Teens’ Closet Project Provides Youth with Free, Quality Clothing—and Confidence

By Diane DeLong

Adolescence is a challenging time for teens under the best of circumstances. Often youth struggle to fit in with their peers and lack confidence and self-worth. Consider the same youth with the additional burden of living in foster care or poverty or being homeless. Throughout public and private schools, thousands of youth struggle daily with a humbling consequence of poverty: inadequate clothing. What if something as simple as having new, clean clothing could make a difference and help them feel better and be more confident? That is the premise behind Teens’ Closet, founded in 2011 in Prescott.

Teens’ Closet, a program of Catholic Charities’ North Star Youth Partnership, provides free, quality clothing to Prescott quad-city area teens (13-19) in financial need. It was founded by North Star Supervisor, Krystal Koons, and her daughter Kaileigh Koons Nall. Thanks to the generosity of Prescott Unified School District and Superintendent Joe Howard, Teens’ Closet has a new location at Taylor Hicks Elementary School, 1845 Campbell Avenue, Building 100, Room 101 in Prescott.

Referrals to Teens’ Closet come via foster care parents and agencies, school nurses, teachers, homeless liaisons, school administrators, and word of mouth. Each teen’s family is screened to ensure they are financially eligible for the program. Students who receive free and reduced lunch automatically qualify for services. Appointments are set up so teens can shop privately with their parent or guardian. Each visit includes a private shopping experience in a boutique-type atmosphere with trendy clothing selections. Teens can shop as often as every other month and choose items they need. An appointment is required and can be made by calling 928.379.1667.

Teens’ Closet is dedicated to supplying teens with new, clean and in-style clothing and is currently in need of several items. Specific items needed for teen young men include new boxer briefs; new, white, crew-neck undershirts; new, white, no-show and crew socks; long-sleeve, plain, cotton shirts for layering (white, black, navy, gray); long-sleeve, flannel shirts; and hoodies with zippers. Items needed for teen young women include new, white, no-show and crew socks; hoodies; plain, long-sleeve, cotton shirts for layering; pull-over sweatshirts, sweaters; and flannel shirts in all sizes. Gift cards to Walmart, Target, Costco, and Rue 21 are also appreciated.

In addition to providing clothing, Teens’ Closet volunteers also provide vital life skills to help teens shape a bright future including resume writing, interview tips, tutoring, assistance with goal setting, and more.

“Teens’ Closet is making a difference in the lives of area teens.  We look forward to serving hundreds of teens this year in our beautiful new location,” said Krystal Koons, Teens’ Closet Founder and Supervisor.

For more information about Teens’ Closet, contact Koons at 928-708-7268 or ckoons@cc-az.org.