Thanks to an idea brainstormed by Mr. Abraham Williams, the Executive Director of the Housing Authority of Bowling Green, one can now add “haberdashery” to the many different hats worn by The Housing Authority of the City of Charleston (CHA).
Established over 75 years ago as a purveyor of subsidized housing to the low income residents of Charleston, South Carolina, CHA has periodically over the years branched out of this role to become involved in other fields of endeavor such as energy conservation, information technology, and family unification services. On January 23, 2012, CHA dedicated the opening of “Abraham’s Closet”, a distribution site for new and gently-used clothing, it having been named in honor of Williams. Individuals who qualify are those who currently reside in one of CHA’s public or transitional housing complexes and who meet certain income requirements in order to validate their actual need. The clothing is distributed at no cost to the recipients.
It was during a recent visit to Bowling Green by members of the CHA staff that they were exposed to Williams’ own brainchild, “Annie’s Place”, which provides free clothing, furniture, and household goods to the public housing residents of Bowling Green. It is this concept on which Abraham’s Closet is based. In establishing Abraham’s Closet, CHA believes that such a Program could, for some, be the final step taken to bridge the gap from government assistance to becoming totally self-sufficient.
In his address, Williams shared with those present portions of his life story, that during which his passion and tireless efforts to reach out to the economically-challenged and less privileged became extremely evident. From their “After School Tutoring Program” to their “Welfare-to-Work Program”, Williams and the Bowling Green Housing Authority has constantly chosen to go the extra mile in order to provide help to others beyond that of the housing assistance for which their Agency was originally established.
In addition to Williams, also addressing the 100+ individuals in attendance was Mr. Donald J. Cameron, President/CEO of the Charleston Housing Authority, Mr. Henry Williams, CHA Board Chairman, and Joseph P. Riley, Jr., Mayor of the City of Charleston.