Southern Adventist University and Salvation Army Team Up for “The Street Store”
And 400 to 500 of them sleep outside or in shelters every night.
That led a local university and one of the leading charitable organizations to set-up a new way to help them.
It’s called "The Street Store".
This is not a a downtown yard sale. It’s the Salvation Army’s downtown headquarters on McCallie. And those clothes hanging on the fence are part of the Street Store.
They are free for anyone who needs them.
DORA DESAMOUR, SOUTHERN ADVENTIST UNIVERSITY "One of our professors , Professor Robert Ordonez at Southern pulled up this cool link of video of what took place in South Africa and he said "Dora, wouldn’t this be good if we could do the same? And I took a look at it and I was hooked."
About 50 students from Southern joined Salvation Army Volunteers to help needy people find what they need.
KIMBERLY GEORGE, THE SALVATION ARMY "Southern Adventist University came to us and asked if they could do a street store to serve the homeless clientel we have ..and so we gladly accepted…its a wonderful opportunity for the homeless to shop for their items."
DORA DESAMOUR "We had to call and rally to get donations from students, from staff, from people in the community."
KIMBERLY GEORGE "The homeless have been thrilled. They say they’ve not ever had an experience where they’ve able to shop for sizes, colors of clothing …and someone else take an interest in them."
It started about 10:30 AM and most of the clothing items were gone by noon.
DORA DESAMOUR "We go out every year on Martin Luther King day and serve the community..why not do this…something different. We’re always looking for new and different ways to serve. So this presented itself and we’re here."
Kimberly George says it’s something new that has not been tried here before, but she says it’s likely to become an annual event for Chattanooga.
In addition to the Street Store project, Southern Adventist University also sponsors the Samaritan Thrift Center in Collegedale.