When was Bottomless Closet NYC founded?
Bottomless Closet was founded by volunteers in 1999 in response to a 1996 New York Times article that spoke about the obstacles that mothers on public assistance had seeking work, including the lack of appropriate interview clothing and the lack of self-confidence to present themselves professionally in an unfamiliar interview setting. The founders were also responding to the passage of “The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act,” also known as The Welfare Reform Act, the same year which radically transformed the nation’s welfare system by imposing a time limit on federal welfare benefits further complicating women’s transition from public assistance into the workforce.
What is the mission of Bottomless Closet NYC?
The mission of Bottomless Closet is to be the connection that inspires and guides disadvantaged New York City women to enter the workforce and achieve success.
What differentiates Bottomless Closet from other non-profits that offer business attire to women in need?
Bottomless Closet is focused on providing services to women in the 5 boroughs of New York City. Bottomless Closet prides ourselves on building deep and long-lasting connections to our clients; we look at the clothing as the first step towards developing on-going relationships with the women we serve.
How are clients referred to the organization?
Clients are referred to Bottomless Closet by referral partner organizations once they have secured a job interview. Bottomless Closet has developed affiliations with dozens of job developers, employment training programs and nonprofit organizations across the city that provide work-readiness and skills-building training to women transitioning into the workforce.
How many volunteers work at Bottomless Closet?
Bottomless Closet has approximately 200-300 active volunteers who provide over 13,000 hours a year volunteering their time.
What is Bottomless Closet’s “success rate?”
The impact of Bottomless Closet’s services on the women that we serve is remarkable. In 2013 we served close to 3,000 women in their transition to work. In order to evaluate our programming Bottomless Closet surveys every woman to solicit feedback on the value, quality and scope of programming. Nearly every client agrees the coaching, support and guidance she receives at Bottomless Closet is a crucial piece to her success in the interview. In addition to surveying the women we conduct phone follow up after 1 month, again at 6 months and finally 1 year following the initial appointment. Follow up has revealed some incredible statistics…2/3rds of the women who walk through Bottomless Closet’s doors have been hired, a truly inspiring statistic given the current economy.
What do your “Workshop Series” entail?
We believe it is critical to provide on-going support for our clients to achieve self-sufficiency. Therefore, we have developed an extensive series of educational workshops designed to provide practical, accessible information on a range of topics including professional development, financial management and personal enrichment. Facilitated by volunteers who are professionals in their fields, our workshops provide the opportunity for women to learn the concrete skills required to succeed professionally and personally. Our services are provided free of charge with the goal of strengthening a woman’s ability to secure and maintain employment, overcome the challenges of poverty and ultimately reach self-sufficiency. Click here to see the latest Educational Curriculum.
Why can’t I schedule a clothing pick up?
Unfortunately, because of our size we do not have the resources available to offer a pickup service.
What kind of donations does Bottomless Closet accept?
Bottomless Closet accepts women’s new or gently worn business appropriate clothing and accessories. This can include the following: Business Suits, Blouses, Scarves, Handbags, Jackets, Pants, Skirts, Sweaters, Belts, Unopened Hosiery, Shoes, Jewelry, New Cosmetics Plus sizes (14 and up) are in demand and particularly appreciated. We are unable to accept undergarments, exercise clothing, jeans, tee shirts, sneakers, evening wear or used/opened cosmetics.
What happens with the clothes donated that are not “business appropriate?”
Bottomless Closet sorts through all donations to assess whether clothing is business appropriate and can be used for our clients. All clothing that we cannot use is picked up by other nonprofits to distribute to women in need; any clothing that is torn or soiled is donated to other nonprofits.
Is my donation tax deductible?
Yes. Every donor will receive a thank you letter that includes information for tax purposes.
How do Bottomless Closet clients receive clothing?
After being referred to Bottomless Closet we schedule a session in which clients meets one-on-one with a volunteer and begins the process of preparing for her job interview. The volunteer works with the client to select one complete business-appropriate interview outfit and conducts mock interviews, practices presentation skills and reviews the resume, revising it for accuracy and content as needed.
What are Bottomless Closet’s hours of operation? When can I drop off clothes?
Bottomless Closet has one location at 16 East 52nd Street, 15th Floor. Hours of operation and donation drop off hours are Monday – Thursday. Curbside drop offs can be accommodated Tuesdays and Thursdays between 11:30AM and 3:30PM. Select evening hours are available to drop off donations, please call 212-563-2499 for assistance.
Does Bottomless Closet have a Privacy Policy?
Yes, see it here.
How do I know that Bottomless Closet is a socially responsible organization?
Bottomless Closet complies with all regulations as stipulated by the Internal Revenue Service for all organizations with 501 (c) 3 status. Bottomless Closet upholds the highest standards, fiscally as well as with regard to governance. Bottomless Closet holds an Accredited Charity Seal status from the Better Business Bureau and the Guide Star Exchange Gold Seal, the highest level awarded. Click here to view our most recent 990.
How do corporations become featured partners?
Contact Melissa Norden (mnorden@bottomlessclosetnyc.org) to learn what it takes to be a featured Community Partner.


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