Lawrenceville closet providing essential resources to foster kids at risk of closing

The closet is filled with toothbrushes, clothing, diapers, even books and toys, and much more.
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 5:56 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Tyron Garnett isn’t shopping at the Wrapped in Love Closet for fun.

He’s scrambling to get essential supplies for his nine kids, five of whom he’s fostering, before the Lawrenceville closet may be forced to close its doors.

The resources at the closet are especially important, Garnett says, when he gets emergency foster care placements in the middle of the night.

“They come with nothing. Some kids have come naked with just underwear on and just socks,” said Garnett.

The closet, run by the nonprofit Because One Matters, is filled with toothbrushes, clothing, diapers, even books and toys, and much more.

CEO Andrea Barclay says the closet has served close to 500 children since opening 10 months ago.

She says all the items donated are free of charge to families in need.

“We got so many testimonies that this is a lifesaver, you just don’t know what this means to us. This will help us make the kids feel special because they can come in here and shop,” said Barclay.

But with the landlord selling the building, Barclay says the closet’s future is uncertain. The nonprofit has struggled for months to find another affordable space, with no luck.

“It is extremely stressful because this is not personal. It’s not Andrea wants to do this. This is something the community needs,” she said.

Running the only emergency youth shelter in Gwinnett County, Tami Wilder says she relies on the closet for kids who are runaways, abused, or coming from unstable households.

“Our financial resources are very limited, so the closet has been a huge help to us,” said Wilder, Co-CEO of Positive Impact International and Gwinnett County Safe Place.

With the need only growing, Wilder is urging the community to step up and help find a solution.

“We need to share this message. We need to think of other resources, and we need to figure out a way to help them stay, so they can not only continue to help the families they’re already helping, but help so many more,” she said.

The deadline for the nonprofit to find a new home is Dec. 31.

If they don’t, the closet will be forced to close its doors.