Pop-up Stores Provide San Francisco Homeless with Clothing and Respect

  • A new UK-based retail nonprofit wants people to think a little more about what their money can buy, and who it can help.
  • Crack + Cider launched last year in London as an online store and pop-up, selling cold-weather essentials: gloves, waterproof jackets, fleece pullovers, umbrellas.
  • However, instead of purchasing items for themselves, customers do so for the homeless.
  • Purchased items are bundled up and delivered to homeless shelters.
  • The pop-up shop, run by Scarlett Montanaro and Charlotte Cramer, has expanded to San Francisco, and will run from November 10 through December 23, 2016.
  • The Tenderloin Museum will host the store which is rather fitting considering the surrounding neighborhood is often cited as the epicenter of San Francisco’s homelessness crisis.
  • The name Crack + Cider is intentionally provocative.
  • According to its cofounders, the idea for the name came from a homeless man they spoke to once told them: “People don’t give me money because they think I’ll spend it on crack and cider.”
  • Last year, six out of 10 visits to the site resulted in a purchase. On average, customers spent around $40.
  • Cramer and Montanaro communicate with local shelters in both London and San Francisco, keeping track of the number of guests to ensure they don’t make a delivery until every person can receive a parcel.
  • Crack + Cider isn’t the only group helping the homeless with pop-up retail in San Francisco.
  • An open source nonprofit called Street Store, sponsored by SF local Deepika Phakke recently held a similar event.

Feature photo by Crack + Cider.

Author: Nicholas Efthimiadis

Seattle grown. Avid skier and occasional ski racer. Passionate about all things urban (particularly transportation & housing). University of Washington 2016 graduate: BA in Economics and a minor in Urban Design and Planning. Extensive experience in fictitious cartography and sand-city molding.