A lot of times we forget how blessed we are. We go shopping for special occasions and don’t realize that these essentials are not as normal to have as we think. Over a hundred million people worldwide are living on the streets, United Nations Commission on Human Rights, 2005. They are in desperate need of food, clothes and a place to sleep. Kayli vee Levitan and Max Pazak decided to tackle one of these problems. They started The Street Store.
The street store is a premise and rent-free pop-up store where everything is free. People get asked to donate clothing and shoes and the volunteers make sure the items are displayed properly. These “stores” are on the street and are there for one day. The homeless people know when to come to these street stores because the people organizing it contact homeless centers and the street stores are held in places where homeless people often come. Over 148 street stores have been opened worldwide.
Kayli hopes to give the homeless the experience of shopping. Getting to pick out your own clothes, matching them, make jokes and getting some personal attention. For a lot of the homeless they have never experienced any of these things. Going to a homeless center or getting clothes from organizations they can’t afford to pick and choose because they need those items. At The Street Store they can really shop. One of the things Kayli loves to see is when some of the homeless get sassy and joke around with the volunteers. “Being able to give them a minute to forget their problems is amazing. These people have very little to nothing and to see how much they enjoy the experience and how truly grateful they are is amazing” Kayli tells us.
One of the most remarkable things about this project is that everyone can host a street store in their city. You can fill an application form and after that has been accepted you are granted access to all the open source files from The Street Store. Kayli or Max will send you all the things you need. Then you find a good place to hold your street store and have made sure you have permission to use the street for this kind of activity, The next step is asking people to donate clothes, the day before TheStreet Store is held, by hanging up posters. All Kayli and Max ask of you is to take pictures. After all that it´s time to host your own store! So don’t hesitate anymore and give the homeless experience of their life.
This vlog can also be seen at BNR.nl/IntoConnection.