United Methodist Men
Clothes Closet for Men Experiencing Homelessness
The Clothes Closet serves men experiencing homelessness at First United Methodist Church, located off 13th and Lavaca, on Thursday mornings.
The Austin Interreligious Ministries made a request to Ralph Eckwall of the Austin District United Methodist Men in October 1999 to provide clothing for men experiencing homelessness in Austin. Within two weeks, the Men’s Clothes Closet served its first client. Since then, over 28,000 and counting men have received assistance.
The Clothes Closet’s mission is to provide clothing and other life needs that bless people experiencing homelessness with a new sense of dignity, improved self-image, and HOPE for the future. Calling a client by their name, shaking his hand, and making eye contact and telling him that “God loves him” helps a man feel blessed by God. When we do a little bit for someone else, it could be a BIG SOMETHING for someone else.
The Clothes Closet depends on donations of all types of men’s apparel. Running shoes, blue jeans (size 26 to 36), and backpacks are needed year-round. Donations of winter items are critical: winter coats, gloves, knit caps, and sleeping bags. We also accept monetary donations that allow us to purchase items that are needed.
To better understand what experiencing homelessness in Austin is like, we invite you to join us at the Clothes Closet to work one-on-one with our clients. Serving and talking with people experiencing homelessness really impacts your heart.