Success Closet Will Help Students and Domestic Violence Victims Get Jobs

Kristin Swanson enjoys pulling together an outfit, but what she loves more is helping her community. 

"We want people to walk in and feel confident in an interview, feel like they look their best," Swanson said.

She's the brain child behind the new Grand Prairie Police Department Success Closet. 

The nonprofit gives high school juniors and seniors, young adults 18-21 and victims of domestic violence to professional attire, resume tips and interview skills so they can get a job.

Swanson saw the need for the services through her volunteer work with the Grand Prairie ISD and her paid job as manager of the police department's detention center. 

"You’re setting people up to get into the workforce, be able to support themselves, be able to support their families, to provide them the skills they need to be successful not just on the job but in life," Swanson said.

"It’s also making sure they understand their benefits, how to manage their credit, how to set up a a bank account, basic life skills you need us an adult to set you up for success," she said.

The nonprofit takes in donations of men's and women's professional clothing and passes the items to clients who are approved. The application basically assures that a client is in one of the three target groups and asks for clothing sizes.

"We ask for their sizes, maybe what colors they feel comfortable in because we want people to walk in and feel confident in an interview, feel like they look their best," she said.

Swanson only recently started collecting donations and can already tell where there will be a gap.

"We could use men's wear more than anything, we could use dress shoes, ties, belts, dress pants in all sizes," she said as she showed off some of the clothing on the racks.

On Friday, Sept. 20, the Success Closet, which is housed at the police headquarters at 1525 Arkansas Lane, will host a pop up shopping event to raise funds. The money collected from selling clothes will be used to buy items when clients can’t find their size.

And, in September and October, the nonprofit will host Facebook Live events to teach resume writing and interview skills.

"We offer those on Eventbrite, and they're free to any member of our community," she said. "You don't have to be a member of our target groups just a member of our community who needs to brush up on those skills."

While the nonprofit is just getting started, Swanson already has an idea of what success will look like.

"If I was going to measure how well our closet was doing,it would be in looking at the people we serve and how well they're doing. That’s the best measure for us," she said.

Swanson has spent almost three decades managing a jail, but helping a woman or young adult manage life is her bigger calling.

"This is actually my legacy project. I plan to retire in August 2021-ish, and I want to make sure that I leave something behind that serves the community," Swanson said.


FACEBOOK: GPPD Success Closet

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