According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, there is an estimated 69,000 homeless inhabitants wandering the streets of Michigan with roughly 2,500 of these residents in Detroit alone. Though the number of homeless individuals in Michigan has decreased steadily by 28.7 % since 2010, there is still a wide spread issue of homelessness throughout our community.
Insert a 2013 version of Josh York, a curious sophomore with a curious fascination with the homeless. It was also during this time that Josh curated a knack for creating his own clothing pieces, starting with his own customization for beanies and screen printing. Similar to brands such as Detroit Hustles Harder and Detroit Versus Everybody, Josh invested into the birth of the York Project by producing beanies with his own last name sewn in as the logo. Realizing that a growing business created a way for him to give back, Josh began to donate an item of clothing for every item purchased to those of lesser fortunes. Check out some of his pieces below:
Very quickly Josh realized that the greatest need among the homeless was not clothing but instead, toiletries. Having donating 100,000 or so items, the proceeds from the York Project today go directly into purchasing items we commonly use every day but forget to donate. The span of these items vary from things as simple as bottles of water to socks, underwear, feminine products, and toilet paper.
Today, the York project has expanded on larger goals. As of March 1st, the York Project plans to open their doors in hopes of becoming the next largest t-shirt manufacturing wholesaler. Basing their headquarters in heart of Detroit, Josh believes that not only would this bring more opportunities for the homeless in terms of employment, but would also create a larger platform for other companies to produce products exclusively in the United States.
To support Josh and his cause, please check out his website for his trendy pieces or to look into donating/purchasing a donation kit at $6/piece. The said donation kits consists of three items- socks, bottled water, and toilet paper. For a more hands on approach, check out their website for dates to get involve.
By Victoria Tsai
Social Media Coordinator at JMJ Phillip Group