GBH News: A time for charity – St. Francis House in Boston provides refuge, clothes and a path to stability

The Boston nonprofit started out as a simple bread line in 1984, and has since grown into the largest day shelter in Massachusetts. St. Francis House is a place for people to go when they experience homelessness and are in need of a hot meal, clean clothes, a visit with a doctor or other services.

On the second floor of the organization’s Boylston Street building, a store called Fresh Threads is full of donated clothes neatly arranged on shelves and hangers. People come here to find pants, shirts, shoes and other essential items.

Fresh Threads is one of two clothing stores at St. Francis House that provides free clean clothing to those in need. The other store, Studio Shine, offers clothing for business attire for those seeking a job.

Icy Rolling, a Hurricane Katrina survivor, said she moved to Boston from Mississippi to get her life back together. She is looking for a job, so she came to Fresh Threads with interviews on her mind. Rolling searched through the racks to find a pair of pants and a shirt to “dress for success.”

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