By Rachel Wulff

CITRUS HEIGHTS (CBS13) – As the pandemic pushes on, the need for food and clothing has become even more of a priority, especially for families who are already struggling.

That’s why the San Juan Unified School District is teaming up with a clothing exchange to reach those who need it most.

Kaylon McBride organizes inventory at The Underground Clothing Connection, which opened at the Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights and provides free clothing.

“It was going to be a mobile clothing closet that would travel to the schools as the momentum picked up and enthusiasm picked up. We somehow managed to carve out an entire store for the project,” she said.

Sunrise Mall donated vacant retail space and Mcbride turned it into a high-end showroom with name-brand clothing.

It opened on Nov. 18 and will be open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Wednesday and Saturday. It’s by appointment only and at no cost.

“Our students connect with us by referral from their schools and school staff. So we can be sure to make sure we’re addressing all their COVID-19 requirements, that we are not overpopulated and that we are serving the students most in need,” McBride said.

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McBride said 3,200 students are living in transition with insecure housing and she expects that number to increase when schools reopen. She said a service like this is needed now more than ever.

“They deserve to not feel stigmatized or to not feel there is any barrier to mainstream with their peers,” she said.

To make a donation, visit the Citrus Heights Homeless Assistance Resource Team website.

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