Public defender’s office hosts annual clothing drive


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The Yolo County Public Defender’s Office’s Social Work Program announces the return of its used clothing drive to help benefit indigent clients as they transition from the Yolo County jail back into the community.   This clothing drive has received wonderful support from the community in the past, resulting in the ability to help some of the county’s neediest residents.   “We thank the community for their past support and hope that people continue to think of us as a donation site for gently used items,” said Emily Kochly, Yolo County social worker.   Since the last clothing drive, 56 homeless and indigent individuals being released from the jail were provided with clean, weather appropriate clothing. In addition to a fresh change of clothes, the clothing closet also helps provide small toiletries, bags and sometimes even blankets to those that are getting out of the jail with no personal property. The post-release clothing closet also continues to help stock clothes and personal hygiene products at the county’s Health & Human Services Agency’s satellite office. A valued county partner, the satellite office is located next to the jail, so individuals releasing from custody are easily able to access clean, weather-appropriate clothing and hygiene supplies while (re)applying for public benefits. The post-release clothing closet also offers resources to Northern California Construction Training, a program which provides construction trade training to those recently released from jail. The on-hand availability of safe, appropriate work attire assists individuals in gaining employment. Thanks to the generosity of the community, the 2017-2018 clothing drive enabled the post-release clothing closet to provide individuals in need with: 65 pairs of new underwear and 79 pairs of new socks; 124 shirts; 96 pairs of pants/shorts; 56 jackets; 38 hats; 31 bags/purses; 43 hygiene kits; and 22 pairs of shoes. This year, the Public Defender’s Office is again requesting donations of gently used clothing. Some of the most requested items include new underwear and used jackets, jeans, backpacks and shoes. There is higher demand for men’s clothing and for larger sizes (x-large, xx-large, and even xxx-large), but donations for both genders and all sizes are welcome.   “Our homeless population faces a constant litany of daily living challenges. Basic things such as where to get clean water and where to safely sleep through the night are a daily, harsh reality for those that have no place to call their own,” said Yolo County Public Defender Tracie Olson. “By providing weather-appropriate clothing and other supplies to our neediest residents, we hope to provide a degree of protection from the elements, lessen their need for emergency services and give them a degree of physical and emotional warmth they do not always receive. Your donations are greatly appreciated!”   Starting in November and running through February, donated items can be dropped off at the lobby of the Public Defender’s Office, located at 814 North Street in Woodland, Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Friday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.  For more information, contact the Public Defender Social Worker Program at 530-666-8165, ext. 9954. ]]>

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