As someone who gets a natural high from both finding “the perfect piece” at a thrift store and helping fellow New Yorkers, I’m kinda obsessed with Housing Works, who plays host to both of these things at the same time. With locations all throughout the city, Housing Works Thrift Stores stand behind the mission of ending: “…the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS through relentless advocacy, the provision of lifesaving services, and entrepreneurial businesses that sustain our efforts.”
Since 1990, Housing Works has provided an array of services to more than 20,000 homeless and low-income New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS. These services include: housing, healthcare, meals, nutritional counseling, mental health and substance use treatment, job training, and legal assistance. These services are funded in part by donations made to the thrift stores, which are then sold to shoppers like me.
Housing Works is unique in that you can also bid for pieces on their online auction. From a Marc by Marc Jacobs dress starting at $40, a Fendi wallet at $44, to a leather sofa sleeper at $150, you can find some pretty amazing stuff from the comfort and convenience of your iPhone.
If you’re more of a traditional in-store treasure trove hunter, you’re in luck. With 12 locations scattered throughout the city, Housing Works has plenty of space for both donations and shopaholics alike. My latest find was a polk-a-dotted coat by Ringspun that I’m pretty much in love with.
If you’re a literary junkie, you won’t want to miss out on Housing Work’s Bookstore Cafe located in Soho. Truly a Disneyland for the book lover, this shop also hosts a myriad of special events, many of them free. Did I mention they brew a killer coffee?
One of the reasons Housing Works is so successful is thanks to their rockstar volunteers. Looking to get involved in an organization that bubbles over with fashion, culture, and goodness? Housing Works could be that perfect place for you. Visit their website for more information and store locations.
By: Jessica Tiare Bowen