BY: SWIKAR OLI
Finally, a pop-up store that anybody can get behind. The Street Store sees innocuous cardboard posters popping up all over the globe from big cities like Cape Town and Sao Paolo to lesser-known burgs like Cartersville, Georgia and Westmont, Illinois. And for the homeless that live in these cities, the inexpensive set ups are a blessing.
The arrangement is simple. Volunteers put up easy-to-make cardboard ‘hangers’ that anyone can oversee. Generous strangers then come by and leave their unwanted clothing, and the local homeless get to pick out what they want in a way that is dignified and painless. There is even a bin where people leave accessories and utensils.
Mark Abel, the man behind the idea, says over 263 cities have participated. According to Storefront Blog, the mission behind the Street Store is to bring confidence and dignity to those who cannot afford new clothing. In South Africa alone, thousands of people have been uprooted from their homes, often as a result of social and political turmoil. The Street Store aims to reinstate their confidence by providing a simple service that treats them as people – instead of viewing them as a lesser member of society.