Homeless and low-income individuals in Santa Clarita were treated to a personalized shopping experience on Sunday, where each guest was given well-fitting, like-new clothes at no cost.
Hosted by SCV Urge, a group of teens looking to combat homelessness in the Santa Clarita Valley, the “Clothed in Dignity” event brought in 20 individuals.
Racks and shelved were filled will clothes of every size that the group spent six months collecting from friends, family and schoolmates at Trinity Academy and Valencia, West Ranch and Hart High Schools.
Homeless and low-income people are often left to sift through trash bags full of donated clothes that will not fit them, according to Macy Thompson, one of three SCV Urge presidents. By providing visitors with a shopping experience like they would have in a store, they felt cared about and dignified, she said.
“It’s just crazy how something like shopping that is pretty regular for us is so big for them,” Thompson said. “It made them feel so special.”
Many attendees walked away with items that fit them perfectly, according to Thompson. Finding one man a jacket, a woman a few dressed and another woman a pair of shoes they felt confident and comfortable in was “amazing,” she said.
“This one guy, we found him a jacket that fit perfectly and he kept saying he felt like he was living in a movie,” she said. “It was so cool because it was literally just a jacket.”
One of the homeless women SCV Urge served on Sunday said she had sifted through a lot of donated clothes over the years and had never gotten something that she was happy about until this event.
“She said, ‘I feel humanized,’” Thompson said.
One attendee was so grateful she offered to stay and volunteer throughout the afternoon, Thompson said.
The turnout was smaller than expected because some local nonprofits underestimated how many articles of clothing SCV Urge worked to collect, according to the group’s president.
All the leftovers are currently in a storage unit and will come out for another “Clothed in Dignity” event next month and again around Christmas.
When the event is back, Thompson said she encourages anyone in need to come, whether they are homeless, low-income or foster youth.
“There’s nothing to be embarrassed about,” she said.
The next Clothed in Dignity event will be held at Global Prep Academy at 23310 Cinema Drive, Suite 105.
SCV Urge has also raised money for local nonprofit Family Promise to provide hotel stays to homeless people. Also, they donated meals to Bridge to Home’s summer Feeding it Forward program.