Emeryville’s Bay Street Mall gifts clothing to homeless, underprivileged youth

It was Christmas in July for a non profit that helps homeless youth.
The closure of Forever 21 and the generosity of the Bay Street Mall in Emeryville made magic for a group of teens: row after row of brand new clothes, shoes and accessories displayed just for them and there for the taking.
One young woman said, "I'm kinda from the ghetto. I ain't never had nothing for free that was just given, especially in this large of a scale. So it's just an amazing opportunity to be able to be here and be a part of this."
This was a gift from the Bay Street Mall in Emeryville. After Forever 21 went bankrupt, the mall was left with all the merchandise the store left behind.

They decided to give it away.

The recipient is Covenant House, which serves homeless and underprivilged youth.
"And we essentially inherited 10,000 sq feet of product and we were trying to figure out what we can do with it. And obviously the match with Covenant House was fantastic," says Lucas Heller, General Manager of Bay Street.
Covenant House couldn't believe their good fortune.
"I was absolutely blown away, was absolutely blown away. I can only think about Christmas for our young people. Christmas being able to walk through the door and see all of the merchandise there. And that's exactly what happened," says Andre Goode of Covenant House of CA.
The smiles were hidden by masks. Still the youth could barely contain their excitement. Shopping sprees like this don't come often.
One teen said, "Ok so we got the jackets done. We shopping right now. We retail therapy. But Bay Street, they helping us out. They're giving clothes away. You know things of that sort to help the homeless out, to help Covenant House out."
"I'm just so grateful and blessed to be able to be chosen to have clothes that I can use for work, use for outdoor play, even go on dates you know, if somebody's out there that I'm looking for," said another.
Thanks to Bay Street, hundreds of kids are benefitting from the Forever 21 windfall. Covenant House was able to send some merchandise to their branch in Southern California too.
What's leftover, they get to keep, to hand out as they choose.
They say the timing was perfect. As the economy reopens many of the young people are heading back to work and school.
"Just need to be able to be comfortable and be myself in my new clothes. because you know the saying, if you look good then you feel good. So it's kinda like going back and forth and I'm just so grateful and thankful for Bay Street and Covenant House," said a young man.
Covenant House serves about 2,000 young people in the Bay Area each year.

They also hope to share some of the merchandise with other non-profits serving homeless youth.