Community Clothing Assistance (originally called Clothing Assistance Mission), is a local not-for-profit organization founded by Dr. Brian Scott and Marie Sorenson in May 2006, who sought to relieve poverty through the operation of a clothing bank. The founders felt strongly that despite social programs that seek to help the poor, most lacked resources to obtain clothing. Thrift stores were also too expensive for the average family living in poverty.
Currently, CCA operates a number of free clothing projects to serve Thunder Bay's most vulnerable populations, as well as stepping stone programs to help people get back on their feet. One of the main objectives of our organization is to lessen the stigma of poverty by providing quality clothing at unbeatable prices so individuals can feel confident when applying for jobs, going to school, or serving the community.
The Children's Undercover Project provides a week's supply (7 pairs each) of NEW socks and underwear to children between the ages of 4 and 14 years old whose families are in need as identified by the Ontario Works benefit services. This program is handled by Community Clothing Assistance together with other organizations in town and the community in Thunder Bay.
The Hands On Work (HOW) Experience is a pre-employment training program for youth who are looking to gain employable skills in a workplace setting, update their resume with recent work experience, complete required volunteer hours, and/or attain high school credits. HOW participants gain relevant skills to enhance employability, learn to identify personal strengths and weaknesses, and improve self-efficacy, in addition to a wide range of other benefits.
The Community Partners Referral Program allows members of our partnering agencies to refer clients in crisis for free clothing. Clients are entitled to three full outfits consisting of up to 32 individual pieces of clothing, once every season while needed. In the past, flood victims, house fire victims, those on disability support, and those between jobs have benefited from the Referral Program. Through this program, even those with no money are free to choose their own outfits - nobody is forced to take items that don't appeal to them, and our large inventory ensures that our clients will be able to find items they like.
The Affordable Clothing Program provides well-priced clothing to financially struggling individuals and families by offering low-cost, high quality clothing. At CCA, it is possible to get a full outfit including shoes and a jacket for $15 - at a thrift store, the same outfit may cost upwards of $300. This encourages self-sufficiency and allows clients to focus more of their income on necessities such as housing and food.
The Homeless Walk-In Program is designed specifically with Thunder Bay's homeless population in mind. The primary focus of this program is to provide the essentials: changes of clothing, blankets, winter clothing, and hygiene products.This allows the most vulnerable population of Thunder Bay to be confident that, regardless of their personal situation, they can count on us to keep them warm and clothed.
What People Are Saying
"Great place to shop! I Love how they help the community!! "
— Jenny , Read More
"Great work being done by the organization in its effort to provide free clothing to people in need "
— David Andrews
"The store sells products for everyone. The fundraising Boutique is amazing with very low prices of the new dresses and they are tax free. Prices are very low when compared to the thrift stores. Very useful for the college and University students. Must visit place. "
— Swati Vasu
"I have only recently discovered CCA...I am new to Thunder Bay. :) What a lovely store to shop in!!!I love shopping at CCA...you never know what treasures you will find. And the staff are so helpful and friendly...a great shopping experience, and I feel it is the best thrift store in Thunder Bay."