Salvation Army helps students pay for back-to-school clothing

Khalfani Jones, 16, shopping at Target using a gift card from the Salvation Army
Khalfani Jones, 16, shopping at Target using a gift card from the Salvation Army Brian Watt/KPCC

On 16-year-old Khalfani Jones' back-to-school clothes list - cargo shorts, sweaters, socks and underwear. Jones, who has lived in the Westwood Transitional Village since February, is going back to school in style, thanks to the Salvation Army's back-to-school clothes program. Jones was one of 12,000 homeless kids nationwide who got an $80 gift card for clothes at Target under the program.

"Sometimes, you know, parents just don't have the money like that," says Jones. "People have to pay rent, pay bills, times are hard."

People donate clothes, but the Salvation Army program lets young people have a say in what they get.

"Some people bring stuff, but it might not be what you like," says Jones. "So, now you have a choice to get what you like, and that's great to me. I love that."

Jones has been staying at the Salvation Army's Westwood Transitional Village since February. Before that, Jones and his mother lived in Compton in a house owned by Jones' uncle.

"My uncle was the landlord, and he ended up selling the house. My mom had a little problem, a little drug problem, but she's clean now," says Jones. "I love her, I still love her. I'm happy she's going through this process and I'm happy she's getting clean."

Jones' mother is looking for work.

"She's got an interview coming up; I wish her the best of luck," he says.

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