When Nancy Bohannon sees something that she thinks needs to be done, she does it. When she heard about the Pop-Up Street Store, she decided it needed to be brought to Louisville, so she made it happen.
The Street Store, a one-day, pop-up shop of donated clothing and shoes made available free of charge to homeless and low-income individuals, got its start in Cape Town, South Africa. Street Stores have since been held in Brussels, Vancouver … and now Louisville, Kentucky.
Saturday, June 14, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at the corner of Washington Street and Campbell Street, the Louisville Pop-Up Street Store will transform a parking lot and a chain link fence into a place for people in need to pick out a few necessary items. “It’s a way to help homeless and low-income people directly,” says Bohannon. “I love the idea of people dropping stuff off, the customers are there, and BAM, it’s done.”
More volunteers are welcome, Bohannon says, to assist with putting up posters, receiving and setting up the donations the day of the event, and assisting the customers in finding items.
Bohannon, a Louisville native who recently moved back to the city after 30 years in Indianapolis, loves this “great little big town,” especially its focus on social activism and art. She is already plotting ways to incorporate some of her other activist interests, like the Louisville TimeBank, into additional Street Stores in the coming year.
The Street Store is special, she says, because it gives people an opportunity to be there and see what their donation is doing, see how it contributes to the well-being of the customers, and see people who live without homes as the humans they are. The direct connection breeds empathy, which breeds compassion, Bohannon says, and she hopes to inspire others with the experience.
If you have items to donate, they must be dropped off the day of the event. Bohannon suggests that donations of backpacks filled with personal care items would be exceptionally welcome, as well.
Photo: Courtesy of Street Store