With community’s help, police collect jeans for shelter

Jean Drive

UIC Police officers deliver more than 100 pairs of donated jeans to the Pacific Garden Mission Friday. (Photo: Jenny Fontaine)

UIC Police officers presented more than 100 pairs of jeans and other clothing items to the Pacific Garden Mission Friday after hosting a donation drive in December and early January.

The clothing will benefit men at the homeless shelter on the Near West Side, addressing a shortage of clothing at the facility.

UIC Police officers met with the Pacific Garden Mission last year and asked how they could help. The Policing and Community Engagement (PACE) unit led the donation drive.

“The first thing they said was, ‘Get us some jeans,’” said Todd Edwards, lieutenant of support services for UIC Police. “I knew we could do it, but we couldn’t do it without a community effort.”

The Pacific Garden Mission provides temporary living spaces, resources and other services to hundreds of people facing a variety of hardships. Adult men make up about 90 percent of the population served by the mission.

“We wanted to bring awareness to the needs of this community, and we accomplished getting the word out there,” Edwards said.

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