Homeless given chance to go shopping
Jessica Lee wants the homeless to feel compassion and kindness.
So the 17-year-old is hosting a Street Store, an idea which originated in South Africa.
It’s a rent-free, premises-free, pop-up clothing store for the homeless, put together using donations from the public.
Lee is hosting the store as part of a project at her school, Albany Senior High School, and first found out about the idea online.
The Glenfield resident thought it was a unique way to address an issue.
‘‘About 20,000 people are living in homelessness in Auckland according to Auckland Council. That’s just horrible,’’ Lee said.
‘‘During times like these, it’s important to bring the community together and show homeless we are treating them with compassion and kindness.’’
Lee was encouraging people to donate clothing and shoes they no longer want either on the day of the event or at the high school in the days preceding it.
The idea is, during the event, those in need can take what they need and people wanting to donate can also do so.
‘‘There’ll be constant clothes coming in and coming out,’’ Lee said.
Lee had also partnered with Lifewise Merge Cafe, a non-profit cafe which uses profit to support the homeless, and would be helped by volunteers on the day.
She was also letting homeless organisation know so they could spread the word.
‘‘It's important to remember they are human beings just like us.’’
Lee said planning the event was rewarding and she’d consider repeating it.
‘‘I’m hoping it will be successful. People in Auckland are compassionate and caring. It’s just trying to bridge the gap. Some people find they want to help but don’t know how,’’ Lee said.
‘‘Homeless are brushed aside and stereotyped. It’s important to remember they are human beings just like us.’’
The Street Store was being held on September 9 from 9am till 4pm and the clothes would be hung from the red fence at 75 Quay St. Lee was asking people to either donate on the day or at Albany Senior High School on September 7 and 8 from 9am till 4pm. She said warm clothes and shoes would be in demand and she also wanted people to spread the word.
For more find the event ‘‘681st Street Store - Auckland City, New Zealand’’ on Facebook.
Jessica Lee is collecting clothing donations to host a Street Store for homeless.