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Clothes drive expands to aid homeless

The scope of Locations Foundation’s annual clothing drive, which gets underway Monday, is expanding to include donations of gently used job interview clothes that will go to homeless people seeking employment.

Now in its sixth year, the foundation — a nonprofit, philanthropic arm of Locations LLC, Oahu’s biggest locally owned and operated real estate company — is adding to its list of clothing drive recipients the Institute for Human Services, which runs Hawaii’s largest homeless shelter.

In previous years the company’s internally donated items and matched funding were split between United Cerebral Palsy Association of Hawaii and the Partners in Development Foundation’s Ka Pa‘alana program, which helps at-risk families along the Leeward Coast, said Michael Marks, vice president of client engagement for Locations.

“We thought, ‘Let’s spread this around to impact more people,’” Marks said. “Who better to impact than the homeless? It’s become such a growing issue for the state, and we want to help on our end.”


>> When: Monday through Friday
>> Where: Locations LLC
Diamond Head: 614 Kapahulu Ave. No. 300, above Side Street Inn
Pearlridge: 98-161 Kaonohi St., next to Bed Bath & Beyond
Kapolei Retail: 91-590 Farrington Highway No. 125, next to Sushi Bay
Kailua: 151 Hekili St. No. 120, next to Boots & Kimo’s
Kapolei: 91-579 Farrington Highway No. 206
Mililani: 95-720 Lanikuhana Ave. No. 120, in the Town Center of Mililani, next to Central Pacific Bank

Connie Mitchell, who serves as executive director for IHS, said such donations are key to the nonprofit’s efforts to help homeless people re-entering the workforce.

“Having something as simple as fresh, clean work clothes is huge in an individual or family’s journey out of homelessness,” Mitchell said in a statement. “Each year, IHS relies on public donations to support homeless clients’ transition into housing. We simply couldn’t do it without the help of our community.”

While participation in the first five clothing drives was limited to agents and staff members, this one will be open to the public. Plus, the Foundation will match each pound of “lightly/gently used” job interview clothes, shoes and slippers, linens, towels and toiletries with $1, topping out that contribution at $15,000, Marks said.

Last year agents and staff donated 4,200 pounds of various items, and the foundation pitched in with $4,200 in matching funds, he said.

The real estate firm stepped up its efforts to help address homelessness last year. In July, Locations Property Management Co. began providing five rental units to IHS clients who receive housing rental assistance.

In a statement, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell praised the efforts.

“In December, I was joined by Gov. (David) Ige to host Hawaii’s first Landlord Summit, asking property owners and managers to step up and open a door for a family or individual transitioning out of homelessness,” Caldwell said. “The Locations Foundation answered the call to serve our community by offering affordable rental units to households in need. This year, The Locations Foundation is teaming up with IHS to help further support Oahu’s most vulnerable residents” through the clothing drive.

Caldwell added, “It’s through partnerships like this that we can truly move the needle in addressing homelessness.”

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  • As if the homeless need more clothes. Their stolen shopping carts are full to the brim. In fact, some real nut jobs now have multiple carts they need to move around wuith them. Plus tents, coits, ice chests, bicycles (some have 6 or more), lanterns, stoves, etc. etc.

    • ERRATA: With, not wuith. Cots, not coits. I’ve been asking S-A for years to have a short-term edit feature for writers of comments. Most other online newspapers do. S-A just doesn’t do anything.

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