The Empty Shop Duluth
Organized by: Dennis Kempton
The Empty Shop is a philanthropic enterprise developed in Sao Paulo, Brazil that has swept the globe. The founders of this effort made it an open-source charity--meaning the concept could be copied and employed wherever there was need. And let's be real; there is need everywhere, more than ever before. That's why our sponsors, supporters, and Zenith City Style have endeavored to bring The Empty Shop to Duluth.
Nearly 50 million Americans live in poverty but we know that many more live on the edges as the working poor. We also know that women are more prone to poverty than any other group. And we also know that young men and men re-entering the workforce are at a disadvantage when it comes to access for social services in many communities. Women re-entering the workforce after divorce, after childbirth, or after leaving abusive relationships often find themselves struggling for appropriate clothing to go to interviews and to wear to work in order to earn the money they need to support themselves, their children, and in many cases, their entire families. Men just starting out in the workforce or returning to work after drug rehab or after other unfortunate circumstances, struggle for access to affordable and presentable interview clothing and accessories and their budgets don't often allow for many changes of clothes. If we want to encourage responsibility and strong families that stay together, we have to make a commitment to them.
In Duluth, specifically, nearly a quarter of our citizens live in poverty. Our unemployment rate remains higher than the rest of the state, and resources for services beyond food and shelter can be scarce. It is our mission to alleviate. It is our mission to clothe. It is our mission to empower. It is our mission to help men and women in Duluth experience their best chances for success, no matter what their past circumstances were that brought them to us.
With space located in the Miller Hill Mall, The Empty Shop will open this November and will remain in operation until January 2016 for the first year of a three year mission. To our knowledge, we are the first community to bring the concept of The Empty Shop to the United States. The idea is simple, as you will see below. But, the impact is complex and enduring. The Empty Shop. In Duluth.
For more information, please visit our website at The Empty Shop Duluth