Downtown Store Caters Exclusively to Foster Teens
For several months, CASA volunteers have been hammering and painting feverishly to transform a donated downtown retail space into a hip store catering exclusively to foster teens.
On Saturday, April 6th, CASA opened The Hanger, a resource for teens in the foster care system. Located on the corner of Boulder and Tejon, The Hanger was created to fulfill the need for clothing and personal items for local teens who are victims of abuse, neglect or domestic violence living in the foster care system.
Foster teens are able to “shop” for donated clothes and accessories, free of charge. It’s a simple concept that most of us take for granted, but for a foster kid, being able to choose and wear your own clothes helps build self-esteem. “I walked into foster care with a small bag of clothes, having to give up my home, and most of my belongings,” said 15-year-old Maria. “Just owning a nice pair of jeans means a lot. They’re stylish, and they’re mine,” she said.
Teens have the opportunity to help operate the store, providing them with valuable work experience. Many foster teens have no job experience, making it very difficult to find employment when they turn 18 and age out of the system. While working in the store, teens are mentored and coached by adult volunteers and will go through a complete hiring and training process. CASA also plans to partner with local organizations to provide life skills workshops and other opportunities for personal and professional growth for teens. The goal is to help teens transition from foster care to becoming independent, self-sufficient and productive adults in the community.
The Hanger is a project of CASA’s Milton Foster Children’s Fund committee. The volunteer committee raises funds to fulfill requests for children and teens in out of home placement in El Paso and Teller counties. Requests for funding include sports, recreation and educational opportunities that build self-esteem and resiliency. The fund does not fulfill requests for clothing, however, so The Hanger was created to fill that gap.
Special thanks for support from these generous donors/partners who are making The Hanger possible:
- Property owner, Jonathan Kamins
- Leighty Foundation
- Center for Creative Leadership
- Home Depot
- Luke Hegstrom
- Milton Foster Children’s Fund Committee volunteers:
The Hanger is located at 110 E Boulder Street, Colorado Springs.
The Hanger is open to children/teens age 12–21 who are living in foster care. The store is open every Saturday from 1:00-5:00pm.
To make a donation of new or gently used clothes and accessories for teens, please call 447-9898 x1026 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
In the news…
The Hanger in The Gazette
The Hanger in the Colorado Springs Business Journal
The Hanger in The Hanger in The Cheyenne Edition
Volunteer Susan Krassy talks about The Hanger on KKTV’s Mom’s Everyday…