It was a chilly, windy December day in western Davenport as two workers busily sorted out clothing in a pint-sized space at 530 Vine St.

The new Humility of Mary "Fresh Start Corner Closet" has opened at the site. It's open 8 a.m. to noon weekdays, and items are for those who stay at the Humility of Mary Center, just around the corner.

The aptly named space used to house the organization's food pantry, but that has moved. The goal behind the Corner Closet is two-fold, said Christine Adams, Humility of Mary's director of services.

Humility of Mary Shelter was running behind in offering services, and there was not enough office space for the many activities.

The free clothing space is conveniently located for those who need it, Adamson said, and staff members really wanted to provide customers with a dignified way to get clothing, including coats, hats, shoes and stockings.

There is a small waiting area, and volunteers like Mona Wilkerson, Davenport, and Bill Martin, Bettendorf, work behind the scenes.

Wilkerson, who got the job through Iowa Workforce Development and the AARP organization, was busy one morning, sorting clothing by size and style.

She had a number of customer needs written down, and was trying to find items of clothing for those individuals.

Wilkerson likes to help people who need help, she said. There was plenty of clothing on hand, but Wilkerson said there is a need for basic toiletries, such as deodorant, toothpaste and feminine pads for the women.

"Whatever the people tell us they need, we try to get it," she said.

According to the Humility of Mary agency, the shelter is the only low-barrier emergency shelter in the Quad-Cities. It has 70 beds for men and women.

The Humility of Mary organization was launched in 1990 by the Congregation of the Humility of Mary, Davenport. In 2008, the sisters took over operation of the shelter, formerly run by the John Lewis Community Services, an agency that had run out of money earlier that year.

In October, Humility of Mary Housing Inc. and Humility of Mary Shelter Inc. merged services. Combined, the group's website shows the two agencies have worked to secure safe, stable housing for 5,952 adults and 2,442 children.

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