Open from April, Prague’s newest thrift store Transfer Station (Přestupní stanice) stocks a well-curated selection of vintage dresses and funky tees, stylishly displayed in a way that’s more boutique than bargain-basement sale.
But you’ll find no blasé sales clerks here. Transfer Station, located in the Czech capital’s Žižkov district (Chelčického 17) temporarily employs Prague’s homeless population, helping them return to the labor market and society.
According to the Labor Ministry, 70,000 homeless people live in the Czech Republic, 10,000 of them in Prague.
The most common reasons for losing their homes are debts, alcoholism, and unemployment. A recently conducted survey found that about a third of people who live in the streets work, but usually on a short-term basis and for very little money.
Transfer Station founder Eva Dudová, a social worker with years of experience advocating for the city’s homeless population, realized that a job and return to a “normal” life is what homeless people frequently desire most.
The project is supported by the Bez Domova foundation which opened a restaurant, Kuchařek bez domova, staffed by homeless and in-transition employees, earlier this year.
In addition to selling clothes, books, and accessories, Transfer Station will function as a community center for regular public discussions, film screenings, and readings.
Read more about Transfer Station employee Václav (pictured above), here.