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Eagle Scout project aids needy in search of a job Two build boutique clothes closet to help individuals get proper attire for interviews

Getting a job could be getting a little easier for the poor.

A boutique clothes closet dedicated to providing financially strapped individuals with suitable attire for job interviews officially opened Friday.

The clothes closet is at the Matt Urban Hope Center, 385 Paderewski Drive, across from the old Central Terminal. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

But the facility might not have been possible if it weren't for two area Boy Scouts in search of an Eagle Scout project.

Alexander Fumerelle, 17, of Kenmore and a member of Troop 37, refurbished the women's bathroom and tiled the runway.

That's right, a runway where clothing recipients can try out the garments to see how they look.

Sam Scheiten, a North Buffalo teenager and member of Troop V, installed ceiling tiles and painted the men's bathroom and the walls on either side of the runway, which also features mirrors.

Runway construction funds were provided by the East Hill Foundation and it is known as the "East Hill Runway."

The wardrobe comes from community donations and is stored in armoires, which were assembled by the scouts.

Karen Carman, center director, says she cannot find enough good words to describe the two prospective Eagle Scouts.

"We hear so many negatives about youth today, but these two young men demonstrate leadership and strong organization and craftsmen skills. They were able to accomplish things I never imagined a teenager could do," Carman said. "We can all take a lesson from these young men."

Recipients of the clothing are allowed to keep the items, and if they get a job, they also are permitted to return to the center and pick up five more outfits.

"That gives them a week's worth of clothing," Carman said, adding that if accessories are available, "they, too, are provided and that can stretch a week's worth of clothes into two weeks."

For the chronically jobless, Carman said, this provides a boost in self-confidence.

"We're saying that for the jobless who have possibly lost hope, they will receive a new outfit and some training, mock interviews, how to shake hands, prepare a resume and how to search the Internet for jobs."

e-mail: lmichel@buffnews.com

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