Fort Worth police and the Fort Worth school district are launching a clothing closet to provide free clothes to homeless teens.
Officials are working to open the program, to be based in a large room and attached closet at Arlington Heights High School, next month. The teens will get vouchers and be able to choose clothes and accessories, said Fort Worth police officer Julie Cox, liaison to the homeless and elderly populations.
Cox said that 1,182 homeless students have been identified by Fort Worth ISD.
The items will be displayed in a retail-style store, where the teens will "shop" for goods, including clothes, toiletries, book bags and purses.
"Once the design is complete we will be able to reach out to the community for donations of the supplies that our homeless and at-risk youth desperately need.
"After meeting with Principal (Jason S.) Oliver, it was decided to allow the Arlington Heights students to name the room. We wanted the students to have a sense of “ownership” of the project and encourage their input and participation. It is our hope that they will learn that no matter what the situation or how small the contribution, they too can make a difference," Cox said.
Officials are seeking donations of items, including used jeans and clothes for junior and senior high teens. Socks and underwear should be new. Officials are also seeking donations of material to display and store the items, such as modular shelving, racks and large baskets with wheels, Cox said.
The drop off site will be on East Lancaster Avenue in Fort Worth, but that will be by appointment. Contact Cox at 817-851-2520 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.