Career Closet Thrives with New Volunteer Team, Anonymous Donors


Media Contacts:

For Immediate Release:

Hand Up Program Provides “Career Gear” to Record Number of Job-Seekers—Supplies Empower Individuals to Accept Otherwise-Unattainable Jobs

Fort Collins, Colorado, November 1, 2016

Homeless Gear’s Hand Up program recorded 150 transactions in a newly-revamped Career Closet during the first ten months of 2016—including a record 26 in October—distributing thousands-of-dollars-worth of work-related supplies to job-seekers experiencing or at-risk of homelessness.

The Career Closet, located at the Murphy Center, contains supplies that individuals need to interview for jobs (button-down shirts, slacks, etc.) and accept job offers (steel-toed boots, slip-resistant shoes, etc.). The Closet has benefited from a large, anonymous donor and a team of dedicated volunteers. Those volunteers order and stock supplies, maintain the space and work closely with Homeless Gear staff to manage inventory.

The Career Closet is available to guests of the Murphy Center and to those referred by select nonprofits and employment agencies. In the words of one nonprofit partner: 

“A client of mine got a job working for [a restoration agency]. He was not prepared with the proper clothing and there was concern that he’d be unable to work. I contacted Homeless Gear and got immediate service, outfitting him with steel-toed work boots and heavy-duty pants, as well as a belt and some shirts. He was glad to receive the gear, but once he got to the job site, he had a new appreciation for what had been given to him…. [He] reported that having a job and looking nice improved his self-esteem and even some of the symptoms of his mental health… [it was] constant encouragement.”


Homeless Gear’s Hand Up program empowers job-seekers who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless to find and maintain employment. The program was launched in 2008 by Sister Mary Alice Murphy, a longtime advocate for people who are homeless, and Andy Troccoli, an employee of New Belgium Brewing Company. The program operated as an independent nonprofit until it merged with Homeless Gear in late 2012.

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