What is Dorothy's Closet?
Dorothy's Closet is a voucher-based thrift store open to the public that also provides social services and workforce development to our guests with the greatest needs. It will open for its pilot program in Spring 2023, developed in partnership with Rebuilding Together East Bay-North.
Our clothing program is one of the most sought-after services we offer. Dorothy's Closet enables DDH to have a greater capacity to accept in-kind donations, establish new connections with partner organizations, develop and stabilize new income streams, and assist in transitioning program participants into employment through our workforce development initiatives.
Clothing & Beyond
Shopping with Dignity
In addition to the need for clean clothing, Dorothy Day House’s goal is to bring dignity to our unhoused and marginalized neighbors in the form of choice. Many people in need are expected to “get what they get” meaning whatever is available or handed to them. Dorothy’s Closet will provide the shopping experience for those who cannot afford to shop or who may not be welcome in traditional clothing retail spaces.
The Shopping Experience
Dorothy Day House will supply its Berkeley social service partners with
“Dorothy Dollars” to give to their patrons. Dorothy Dollars are clothing vouchers redeemable at Dorothy’s Closet.
Individuals can browse and
select items themselves off the racks. Those presenting Dorothy Dollars enter our database which will allow them to shop for the duration of Dorothy’s Closet.
While shopping at Dorothy’s Closet, our trained staff may engage with individuals to offer Dorothy Day House support services in shelter and
physical and mental health support, and provide information for accessing housing services.
For those individuals coming out of shelters and wanting to enter the workplace, choices are limited. Warehouse and “out of sight” jobs lend to a lack of self-confidence and a feeling of helplessness.
The ultimate goal of the Dorothy's Closet Workforce Development program is to recruit individuals from our shelters to work alongside Dorothy's Closet's trained staff. Dorothy Day House will work closely with these individuals by focusing firstly on hygiene,
socialization, and self-esteem. When an individual feels ready, the Dorothy’s Closet team will begin training them in customer service and merchandising.
12-week, real– world course in
support for 5 individuals currently
living in shelters
job search support
Whole Person Care: overall physical &
emotional health, personal hygiene and self care
sound financial budgeting skills
At a Glance
Thrifted clothing free with a voucher or for purchase
Workforce Development program for retail sector employment
Referral to other DDH services and partner agencies
How to get help
Vouchers provided by DDH’s partner social services agencies for once-weekly, unlimited free items
Our Retail Customers
Dorothy's Closet's doors are open to those customers who can afford clothes and other merchandise. Every dollar spent at Dorothy’s Closet will go directly to those communities that need it the most by funding Dorothy Day House services.