His life was about to change.

Months of sleeping on a park bench and finagling a cot at the cold weather shelter were finally coming to an end. His daily efforts of pounding the pavement for job opportunities had paid off. He’d dropped off his last resume and had the last door slammed in his face. He was hired.  Working meant income and income meant a place to live and a new start.

But one thing stood between him and that job–a pair of blue pants.

It was a Friday and he was to report to work on Monday, but not without the proper uniform. White shirt, rubber-soled shoes and blue dress pants. The shirt and shoes were found with ease in Micah’s on-hand supply of clothing, donated generously by the greater community. But this pair of pants wasn’t just any old thing. He needed a size 54.

Our staff scoured discount shelves throughout the community to no avail. By Sunday evening, we were running out of time. But through the doors of the cold weather shelter walked volunteer carrying a shopping bag. In it was not one but two pairs of blue pants, a new/not donated pair of rubber soled shoes and a white button down shirt.

Our guest started work the next day and exited the shelter to permanent housing within the next two weeks.

We, at Micah, tell this story from time to time as a reminder of how simple our role in the end to homelessness can be. A pair of pants, a solid set of shoes, a dress or blouse suitable for an interview or first day of work may not always move a person off the street. But it does equip those in need with the best shot at achieving what is necessary to begin rebuilding their lives.

Because of this experience, Micah keeps a running list of people willing to donate special gifts, as needs arise. Based on individual preference, those participating will be called to purchase special items–clothing, shoes, etc.–for Micah clients who cannot find what they need in our donated stock at the hospitality center. If you or someone you know is interested in participating in this program. Please e-mail Meghann Cotter at [email protected].