As the California unemployment rate climbs, one UCSB student has launched an initiative to get the jobless citizens of Santa Barbara back on their feet.
Nadera Marie Safi, a fourth-year psychology major, has organized a business attire clothing-drive at St. Michael’s University Church this week to provide transient and low-income Santa Barbara residents with professional attire necessary for job interviews. The drive begins Wednesday at 11 a.m. and extends through Thursday until 4 p.m.
According to Safi, the drive is intended to provide disadvantaged residents of Isla Vista and the local area with the proper business attire to secure a job and improve their standard of living.
“What I hope is that some homeless and low income people will be able to get jobs and land interviews with the clothes we provide for them,” Safi said. “It’s just one thing that will be able to help.”
According to Safi, the inspiration for the clothing drive was a result of her participation in the Clinton Global Initiative a branch of the William J. Clinton Foundation that seeks to discuss and propose solutions for pressing national and international issues.
Upon hearing a similar clothing donation proposal for aiding the homeless at the Initiative conference, Safi decided to carry out the suggestion for local residents.
“I got an idea from the Clinton Global Initiative that I was involved in,” Safi said. “When I heard a suggestion for donating business clothes to the homeless, I wanted to do it in I.V.”
According to Safi, desired items for the clothing drive include traditional business wear such as jackets, skirts and high heels for women and suits, jackets and ties for men.
After the drive, all business attire will be donated to Casa Esperanza, a homeless shelter located in Santa Barbara.
“On Thursday, I’m going to load up all the clothes and send them to Casa Esperanza,” Safi said. “The clothes will then be distributed [by Casa Esperanza] to the homeless individuals who are looking for jobs.”
According to Safi, this method of outreach will hopefully give the homeless and low-income residents of Isla Vista a leg-up on the job market.
“People shy away from helping the homeless community, but this is just something to help them help themselves and get jobs,” Safi said. “It’s self-perpetuating and sustainable.”