Harris announces $200,000 grant to provide re-entry support to returning Philadelphians through The Wardrobe

HARRISBURG, Oct. 5 – State Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., House Democratic Whip, announced today a $200,000 grant from the Department of Human Services to The Wardrobe, a Philadelphia area nonprofit that fights clothing insecurity for people experiencing barriers to employment.

“Helping formerly incarcerated individuals get off to a good start is essential to reducing recidivism, and employment is key to creating a sustainable foundation to re-entry,” Harris said. “The Wardrobe has done outstanding work helping Philadelphians and residents in surrounding counties fight clothing insecurity and break through barriers to employment and independence. It’s essential to a person’s self-esteem to look like the person they want to be, and The Wardrobe helps set them on that path.”

“Clothing is not only about appearances, it’s an essential need like food and housing,” said Sheri Cole, executive director of The Wardrobe (formerly known as Career Wardrobe). “People living at or near the poverty line, like returning citizens, do not have enough money to purchase the right attire to conduct a job interview. And they often do not even have enough in their closets to change their clothes every day to meet with parole officers, teachers, or conduct personal business. By eliminating the cost of clothing and providing personal support through Returning Wardrobe, we will start these participants out on the right foot.” 

The grant will fund the Returning Wardrobe Pilot program, which is aimed at meeting the clothing needs of citizens in Philadelphia returning from incarceration through partnering with community programs, the Department of Corrections, the Office of Probation and Parole, and the Department of Human Services.

Returning Wardrobe is available to any Philadelphian who has recently been released from a federal, state, or local prison, including juvenile offenders, or has a history of incarceration and is currently unemployed. Any returning citizen in need of an appointment for clothing (professional or casual), is asked to visit www.wardrobepa.org or call (215) 568-6693 extension 10 to request an appointment or learn more.