WASHINGTON, DC—In a grand opening Monday, Washington became home to the first Homeless Depot, one link in a nationwide chain of warehouse-style stores that will supply the nation’s estimated 350,000 homeless people with all of their street-lifestyle essentials.
“There are 14,000 homeless people in D.C. alone, but there’s never been a retail business that catered to their unique needs,” store manager Geoff Alberts said. “Homeless Depot is a one-stop spot for cardboard building supplies, used carpet scraps, filthy woolen blankets, and flattened garbage-can lids. We also sell coffee cups, cigarette butts, soiled clothing, expired coupons, June 2001 People magazines, and half-empty containers of Dippity-Do hairstyling gel. Best of all, we have really nice, big, sturdy shopping carts.”
“The liquor department features more than 40 types of fortified wine, 30 different malt beverages, and a full selection of budget-priced liquors, including Old Thompson Whiskey and McCormick Vodka,” Alberts said, gesturing to racks stretching up to the store’s two-story ceiling. “We’re able to offer alcoholics their favorite brands at prices up to 15 percent lower than those at convenience stores.”