Donated Suit Helps Homeless Man Get Job, Turn Life Around

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People should never doubt the impact that the smallest gesture or sacrifice can have on another person. A previously homeless man from Utah is living proof of that after a suit helped him turn his life around.

Nearly a year ago, Brian Smith lost his job. After being unable to find a new job and struggling to pay his rent for a few months, Smith found himself homeless.

“Rejection after rejection,” Smith says about the process of sending out more than 180 résumés over the past 10 months. “These last 10 months, I’ve lost my faith in humanity, in God, in life.”

Smith found himself in a dark place and considering the unthinkable. However, he was determined to stick it out, and in December he found a glimmer of hope.

That hope came in the form of Utah Woolen Mills, a Salt Lake City clothing store that decided to donate suits to homeless people to help give them the confidence they need in job interviews. Starting in January, Utah Woolen Mills decided to donate one suit for every suit they sold.

“The power of that first impression,” remarks Utah Woolen Mills president B.J. Stringham about the importance of looking your best and feeling good during a job interview. “You can’t put a price on confidence.”

Smith was one of Salt Lake City’s homeless residents to receive one of the suits donated by Utah Woolen Mills. He received his suit last Saturday, wore it to a job interview on Monday, and was offered the job on Tuesday, a lightning quick turnaround all thanks to a suit.

It’s the first, but hopefully not the last, documented success story of a donated suit leading directly to a job offer. “I hope he gets everything he wants in life,” said Stringham, pleased that his store’s initiative has worked for at least one person.

“I didn’t think it would happen to me, and it did, and I owe them so much,” said Smith. “I thank them from the bottom of my heart.”

So the next time you think that a small donation or sacrifice can’t make a difference in someone’s life, think again.