After several months closed, the Hmong American Women’s Association’s Community Closet is open once more.
Community Closet (3727 W. National Ave.) is a one-stop-shop, providing clothes, diapers, feminine products and more. And it’s all free for those in need.
Shoppers can register for half-hour appointments and are asked to only take what they need.
Community Closet was started by the Hmong American Women’s Association in 2017 as a way to supply needy Milwaukeeans free of charge. HAWA briefly closed Community Closet last year, in part to re-arrange the inventory by size rather than gender in an effort to create a gender-neutral store. You can now find any style in your size in one section.
“This is for all our community members who have been looked over or disowned or feel like this world doesn’t really see them,” said Leana Yang, the Association’s director of education and outreach.
HAWA was founded in 1993 by a group of thirteen women and is dedicated to ending gender-based violence. It also advocates for LGBTQ+ rights and, “want[s] to move them from a place of advocacy to a place of power,” according to Yang.
Currently, it is one of only a few Hmong advocacy groups in the nation. According to Yang, they, “work their butts off,” to offer these free services and products for those in need.
Community Closet is accepting clothing and monetary donations, either at their National Ave. location or online.