In 1988, In The Image did not exist as we know it today. It was a donation area in the basement of a local Heartside District church, with leaky ceilings and dim lighting. The volunteers who oversaw the donations and placed them out for the local homeless and struggling folks tried their hardest to provide this service with dignity and respect. As the need grew, the donations grew as well and soon the clothing bank project outgrew the damp basement.
A grant of just $5,000 was provided to the volunteers and In The Image was born. Official 501(c)3 paperwork was filed and ITI became an official non-profit.
ITI moved into a store front building with duct taped racks and make-shift shelved. People would line up at the doors to find what they needed each day. Volunteers and staff would greet each person, helping them find
a new coat or a blanket to keep them warm at night.
As word spread about the growing non-profit, more individuals, churches, schools, companies, and even
consignment shops helped to fill the racks and shelves. Again, In The Image was expanding
and needed a larger facility to house their growing programs.
In The Image moved to the current location, 1823 S. Division Avenue in the Burton Heights neighborhood, bringing the Free Store and Shoes Help Our Elementary Students (SHOES) to more families and individuals.
Still today, In The Image serves thousands of individuals and families by linking everything - clothing, shoes, pots, pans, beds, dressers, coats, toys, etc. - for free. Only new and gently used, quality items are offered in the Free Store. Only furniture in good repair is available. Gently used shelving and racks were purchased and some even donated to replicate the look of any other store. Volunteers are trained to act as customer service agents, asking clients if there is anything they can help them find. We want to offer the best we can in order to treat people with dignity and respect.
During the Free Store hours, clients are welcomed to take what they need. A potential client may walk in, no questions asked, for the first visit - all you need is a picture ID and bags to hold your items. Clothing and other
good are restocked and reorganized by volunteers between shopping sessions.
"Thank you for helping us change lives!"
Bethann Egan, Executive Director