Premium Outerwear Brand Arctix Launches Historic National Campaign to Help Protect America's Homeless Population This Winter
New "Dakota Project" will distribute more than 108,000 cold-weather garments with a market value of over $5.2 million to qualified non-profits across America
LONG ISLAND, N.Y., Dec. 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- For hundreds of thousands of homeless Americans, including children, the winter months mean struggling to find warmth and protection from the elements. Homelessness is a chronic national crisis, and premium outerwear brand Arctix is responding with the launch of an historic corporate commitment to help those who face winter's wrath unhoused.
Starting immediately, the will donate more than 108,000 new outerwear items including coats, boots, pants, and headgear from its existing inventory to non-profits across America that serve the homeless populations in their communities. The donation of more than $5.2 million in merchandise will provide new, in-line, in season garments for men, women and children that are specifically designed to protect against exposure to winter's bitter temperatures.
It is estimated that more than 420,000 individuals are homeless in America, with more than 120,000 chronically homeless including an estimated 30,000 unaccompanied youth and children. An estimated 40 percent are unsheltered at night.
With the launch of this unprecedented campaign, the Dakota Project by Arctix will be creating a national network of qualified non-profits to serve as distribution points for the donated outerwear. Those organizations can apply to receive winter outerwear at .
"Outerwear made from the best materials and engineered to keep people warm for extended periods of exposure to the elements shouldn't just be for winter sports enthusiasts. America's unhoused population deserves that kind of protection too," said Arctix Chairman Matthew J. Bruderman.
The concept for the program was conceived by Bruderman's teenage daughter, Dakota, who approached him about making a significant impact to help the growing homeless population.
"We know there are thousands of organizations across the country who are doing all they can to keep people warm, and they need our help," said Bruderman. "This new inventory is ready to be shipped out now to give them the peace of mind of knowing that when someone they serve is exposed to the harsh winter, they will be better protected."
More than half of the Dakota Project's inventory will help address the needs of unhoused children, both unaccompanied minors and those who are part of homeless family units who need better protection from the cold.
"No child should ever be cold. Especially during the holiday season, we want those kids to know they are loved. These coats and other items may be the first new, unused clothes they've had in years," added Bruderman.
This unprecedented campaign will also include the design and launch in early 2024 of a new purpose-built coat specifically designed for the unhoused. Arctix engineers and designers are finalizing the new garment, and the public will be able to sponsor those Dakota Project coats, which will be distributed nationwide to the non-profit network later next year. Organizations eligible to receive the project's first
inventory of outerwear will also be eligible to distribute the new coats in 2024.
Once a vetting process is completed by Dakota Project partner organization Zeldin Cares, Arctix will fulfill those requests at no cost to the recipient organizations.
"Our team is excited to be part of this program and to get these new coats and outerwear into the hands of those who need them as soon as possible. These products will improve the quality of life for tens of thousands of people in need," stated Arctix President Sheik Shakoor.
"Too many Americans are spending nights on the streets and in shelters as we head into this winter season. Zeldin Cares is proud to partner with Arctix to implement the Dakota Project and make sure that individuals and families in need are able to stay warm in comfortable outerwear. This historic distribution of millions of dollars' worth of apparel is just the beginning. I look forward to strengthening this partnership to continue our mission to help underserved communities," stated Lee Zeldin, Chairman of Zeldin Cares.
"The people we see living on the street are human beings who deserve our help and compassion," said Bruderman. "They deserve to be treated with dignity. A brand new coat or set of gloves can keep them warm and warm their heart. It can have a tremendous impact. It can save lives."