The Issue

Accepting a new job is nearly impossible for someone who doesn't have the required work items needed to show up on their first day.

Finding employment while experiencing homelessness is stressful to say the least. On the first day of work, new employees are expected to show up on time and outfitted in the required uniform, wearing proper footwear and with tools or other required work items in hand.

What We Do

We outfit homeless workers with the items they need to start a new job

We help remove obstacles that often prevent workers from being able to take a new job. By providing work clothes, work shoes, tools and a bus pass, our clients feel prepared and equipped for their new position. We believe gainful employment is a key factor in helping homeless individuals get out of their homeless situation.

Dressed and Ready

Clients are confident when they show up on the first day of work outfitted in work-wear and work shoes that are appropriate and required for their new jobs.

Tools For The Job

Tools for trade professions are often mandatory in these fields; without them skilled workers like barbers, construction workers and cooks cannot get back into higher paying jobs.

Transportation Assistance

Dependable transportation is critical for maintaining employment. By providing a monthly bus pass, clients have a reliable way to get to work.

Professional Trade Licenses and Union Due Fees

We help cover test and license fees so that clients can return to work in the higher-paying fields in which they have been trained.


We ensure every client leaves our offices with reusable masks that are durable and washable.

That time of the year has arrived!

Our annual spring celebration has arrived and we are thrilled to be able to invite you back in person to celebrate the lives of our clients, the hard work of our staff, and all of our incredible supporters that allow us to do this invaluable work. Together, we will enjoy lunch catered by AMI while hearing the inspirational stories of our clients.


Here are a few individuals who have gotten back to work because of Small Sums

Make a Difference Today

Homelessness is not something we can tackle alone. We need your support.


Your  donation helps get a homeless client to their first and next paycheck, and into stable living.

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Meet Our Clients

MEET Dijon

Dijon has been experiencing housing instability for 18 months now. After a rough divorce that left him having to start over again, he is moving forward and staying motivated. His biggest motivation right now is his beloved son who he gets to have regular visits with.

He starts two jobs this week, one with USPS and the other with a printing manufacturer that makes Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh cards. He’s looking forward to these opportunities and came to us for help with work items. We outfitted him with steel-toe boots, socks and a bus pass.

Dijon is hopeful. His spirits are high and he is more than ready to move forward. “Every day I tell myself to not give up.”


UPS package handlers' starting pay is $22/hour. Greg was really glad he was able to find work there. Benefits are great and he hears that UPS is a great company to work for.

But. Steel toe boots are required and Greg couldn't go to his first day of work without them. We outfitted him with the boots, some work clothes,  socks, and a jacket. He was also able to stock up on some groceries from our food shelf.

Greg's next move is finding stable housing so that he can continue to build a better bond with his son. He has dreams of going back to school and also obtaining a driver's license.

He is staying the course and keeping his eye on the prize. "I'm doing what I've gotta do, until I am able to do what I want to do."


Nova came into Small Sums hoping to receive help with transportation to and from work. She has been staying at a youth shelter in Minneapolis called Rita’s House and says that it is a good transitional place. Nova had recently started work at Lush Cosmetics and loves her job so far, especially when she gets some free products! She has been homeless for about three months and says the biggest challenge has been waiting to get paid and struggling with food during those in-between periods.  She was so happy to see our fully stocked food shelf, so along with a bag full of groceries, she also got a bus pass and jacket. When asked for a word that gives her hope, Nova said that each day she remembers the importance of simply “caring”. She looks forward to having her own place soon and feels that goal is attainable now that she has a good job.