HoMie teams up with Berry St to help disadvantaged

By James Bennett

Members of the Shepparton Education First Youth Foyer were treated to a rare opportunity yesterday — to shop for new items of clothing for free.

Fitzroy-based streetwear social enterprise HoMie teamed up with Berry St, for the special VIP day.

Not only could youth grab some new clothes, they could also get a free haircut or even their nails painted.

Co-founder Marcus Crook said it was the first time HoMie had visited the Goulburn Valley.

‘‘We run VIP days once a month at our store in Melbourne, where we invite homelessness services into our shop with 20 to 30 clients and they can shop for five items of clothing for free,’’ he said.

‘‘There’s also hairdressers, make-up artists plus food and coffee. It’s just as much about the day and vibe then it is shopping for new clothing.

‘‘We found it can be a real confidence builder for those going through a tough time.

‘‘HoMie has been open for four years and this is our first rural VIP day; we’ve hosted 47 VIP day’s previously.

‘‘It’s a long time in the making and we received a grant from US company TOMS shoes, who helped fund this trip to Shepparton.

‘‘Homelessness isn’t just a problem in the cities, it’s all over the country and some rural cities are in a bit of a crisis. Shepparton has highest homeless rate outside of Melbourne in Victoria.

‘‘It’s important for us to provide these services to all people who need them that might not be able to get down to Melbourne,.’’

HoMie sells clothes at its Fitzroy store, then donates all profits to support services for people experiencing homelessness.