
“It’s disheartening to know that people are out there to try to take advantage of […] small businesses who are carrying out this philanthropic mission,” Bryant said.
Nothing discourages them from their mission: turning around lives, a sale at a time.
HOME Spun Resale Boutique at 1515 Fairmount Street in Philadelphia is open Tuesday through Friday between 11 am and 6 pm and Saturday noon to 4 pm.
HOME Spun Resale Boutique Phone: 215-232-6322