In response to the 2009 economic crisis and our clients’ struggles to secure stable employment to support their families, Initiative founded re:loom—weaving a better life, a low-barrier employment program for homeless and low-income individuals in DeKalb County. re:loom provides immediate full-time work with benefits for clients in our homeless services program, refugees from the nearby Clarkston community, and other area residents in need. At re:loom, employees are trained to weave on traditional floor looms, using donated fabrics to produce new home décor and fashion items for retail sale.
Through steady work and mentoring, re:loom program participants acquire essential employability skills—timeliness, reliability, accountability, collaboration, productivity, and task management—and develop a sense of pride and accomplishment. Since its founding, re:loom has helped 34 Atlanta-area residents provide for their families and enter or re-enter the workforce with new skills and confidence. In addition, re:loom successfully diverts thousands of pounds of excess textiles from landfills and incinerators each month, making a meaningful environmental impact and allowing employees to participate in the fast-growing sustainability marketplace.