Alma Project: Work Clothes Closet

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Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to share another project I’m working on in my local community. Long time readers know over the years we’ve donated our time and raised money for our local charity of choice, the Committee on the Shelterless (COTS) and we’re at it again this fall. Years ago we dubbed our efforts the “Alma Project” after the first house we adopted and the name stuck.

COTS has helped thousands get back under a roof of their own and provides almost 350 beds every night. The kitchen serves over 124,000 meals a year and delivers over 750,000 pounds of food annually, and the award-winning program has helped thousands to rebuild their lives.

The latest project is one for a community Work Clothes Closet/Store to help complete the Work Ready training program. Once the clients in the program are trained in a trade, skill, or service, the new COTS Work Clothes Closet will provide them with clothing to reenter the workforce.

The project received some local press a few weeks ago…

local paper feature

It’s hard to read so here are the important points…

Training and attire are the biggest self confidence boosters for people reentering the workforce but purchasing clothing is beyond the income level of COTS clients. The Work Clothes Closet is the latest space transformation I’m working on with a team, it will provide not just professional attire for men and women, but trade clothing too (chefs, construction, etc.).

A local commercial property owner generously donated downtown space to serve as the Work Clothes Closet and house the attire for the program. No money will change hands, this store is run on donations, and by the COTS volunteers, and the good will of the people !

Here’s a peek at one corner of the space when we started a few weeks ago, it’s 2,200 square feet so there is much to do including building two dressing rooms, painting the ceiling, walls, and floors, and constructing garment racks, shelves, and display cases.

cots work closet 1

A local volunteer contractor has already prepped the sheet rocked walls with topping compound so we’re ready for the next step which is primer and paint on the walls (pale gray) and a porch and floor paint for the cement floors (navy blue).

We’re going with an industrial style for the space, working with the exposed pipes and incorporating garment racks and rustic shelves in that style, like these.

garment racks shelves

Thus far, Lowe’s has donated building supplies for garment racks and shelves. Thank you Lowes !  lowes building supplies Glidden is donating paint for the walls, ceilings, and cement floors. Thank you Glidden!

glidden donated paint

World Market is donating gift cards to purchase light fixtures, scarves, and jewelry, we’re excited to pull this space together!

cp world market donations

If you’re a brand or store, large or small, that would like to contribute email me at centsationalgirl[at]gmail.com. This Work Clothes Closet project is an unfunded  COTS project that relies on donations and volunteers so if you’d like to help out we’d appreciate it!

What we need is LABOR, so if you’re local, you can come on by this Saturday between 11 and 4 to help paint that would be wonderful but note you need to fill out a quick application first (screening required) and email me to let me know you’re coming at centsationalgirl[at]gmail.com so I can share the downtown Petaluma address.

If you’re handy with power tools, we will be building garment racks and shelving these two weekends: Nov 15th and Dec 6th so we could use help with those projects too.

We have no need for clothing right now, we have garment donations, and we’re relying on some local vendors for trade clothing and boots. We do need to raise money to build the partitions to create two dressing rooms so if you’re inclined, donate an amount to the Alma Project via the PayPal button below, or you can or send a check via snailmail to my PO Box made out to “The Alma Project”.

We’re planning on a December Open House so I’ll take pictures of all the projects and share the big reveal then ! ..

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