The Latest from Bottomless Closet Regarding COVID-19

March 20, 2020

I am writing to you today with an update on Bottomless Closet’s response to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

This global pandemic continues to evolve and impact all of our lives in ways none of us could have imagined, but as always, Bottomless Closet is here to provide critical services to the women we serve. Yesterday, based on ever-increasing restrictions on social distancing and out of concern for the well-being of everyone in our community, we made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend all in-person services, effective immediately. The office will be fully closed to clients and volunteers during this time.

We are doing our very best to support our clients who need us now more than ever.  In addition to the severe drop in the number of job interviews being scheduled, we also know that many employed clients are facing much reduced hours and in some cases being laid off entirely. For the vast majority of our clients, lack of access to paid sick time and healthcare coverage presents an additional challenge.

In the face of these challenges, our staff are working tirelessly on a remote basis to maintain our operations and further build and strengthen our infrastructure to support our clients throughout this crisis and beyond.

We are committed to working with our clients and continuing to be their source for trustworthy information by providing new services and keeping their spirits elevated in a variety of ways:

  • Remote coaching: We are training our clients how to participate in phone and video-based interviews.
  • Distance learning: We are offering online distance learning workshop opportunities.
  • Other resources: We have compiled a resource list for our clients that covers everything from technology to finances, nutrition to mental health to assist with their immediate needs – including those of their children – and to keep them hopeful for the recovery.
  • Ongoing communication: New opportunities and information are becoming available daily.  We will share our knowledge with the women that we serve, so they are in the best position to take action.
  • Lending an ear: Times like this can be very isolating and breed fear, especially for low-income workers and those who are unemployed.  We are here for our clients to share their frustrations and let them know that they are not alone and that we have the tools and they have the support to get through this, and that we are prepared to get them ready to enter the workforce as soon as the crisis passes.

We cannot do these things for our clients without our amazing Bottomless Closet family — staff, board volunteers, referral partners and supporters.

Many of you have reached out to see how you can help during this time and I want to thank you, so much, for your support.  As you may be using some time at home to clean out your closets, we ask that you please hold onto your clothing donations until we give the green light to deliver them.  The most efficient and effective way to support our response efforts right now is by making a gift online here if you are able. Thank you in advance for your generosity as we move forward to weather this crisis with our clients.

We will continue to monitor the situation and follow the recommendations of the authorities and experts and look forward to re-opening our facility as soon as it is safe to do so.   The health and well-being of everyone in our Bottomless Closet community remains paramount. In this time of uncertainty, we will do everything in our power to continue helping the women we serve, while also striving to keep everyone safe.

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns.  We all care about the women we serve, and we will help them in any way we can, so that they can emerge from this crisis stronger and more prepared to enter the changing workforce.

I will update you further as our response efforts evolve.  I hope that you and your family remain safe.  Thank you for your continued support through this challenging time.

Warmest regards,
Melissa Norden, Executive Director