The clothing charity Dress for Success Pittsburgh’s South service area has gone mobile.
On Wednesday, the nonprofit organization, which provides a range of career services to women in more remote areas throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania, introduced a new South Mobile Boutique at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Range Resources Corp. in Southpointe.
The customized Ford F-350 Transit van has been converted into a functional clothing store and career center on wheels.
Range Resources and Chevron donated the vehicle, and DFS received a grant from the Washington County Community Foundation.
Organizers said the mobile boutique will increase DFS’s outreach to women unable to afford the business attire and accessories they need as they enter or re-enter the working world.
“This was a dream in the making. The dream was to reach women who can’t get to the boutique in the Washington area so that everyone can receive the free services we offer,” said Genevieve Peters, manager of the South service area.
The mobile boutique will serve women in Washington, Greene and Fayette counties. The organization’s North service area assists women in Allegheny and Butler counties.
DFS’s mission is to offer long-lasting solutions to enable women to become financially stable and self-sufficient. In addition to providing clothing, DFS offers programs through its career center to help women be successful in the workplace.
Said Christina Kramer, a spokeswoman for Range Resources, “We have been able to think outside the box with Dress for Success to empower and prepare their network of women for the professional world.”
In 2018, the Pittsburgh affiliate provided services to more than 3,500 women, over 600 of which came through 37 mobile events conducted out of the trunks of their employees’ cars.
Following Wednesday’s ribbon-cutting, DFS employees gave tours of the mobile boutique.
“This is beyond satisfying. For a lot of women, one of their barriers is transportation,” said Tracey Whitted, South service area director. “We used to do mobile services out of our own cars and vans, but now we can go to the food banks, the WIC program, places where women are engaging in the programs, and we can be there with our mobile service.”