The Christian Help Career Closet has provided attire, footwear and equipment needs to those who are working, actively seeking work, or enrolled in an education program since 2000. The program serves all employment types – business, construction/craft, fieldwork, healthcare, and service (e.g., restaurant, retail) attire. If items are not in stock and required, they may be purchased if needed. Separate closets exist for men and women, dressing rooms are available, and patrons may return once a month to expand their work wardrobes.
The goal of the Career Closet is to provide non-traditional employment candidates access to material and educational tools to move from a cycle of poverty to personal and financial stability. Lack of work is the greatest indicator of poverty, and job skills are crucial to employment. People with limited education/skill development; physical/mental health restrictions; military/court/addiction histories; and/or prior abusive relationships can be traumatic, creating client challenges outside the realm of typical career support services. Developmental support, not just emergency support, is needed to meet this goal.
To this end, the Career Closet program was expanded in 2019 to include a dedicated consultation space offering vocational tools and services (i.e., aptitude software, resume/cover letter assistance, networking, on-line application processing, and interview skill development). Active area recruitment notices are maintained for job seekers – this information is updated weekly. And reference materials related to bonding, education and training, apprenticeship programs, financial aid, community services and benefit resources are also available through the center. Christian Help focuses on relationship building and personalized advocacy, which has leveraged more positive client outcomes. We meet people where they are, listen, support their goal cues, and celebrate their victories whatever they are. Individual respect, dignity and validation are fundamental to our service.
The Career Closet program has proven to be instrumental in supporting the vocational goals of our neighbors. Education and product assistance are offered at no cost to all. Program hours are Tuesday and Thursday, 9am-4pm.