DENVER — A popular clothing store and food bank for Denver’s homeless in Five Points has been forced to close their doors following their fifth break-in in seven months.
“Seeing this place empty literally rips my heart out because I know what this place means to people,” founder of Impact Locally Travis Singhaus, the nonprofit that runs the free store, told Denver7.
The store is called Impact Humanity, a totally free clothing boutique that also gives out hygiene items and bagged lunches to anyone who comes by. Everything comes from donations, and everything is free. The store opened in early 2018.
“Since we opened we have handed out clothing and hygiene items to 135,000 people,” Singhaus said.
But despite the fact that all of their merchandise was given away for free and there has never been a cash register on site, the store on Welton Street has become a target for thieves and vandals. The last break-in cost the store a glass door.
“Our insurance company has said at this point they will no longer insure us at this location,” Singhaus said.
That forced the Impact store to close its doors. Travis had to lay off his entire staff and is now working on cleaning out the space, moving all clothing and donations into storage. With the weather getting colder, he recognized the hardship not having a free clothes store is going to have on some of Denver’s most vulnerable.
“Every minute this store is shut down, every day is going to kill me,” he said.
Now Travis and Impact are looking for a new home, and looking to the community for help.
“Hoping to raise money to not just open up the way we were, but improve things considerably,” he described.
The goal is to add more space, to include more resources, and to be able to help more people. Given how many people rely on the store, the goal is to also do that as soon as possible.
“If someone came to me and said, 'I have a space,' tomorrow I would start moving stuff into it. I’d start creating flyers to put up around the community that we’re going to be back open,” Singhaus said.
To help Impact Humanity, head to their GoFundMe page.