Jun 19, 2013

Community Partnerships - Featuring re:loom

We were lucky to meet Lisa from re:loom at a recent small business collaborative organized by GOOD and sponsored by UPS. After taking the time to understand this unique non-profit, we just had to share how re:loom is "weaving a better life."
What is re:loom?
Their purpose is to employ and empower homeless and low-income individuals through weaving beautiful, one-of-a-kind products out of upcycled materials. re:loom is a program of the Initiative for Affordable Housing in Atlanta, GA.

A typical story at re:loom:
Fred Brown, age 28 was born and grew up in the section of Atlanta known as "The Bluff," which is known to be one of the city’s roughest, most crime-ridden neighborhoods. "I grew up on the street," he says. "I did whatever I had to do to survive. My mother used drugs and I didn’t know my father. I went to school so I would have something to eat."

In 2010, Fred got a call from child protective services in Florida, informing him of the existence of a ten month-old son he never knew he had. "I'd never seen him and didn't know his mother was pregnant. I couldn't let him go into foster care, he was my responsibility." Fred went to Florida and picked up his son and returned to Atlanta.

Without a job and making poor decisions, Fred ended up homeless, living on the streets of Atlanta with a toddler. He connected with Initiative for Affordable Housing through Crossroads Community Ministries. "I was accepted into Initiative's homeless program. It got me on my feet and now I am in my own apartment."
Shortly after entering the Initiative program, Fred joined the staff at re:loom. "It was my first full-time permanent job. When I started I had to learn the basics of weaving, how to make good decisions about putting colors together, planning my weave projects, focusing on threading up my loom and making a good rug that someone would want to buy."

The Partnership:
The Icebox donates misprints and old apparel to re:loom which are upcycled to weave beautiful rugs, belts, purses, bracelets, etc. Re:loom is a work program to help participants of the Initiative for Affordable Housing transition out into the work force. These products are sold at retail and the revenue is used to pay the employees of re:loom who are then able to pay their bills and transition out of homelessness.

From upcycling textiles (clothes, fabrics, etc.) to teaching necessary job skills to developing beautiful products to providing affordable housing for homeless families, they are in the forefront of a new, multi-layered non-profit movement. Visit reloom.org to find out more information on donations, volunteering, and purchasing products.

No comments

Post a Comment