NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – With the city opening up, many people are looking for jobs, but suiting up for work comes at a cost that may be tough for some.
A nonprofit in Queens is showing CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis how they’re helping people get ready for work for free.READ MORE: Broadway Vaccine Mandate: Audiences Must Be Vaccinated And Masked; Performers, Crew And Staff Required To Be Vaccinated
Among stores at the Bay Terrace Shopping Center is a new popup boutique called Commonpoint Closet.
It’s a place for Rahina Ahmed, who lost her job in the pandemic, to pick up donated professional attire for an upcoming interview.
“I’m so, so happy. I don’t even know how to even express myself. It’s just amazing to pick up things… for free,” Ahmed said.
It’s a shop set up by Commonpoint Queens, the same nonprofit which connected Ahmed to her job interview through its new social service center in Elmhurst, called The Hub.
“Our services really exploded this last 16 months, both in what the need in Queens has been, as well as how many people in Queens were displaced from employment,” said Commonpoint Queens CEO Danielle Ellman.
Ellman says the goal of the organization is to break the barriers which often prevent people from getting a job.
“You don’t have to pick between your groceries this month and a suit for a job. You can feel like you’re on a leveled playing field, and you can feel like you have a dignified experience when you coming here,” Ellman said.READ MORE: Big Changes At The Top For MTA, New York City Transit Leadership
And they’re helping many people get to the shop, too, with a bus doing pickups around Queens, and even high schools, to help teens in the city’s Summer Youth Employment Programs get suited up for internships.
“We outfitted so many of those community members with their first suit ever,” Ellman said.
Shoppers will also be greeted by companies hiring.
“So not only can you shop for that perfect outfit for a job interview, but you might also be connected to a potential employer,” Ellman said.
One Queens resident is not only helping people pick out proper attire as a volunteer, but she’s getting items she needs – a win-win.
“It’s a great cause. I hope people really benefit from all these nice clothes. There’s lots of good things here,” she said.
Commonpoint Closet will be open through Friday, and they welcome anyone in need to come in and shop.MORE NEWS: Biden Administration Says National Eviction Moratorium Will Expire Saturday
The real estate owners of the shopping center Cord Meyer provided the space to Commonpoint for the pop-up. You can register for your shopping experience or walk right in. For more information, CLICK HERE.