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Getting Ahead: Foster Care Mobile Closet

PostedĀ Sep 20, 2023 9:12 AM
By Patricia Jones, Alliance Community Task Force:
Creating Opportunity

More than 5,000 children in the State of Nebraska are in foster care. These are children whose families cannot take care of them because of some kind of crisis. They may be neglected, abused, or abandoned; or something has happened with the parents, so they can no longer provide care.

Some of these children are being cared for by relatives or friends of the family. Some are in licensed foster care homes. Their lives have been disrupted.

Since 2012 an organization called Foster Care Closet has been working with Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), providing a haven service for children prior to their placement in a foster home. These children are fed and clothed, given five new outfits and socks, underwear, a coat, and a pair of shoes.

More than 40% of the youth in foster care in Nebraska struggle to reach Foster Care Closet stores in Beatrice, Kearney, Lincoln and North Platte. Therefore, Foster Care Closet has created a mobile closet program. They partner with foster care agencies across the state to set up pop up shops for youth in foster care.

On October 7 and 8 the Foster Care Mobile Closet of Nebraska will be coming to Scottsbluff/Gering and Sidney. They will be serving children in foster care in Western Nebraska. Appointments are not necessary. Foster families are asked to please bring their Master Case Number in order to shop.

In the Scottsbluff area the Foster Care Mobile Closet will be open Saturday, October 7th from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. They will be located at American Legion Chapter #46, 1425 9th Street, Gering.

Sidney will host the Foster Care Mobile Closet on Sunday, October 8th, 12:00 – 3:00 pm at the Sidney Fine Art Center, 1000 11th Avenue, Sidney.

Guardian Light Family Services is partnering with the Foster Care Closet in Sidney and was instrumental in bringing the mobile event to the Panhandle. If someone is interested in learning more about foster care or being foster parents, they can call Melissa Misegadis of Guardian Light Family Services, 308-870-7260.

A big part of restoring dignity to kids in crisis is creating the opportunity for youth in foster care to choose clothes they WANT to wear. This opportunity to control something about their life helps in this time of crisis.

Foster Care Closet works with wholesale vendors to have modern, on trend clothing styles. Youth in foster care have a variety of options to choose from so they can look the way they want to look and feel good about what they are wearing.

Foster Care Closet is a donation-driven, volunteer-run nonprofit. Anyone is interested in donating or volunteering at either the Scottsbluff or Sidney Foster Care Mobile Closets should contact Brandon at 402-853-9989.

Foster Care Closet has become a source of love and support for many foster families throughout the state of Nebraska. They provide assistance throughout a youth’s duration in the foster care system by providing new clothing and other needed items. Their goal is to help scared, insecure youth build confidence and self-esteem.