Gentleman's Closet loses inventory after Woodlawn roof collapse

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Gentleman's Closet is a resource to provide clothes and suits for the unemployed or underemployed in Chicago's Woodlawn Neighborhood, all for free.

Now, it's in desperate need of help after a roof collapse destroyed three-quarters of the inventory.

"I just feel a lot of faith. From everything I've been through, I can just see a miracle coming out of this," said Elijah Henry, co-founder Gentleman's Closet.

Formerly homeless, Henry was the first beneficiary of what he and his Pastor Terrance Miller built into a neighborhood resource they say has helped hundreds of men succeed.

"When I see other people that have become success stories, there's something in my heart that leaps," Henry said.

Now, this is what's left of Gentleman's Closet, a ministry to help unemployed or underemployed men get back on their feet by providing them with free suits, clothes, and mentoring: Waterlogged and torn ties, suits, hats and other garments after the roof of their storage facility collapsed under heavy snowpack earlier this week ruining three quarters of the inventory.

"I almost got swelled up with tears," said Pastor Terrance Miller, Founder of Reach Within Spiritual Center.

"As the snow is still melting, it's still saturating a lot of the bags. And we couldn't get in because of the safety factor," he said, looking over at the rubble.

But these two founders are walking in faith, trusting in divine providence.

"We're really proud that we have provided a lot of suits for men who needed it," Pastor Miller said.

"This is just another opportunity for the creator to show what he can do in the midst of a storm," Henry added.

Pastor Miller said he hopes to have the ruins of the storage facility demolished and cleared out by the end of March and then rebuild into a standalone center for Gentleman's Closet by the end of spring.

If you'd like to help, you can contribute to the Gentleman's Closet GoFundMe or reach out directly by visiting Reach Within Spiritual Center online.
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.