Dressed For Success

South Sacramento clothes closet wins Lowe’s grant

By Jessica Laskey
March 2022

“If you need it, we’re here to serve.”

This is the motto of Brent Sorlien, lead pastor of Southpointe Christian Center on Stockton Boulevard. Southpointe has served the South Sacramento community since the 1950s—it will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2025—and recently received some help of its own.

Last summer, Southpointe was chosen from approximately 2,200 entries to receive a Lowe’s 100 Hometowns grant as part of the home improvement retailer’s centennial. The grant allowed Southpointe to update its clothes closet, which serves hundreds of people each week along with its on-campus food closet. The home improvement chain provided materials and labor.

“The closet was housed in a converted two-car garage with no windows or doors,” says Sorlien, who came to Southpointe in 2016 to serve with his wife and assistant pastor, Jacki. “The team never complained, but winning this grant has enabled us to move into a clean, new, larger space with a washer and dryer onsite to clean donations and a dedicated space to wash, dry, fold and stage clothes, with a separate space for the closet itself.”

The person overseeing all that washing, drying, folding and staging is volunteer Tabitha Sabido, who has run the closet for 10 years since taking over from her mother, Leea Rodriguez. Sabido says the new building and upgrades to the existing space “will help us be more organized so the process of accepting donations and helping clients come through will be faster and easier.”

While the initial plan was to entirely remodel the current space, Southpointe discovered it would cost nearly twice the grant budget, so they worked with Lowe’s to scale back to a two-stage model. A kit was used to build a permanent shed to serve as the closet. The old building is now used as a washing and storage area.

The new plan provides a better environment for clients and staff, and attracts new clients. The closet’s previous location was tucked behind the food pantry, which meant the 100-plus homeless and low-income families who visit the pantry each week may not have even known the closet exists. The new building is more visible and accessible.

The clothes closet and food pantry are open the first four Mondays each month from 7:30–10 a.m., staffed by volunteers. The food pantry provides dairy, paper and non-perishables donated by the Sacramento Food Bank, Food Source, Foods Co., Target and Costco, plus members of the Southpointe family. The clothes closet offers seasonally appropriate clothing, from casual to job attire. Donations come from the community.

Clients don’t need to be church members or residents of the Southpointe area. As Sorlien puts it, “We have an open-handed policy. We don’t proselytize. If you need food or clothes, we’re here to help you.”

Southpointe Christian Center is located at 7520 Stockton Blvd. For information, visit southpointecc.net.

Jessica Laskey can be reached at jessrlaskey@gmail.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @insidesacramento.

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