What is the Caring Closet?
The Caring Closet works in conjunction with the Erie School District Homeless Student Program and was opened by the School District of Erie’s Student Leadership Center. Housed at the Erie Family Center (913 Payne Ave, Erie, PA 16503) the Caring Closet provides clothing assistance for families in need in Erie County. There is no charge for the clothing, although a referral is necessary. Once referred, families may return to the Caring Closet to shop for clothing for the remainder of the school year. The referral is good year round, beginning in August of the current year.
Where can I obtain a referral card to the Caring Closet?
Referral cards can be obtained from any Erie City School District office beginning in August. They are also available from more than twenty local social service agencies. For a list of participating agencies, call 814-449-2387
Is the Caring Closet only offered to Erie School District families?
No. This is a service for any resident of Erie County. Clothing is offered at no charge for any dependent child in the home. This ranges from birth to adulthood. In some cases, such as fires, floods and other hardships, clothing assistance is offered to adults in the home.
What are the hours of operation?
The Caring Closet is open all Tuesdays between August 15 and June 15 from 10 AM to 1 PM. Other openings are available during this time by appointment only. Between June 16 and August 14 the Caring Closet is open by appointment only.
What types of clothing are offered at the Caring Closet?
The Caring Closet offers a wide selection of gently used clothing in children and adult sizes*. This include:
Dress code appropriate clothing for school
- Solid color collared shirts and sweaters
- Docker style pants
- Girl’s skirts and jumpers
- Play clothes
- Casual shirts
- Light weight and winter coats
- Hats and mittens
- Shoes Slippers and Boots
- Gently used formal wear
- Baby clothes
- Backpacks and school supplies
Offered items are subject to supply and demand.
What is the maximum allowed per month/year?
Monthly each person is allowed a maximum of:
- 3 casual shirts or sweaters
- 3 pants or shorts
- 1 set of pajamas
- 1 dress
- 2 pair of socks and underwear
- Additional items include hats, mittens, scarves, belts, etc.
Yearly each person is allowed a maximum of*:
- 2 coats (1 winter and 1 lightweight)
- 2 uniforms per child (shirt, pants and sweater)
- 1 pair of shoes
- 1 pair of boots
- 2 blankets per family
- 1 backpack per child
* subject to change based on supply and demand
Where can I drop off donations?
Clean and gently used clothing in all sizes are accepted and may be dropped of at the Caring Closet, located in the basement of the Erie Family Center at 913 Payne Avenue. A donation shelter is located on the east side of the building and donations are accepted at any time, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Cash donations are also accepted. Money is used to purchase clothing for hard to fit children, as well as for personal undergarments and other needed items. All donations are tax deductible.
Volunteering at the Caring Closet
The Caring Closet is staffed by local volunteers. This includes parents, students participating in the Learn and Serve Program and senior citizens from the Erie School District’s Serves Program. Community Service hours are applicable. For more information on volunteering at the Caring Closet, contact Debbie Culver at 814-449-2387 or Carol Niedzwiecki at 814-874-6975.
The Caring Closet
913 Payne Ave.
Erie, PA 16503