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Small Sums seeks funds to help homeless buy clothes and tools

The Twin Cities nonprofit helps homeless people who’ve found jobs buy items they need for work.

Small Sums, a Twin Cities nonprofit that buys tools, clothes and bus passes to help homeless people who’ve found a job, is raising money with a crowd-funding campaign.

The group, based in St. Paul, is seeking $29,000 through the fundraising site It runs through June 1.

Terre Thomas, Small Sums executive director, said the money raised can buy 278 sets of the things homeless people need most when starting a job: work clothes, work shoes and a bus pass.

Other needs that are often funded include certification tests and license fees, and basic construction tools.

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“Our sole purpose is to provide assistance to homeless individuals, who have found a job, with what they need to take the job,” Thomas said.

Clients are referred from organizations that help the poor and homeless.

Says the group’s web site: “Once their employment is verified, we move quickly to get them the things they need, so they are able to accept the job and start working within days of the job offer.”

In 2013, the group helped 322 people; they expect up to see up to 600 eligible applicants this year.