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Dress for Success finds new opportunity in Norwood

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Posted at 7:43 AM, Mar 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-12 11:36:32-05

NORWOOD, Ohio — Dress for Success -- the non-profit that provides work attire to unemployed and underemployed women -- is being forced out of their downtown location after 22 years. The building is being converted into residential units.

Their new location off Montgomery Road in Norwood is going to change how the non-profit helps its clients.

Executive director Lisa Nolan said the new spot is going to give greater accessibility to more people. It still has great bus access, but for the first time ever they have free parking and all of their services on one floor.

Nolan said some of their shifts during the pandemic included virtual styling appointments and giving clients clothing kits via curbside pickup. Career coaching has also shifted online, but they're eager to bring people back in the new space in June.

"For now, it's continuing to make sure we're connecting with clients in a really meaningful way and find out what they need at this different point in their lives so that we can continue serving them virtually through June, and then transition back into the most effective programming possible,” Nolan said.

Dress for Success is trying to offload as much of their current inventory as possible so they don't have to move it to the new location. At the same time, they'll need to re-stock because they're expecting to serve twice as many clients when pandemic numbers really drop.

“We are preparing for a major increase in demand, coming out of what's being called a 'she session' because of the disproportionate impact that it's having on women in particular," Nolan said.

Dress for Success launched its first fundraising campaign for the move. They need to raise about $1.2 million to make the move to Norwood and be able to sustain the new facility for the next 20 years. Nolan said they have raised about $650,000 so far.