Catie's Closet, Inc
Kodia Baye-Cigna, Program Director- Boston
63 Sprague St.
Boston, Massachusetts 02136
Catie's Closet improves student's attendance, emotional well-being, grade progression and ultimately, graduation rates. We accomplish these goals by providing in-school access to clothing and basic necessities to students who are homeless, living in poverty or low income.
- Catie’s Closet serves low-income male and female public-school students in Pre-K through 12th Grade.
- Our target schools have more than 50% of students who meet federal poverty level criteria.
- Catie’s Closet reaches beyond our partner schools’ campuses by providing clothing to other vulnerable children in the community.
- We seek creative ways to support children's foster care and families who are new or underserved arrivals in the partner communities.
- Simple, Immediate, and Discreet. Students can be self-conscious about asking for help. School staff invite children in need to visit the Closet privately, during school hours. Kids select the clothes that make them feel comfortable and confident. They can take as much as they need, when they need it and return to school immediately. Other models require intervention by social services and transportation to a facility.
- Far-Reaching. Our “hub” and spoke model can efficiently reach an entire school system, and can help improve the effectiveness of many school-specific initiatives. Many interventions (e.g., “adopt-a-school” partnerships) impact kids in only one school or a few schools.
- Relevant. Clothing is aesthetically presented and arranged by size with a variety of current styles refreshed seasonally and with trends. Our volunteers are trained by retail experts, and are vigilant about assessing and sorting current, age-appropriate styles. This ensures each Closet is a well-organized and welcoming place where kids want to “shop” for what they need.
- Relational. School administrators report that Catie’s Closet helps them establish stronger relationships with students. A Closet reinforces that school is a place kids can rely on for support and resources. It becomes a safe and engaging platform from which adults can identify and address other needs, which deepen a student’s sense of belonging.
- Low Cost. Most of our items are donated. Volunteers run drives, sort donations, a<