“A Sharing of Life’s Glories” – that’s what Bread & Roses is about

Our thrift store takes its name from the successful Bread and Roses strike that took place in 1912, in the textile mills of Lawrence, Massachusetts.  The striking millworkers, many of them women and children, were immigrants from over 40 countries around the world.  In the winter of 1912, mill owners cut the workers’ pay severely, believing the diverse immigrant workers would never be able to unite to organize a strike.  Wrong!  Nearly 30,000 people walked out. Some of the women carried banners, quoting a phrase from a poem, “We want bread, and roses too!”

That poem was later made into a song that expresses universal human values, not only for physical needs but also for soulful needs like “art and love and beauty.” Our co-founder, Utah Phillips, sang the song often and its message inspires our work at the shelter as well as here at the thrift store.

The thrift store provides shelter guests the opportunity for retail job training, plus they receive the benefit of free, high-quality clothing.