The FIT Closet & Clothing Exchange is a 100% community- supported project. College Avenue United Methodist Church donates the building in which the FIT Closet is housed. The FIT Closet is staffed by one part-time, paid coordinator (USD 383 employee) and a team of 50+ volunteers. Every item in our “inventory” has been donated by caring individuals, churches, organizations, and businesses in the community (or purchased with donated monies). Without the continued support and care of these amazing individuals and entities, the FIT Closet would cease to exist!
Donations are welcome during our open hours, both at the FIT Closet and USD 383's maintenance shop (located at 2031 Casement Road). They are open Monday through Friday, 7am to 5pm). If you’re interested in making a financial donation, make your check payable to USD 383 and write FIT Closet in the memo line. Thank you SO MUCH for your interest and your help.
The Families In Transition (FIT) Closet is a program of the USD 383 school district that began as a service to children and families experiencing homelessness (Head Start/Pre-K through high school). Over the years, this number has continued to rise. During the 2018-19 school year, over 387+ students were identified as homeless (FIT).
Here’s a snapshot of student homelessness across Kansas - number of homeless students attending Kansas K-12 public schools:
Source: EHCY Data (Education for Homeless Children & Youth) taken from the Kansas Department of Education website: www.KSDE.org
Schools are required by federal law to make sure these students are outfitted for school, but school districts are not provided with any federal, state or local government funding to do so. The FIT Closet is USD383’s means of providing necessary school supplies, shoes, clothing, coats, hygiene supplies, and other essentials, so these children can attend class and integrate successfully.
Because of the Manhattan community’s amazing generosity, the FIT Closet is able to assist not only students experiencing homelessness, but also their entire immediate family. We are also able to serve migrant students/families, students in foster care, students enrolled at Flint Hills Job Corps, students with a Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), and all students (and their families) who qualify for free/reduced lunch. During the 2018/19 school year, 2716 students qualified for f/r lunch - that’s nearly 40% of our student population!
In order to shop at the FIT Closet, families MUST HAVE a “qualified” student enrolled in a school within the boundaries of USD 383 (this includes private schools and families who homeschool).