Since it was founded in 2005, One Man’s Treasure has provided clothing assistance to over 14,500 men, including a record 1,477 served in 2020. With its numerous collaborative partners and expansion to Fort Worth and East Texas, we anticipate that number to increase to 1900 in 2021.
As a volunteer at a Dallas church clothes closet and with Kairos Prison Ministry at the George Beto Unit, One Man’s Treasure founder Mary Carter discovered a critical need for clothing for formerly incarcerated men. Mary gathered friends in her living room to formulate a response to this need, which resulted in the creation of One Man's Treasure's first clothes closet. Its mission was to provide men newly released from prison with clothing suitable for everyday needs, job interviews and employment. Founded in Rockwall in 2005 as a division of Freedom in Community Restorative Ministry, One Man’s Treasure received its name from one of its first clothing recipients. In 2013, One Man’s Treasure applied for and was granted its own 501c3 designation.
Working with prison chaplains and leaders of restorative justice, applications for clothing assistance are in the state’s mens prisons. The primary client is a man released after serving a long-term sentence. One Man’s Treasure also has partnerships and reciprocal agreements with organizations to clothe men that have spent time in their transition homes, graduated from job skills training programs, and/or have been part of their rehabilitation programs and ministries while incarcerated. As a secondary client, assistance is also provided to men who have been on the street, captive to drugs or alcohol, and who have entered a partnering transition home. The program is designed for clothing to be selected and gathered at the Clothes Closet according to a client’s size and needs and then delivered to the client at his place of residence by a male volunteer (called a shepherd). Shepherds also take time to visit with the clients and provide referrals and spiritual guidance during this critical time of transition. (See Program)
Even though applications are available in all state prison chaplains’ offices, it doesn’t insure that the message is conveyed to the men needing assistance. To overcome this challenge, One Man’s Treasure collaborates with over 30 prison ministries and after care agencies and 19 transition homes, as well as area churches and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Chaplaincy and Reentry and Integration Divisions who assist in identifying clients and also serves as the clothing resource for these groups. Gift and grant funding from churches, private foundations, and individual donations have allowed for expanded outreach through focus programs in areas of Dallas and partnerships with organizations that provide employment preparation for adult formerly incarcerated men. To meet a 49% growth rate in 2012, One Man’s Treasure relocated to its third and largest location to allow housing of all clothing and administrative operations in one location.