It is the mission of Carter’s House to nurture the self-esteem and confidence of families experiencing poverty by providing clothing and community support that improves their lives.
Carter’s House families are able to participate in one of our three core programs: Shopping at Carter’s House – We provide our families with a one-of-a-kind shopping experience at a minimal cost. The Urban Virtual Village (TUVV) – an intimate support group setting for parents of children in various age groups. The group is designed to aid parents in finding creative solutions to everyday family issues. This group is facilitated by Shawana O. Carter, Nikisha Pattonl-Handy, and Tamique Akins. “I Reach, You Reach, We Reach” Outreach with Carter’s House and Friends – an outreach program that goes into different communities, schools, and apartment complexes to provide services to families and community members that are unable to come to Carter’s House.
Carter’s House came to be eight years ago, when Shawana Carter, her then-husband, and children found themselves living in a motel room for an extended amount of time because they were financially strapped and unable to afford an apartment. Her and her husband both worked, but didn’t make enough money. When it was time for school to start, they did not have the income to purchase school uniforms for their children. That is when The Carters found out about a program their school district has to help families in financial situations; however, the district was not prepared to service larger size students like her eighth-grader who was already wearing adult male size clothes. She realized then that for families in a housing crisis there are lots of programs to assist, but for families that are in between paychecks or just need a little help, there is little assistance available. That is what inspired Carter’s House. Carter’s House went from an idea to a plan when Shawana Carter entered her first cohort, Caust Studio, a year into running Carter’s House. Here is where she learned about the foundation of starting and running a non-profit organization. Then in 2014, Carter’s House went from a plan to a brick and mortar after they moved from The Carter’s living room to a storage facility. Currently, they have two locations in South Dallas.
Currently, Carter’s House is in need of underwear and socks for all ages beginning at size 2T and up to 4x for boys and girls, socks for all sizes. They prefer no-show ankle socks for larger sizes. As one of the only school uniform providers in the metroplex, they are always in need of school uniform pants, especially for boys sizes 6 – 18 years old. They have been working on getting the word out for their in-person parent support group that is held every other Wednesday from 5 -6 pm at the Park South YMCA. They are preparing for back-to-school events by partnering with three organizations to do four events and doing a back to school drive in Houston, TX this year.
The overall vision of Carter’s House is to be An encouraging place where families find hope to turn their lives around while providing increased awareness of the number of families that are struggling to provide clothing for their children. A vision that has been successfully implemented through providing clothing to over 10,000 over the last eight years, having solid partnerships with Dallas ISD, Irving ISD, and The Family Place, hosting an annual back-to-school event for the last six years allowing them to reach families from all over Texas.
Carter’s House is different from other clothing banks because they do their work from a place of love and experience. Their team members know first hand what most of the parents are feeling when they come into the office. They are intentional about reminding parents that this spot where they are is not the end of their road. Carter’s House provides hope and encouragement to those who’ve been counted out. They are #ClothingDallas and #ChangingFamilies.