'Crossroads Closet' provides care for students' basic needs

'Crossroads Closet' provides care for students' basic needs
Crossroads Elementary has built the closet over the past five years (Source: WLOX)

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - What started as just a coat closet five years ago has now grown into a huge resource for students at Crossroads Elementary.

School social worker Nettie Martin runs what's known as the "Crossroads Closet." It's a place where students can come and get anything they need, from shoes to school supplies to underwear.

"We felt that if we could make it easier if the child had an accident or needed a change of clothing, then that parent that didn't have transportation or was at work and couldn't leave work, we could have the clothing here," said Martin.

Every thing in the closet has been donated by teachers, parents and the community, and it all goes to good use.

Martin said many of the students at Crossroads qualify for free or reduced lunch. Through the closet, Martin says they're able to provide addition support and care for the children.

"Not only academically, but we try and make sure that all of their needs are met. If its clothing, if its food, whatever. We try to take care of the whole thing," she said.

"That's our job. We help children," said kindergarten teacher, Carol Abbott. "Oftentimes, I'll clean out my children's outgrown clothes and bring them up here."

"I've been able to recycle and knowing that I'm giving them to my students instead of just some random person, it makes me feel good to know that they're getting a second life," she said.

"We just try to fill in that void, that gap, as much as we can for that need," said Martin.

Martin estimates around 15 students use the closet each school day.

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