Computer lab, clothes closet also help the homeless

Friday, Apr. 21, 2017
Computer lab, clothes closet also help the homeless + Enlarge
Aside from the monthly job fair, Catholic Community Services provides a variety of services to the homeless to help them get back on their feet. 
The Weigand Homeless Resource Center’s computer lab, with 18 terminals, provides homeless people a way to search for job opportunities.
The center also offers a special women’s job fair that includes hygiene kits and makeup.
“Oftentimes in homelessness, women get overlooked,” said Matthew Melville, the operations manager for CCS’ Homeless Services. 
In addition, a clothes closet is stocked with donated clothing for those in need, especially a person preparing for a job interview, Melville said. CCS is always in need of higher-end clothing, such as slacks and dress shirts, to meet this need, he said. 
“Our clothing (closet) … it’s not Macy’s, but it’s a much more dignified way (to receive clothing) than rummaging through a box on the street,” said Melville, who encourages donors to bring clothing to CCS rather than leaving items out in poor neighborhoods. This “is not an efficient way to give,” he said, because “street thugs monopolize street donations.” 
Direct donations to the Weigand Center, encourage homeless people to go there to receive basic needs like food, clothing and shelter, Melville said. 
“We worry about people who stay in the park and on the street. How will you get out of homelessness if you don’t go to the centers that help?” he said.
Also, the center’s services lead to each other, so a homeless person receiving a free shirt may be encouraged to return for other services, so a free shirt one day could turn into a job interview during the next visit, Melville said.
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