Legal-name: Clothes The Deal
Address: 9525 Imperial Highway
Organizational-status: 501 (c)(3)
Officer: Michele Ward, Executive Director
ContactName: Michele Ward
Title: Executive Director
GrantPurpose: Financial Support so Clothes The Deal can continue to provide unemployed low-income job-seekers with critical need business clothing to help in their pursuit of employment.
Periodoftime: Immediately and continuing over the next three months
Audienceserved: Low-income, unemployed men, women and youth.
Demoofaudience: We serve all demographics and ages.
Numberofserved: 90+ job-seekers with client services and 200+ clothing donors.
District: All districts
1. What disaster recovery service have already been provided? : WHAT WE DO: Clothes The Deal (CTD) has met the critical needs of over 80,000 low-income job seekers since 1995 by providing clients with new and gently worn business attire to unemployed men, women and youth. Whether our clients are experiencing homelessness, reentry, addiction-recovery, or are returning to work after a long absence, CTD is committed to helping each individual achieve parity in the workplace.
CTD is 100% donation based and all services are free to our clients. We partner with over 50 agencies in Los Angeles County for employment related referral services.
Clothes The Deal has an annual budget of $306,000. Over 89% of revenue goes toward programmatic services. CTDs main grantors are the Department of Social Services (DPSS), Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE), Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) and the GAIN/GROW programs, but these funds DO NOT COVER LONG BEACH. We have strong referral MOUs with employment workforce centers such as JVS, WorkSource Center and AJCC. CTD also partners with several social justice & recovery advocacy agencies such as Friend’s Outside, Anti-Recidivism Coalition, Beacon House and other transitional facilities.
CTD attends over 20 job fairs each year all throughout Los Angeles County sponsored by colleges, LACOE and government representatives – where we distribute interview clothing on site. We also hold over 80 clothing drives at major companies including FOX Studios, Disney, Northrop Grumman, as well as aerospace, law firms and other professional businesses. Individual donors remain primary contributors.
CURRENT OPPERATIONS: Since the Stay-At-Home Order (SAH) was put in place, CTD has devised a COVID-19 Contingency Business Plan to sustain the agency through the shutdowns. We continue to be committed to serving over 5000 clients annually. In the month of March 2020 under our new working plan, we were still able to remotely serve almost 100 jobseekers from five different agencies.
CLIENT SERVICES: All Intake Paperwork has been transferred to an online portal for case workers and individuals to complete. If assistance is needed, a teleconference or live-stream meeting takes place to assist with paperwork and sizing questions. All clothing distributions are now delivered at a zero-contact location. If sizing is incorrect, arrangements for exchanges are done by phone.
DONOR OUTREACH SERVICES: CTD is 100% donation based. All suits distributed are generously donated, meaning if we do not bring in the clothing, we can not service clients. CTD is committed to practicing every safety measure recommended by the CDC and California. It’s always been policy that donated items be cleaned, hung and in excellent repair. Our donors have taken extreme measures to ensure the safety of our staff and future recipients during this critical time.
All donation-drops and pick-up locations are now zero-contact. There’s now a four-day waiting period for clothing to be sorted. With an unexpected increase in “non-business attire” included in these donations, we’ve augmented the distribution of those items to partnering agencies such as homeless shelters, DV & transitional facilities and other front-line teams providing COVID-19 services.
2. What disaster recovery service will be provided by this grant? : The aggregate cost to clothe one client averages $200. With this grant of $18,000, Clothes The Deal could essentially provide services to 30+ job seekers a month in Long Beach for three months. We could also service over 200 clothing donors with pick-ups & deliveries. Funds would be spent on budgeted salaries for existing staff members only.
DPSS and CSBG funding for LA County do not include Long Beach. We currently are not funded through any agencies serving Long Beach, but we know the need is great. Executive Director Michele Ward has strong, life-long ties in Long Beach as well as a well-documented philanthropic history serving the students of LBUSD and other community members through various organizations. Under her directive, it is CTD’s objective to outreach and provide services immediately to the LB community when awarded the grant.
CTD’s traditional client base is expected to be extremely economically impacted by COVID-19 through layoffs and downsizing. With unemployment expected to reach all time highs, our critical needs services will be stretched. This grant will afford CTD the ability to continue to collect desperately needed clothing items from donors who are cleaning out closets during their SAH time. It is vital that this inventory be accumulated, quarantined, properly sorted, sized and prepared in our boutique for both immediate distribution as well as post-SAH.
The inability to service clients face-to-face, as well as the closures of schools has catastrophically reduced the number of referrals from paying agencies such as DPSS, CSBG, and LACOE students enrolled in GAIN & GROW programs. However, employment services such as JVS SoCal and temporary staffing companies have continued to increase. A few of LA County District Office Representative’s have reached out regarding collaborations.
It is CTD’s expectation that with this grant the needs of new clients will be met while we continue to prepare for the eventual exponential increase in needed services. It will also enable CTD to establish partnerships in Long Beach in hopes to continue these collaborative efforts well into the future.
3. What individuals (and/or organizations) will you assist? : Clothes The Deal will continue to serve all qualified low-income unemployed job-seekers. This includes vulnerable men, women and youth. The organizations we serve will include workforce & employment service agencies; transitional living facilities; domestic violence & homeless shelters; return-to-work programs; reentry and anti-recidivism programs; individuals in recovery treatment; veterans; foster youth; and even high school seniors looking for prom, graduation and interview clothing.
CTD will also be able to assist corporate and individual donors with clothing pick-ups and “virtual clothing drives”. Our staff can deliver sanitized clothing storage equipment such as large garment boxes with liners and/or rolling racks to open essential business, like dry cleaners. We can then collect the items during a zero-contact appointment. We will also pick-up or deliver to individuals.
Again, the safety and health of our staff, community & donors is paramount, and every recommended distancing and sanitizing precautions will be followed.
4. What other disaster recovery funds have you received? What amount?: Clothes The Deal has not received any COVID-19 relief assistance.
5. What other disaster recovery funds have you applied for?: Clothes The Deal has applied for the SBA Payroll Protection Program, but has not be notified of status.
Long Beach Disaster Relief Fund Grant is the first COVID-19 relief grant submission.
We will apply for COVID-19 grants as well as employment services grants on an ongoing basis.
We currently are not operating with any foundation grant funds. None of our grants cover service in Long Beach.