Meet Our Clients



Diana first came to Bottomless Closet in summer 2018. She was referred here through the Bowery Mission, a non-profit who had been helping Diana — a former well known New York radio DJ — who, following the loss of her radio career had become homeless.

“I didn’t just lose my job, my career — I lost my identity,” Diana says. “The hardest word for me to accept was ‘homeless’. But that’s what it was.” One of the first things Diana noticed when coming to Bottomless Closet — in addition to our ornate bathroom and cozy boutique in our then 52nd Street location — was the kindness she was greeted with here. “When you’re homeless, when you’re ‘disadvantaged’, people look at you differently, they speak to you differently,” she explains. “When I came here the first thing I was told was when you get a job, you can come back for more outfits. Not ‘if’ but ‘when.’ Bottomless Closet had confidence in me and that was the beginning of me having confidence in myself.”

And Diana was right to have confidence, because she was hired by a New York City agency in Brooklyn where she worked for 18 months until the pandemic. Because she worked for an agency who contracted out her services, Diana wasn’t eligible for any benefits and she couldn’t work remotely. She was furloughed indefinitely and as time passed with no sign of coming back to work in sight, like so many of our clients, Diana was forced to apply for unemployment. It was a difficult and lonely time — but one that was made easier by a call she received from Bottomless Closet.

“I just picked up the phone one day and it was Bottomless Closet calling to check in on me — to see if I needed anything,” she recalls smiling. “But that’s what Bottomless Closet is — they’re just always there for you, no matter what. Like family. I joined the workshops — I still love the workshops on Zoom.”

The period since then has been one of ups and downs for Diana. Determined to get back to work, she has secured a temporary administrative position but even with help from the New York City rental program, she is unable to afford to live in the five boroughs.

“New York City landlords don’t want to accept the rent supplement voucher,” she says, “especially not since COVID. I want a place to live in the city, but I need a job that pays a higher salary.”

For now, Diana is living with family in Westchester which she is grateful for, though the commute makes it challenging to balance working with job seeking and interviews as well.

In May, Diana graduated from Bottomless Closet’s Professional Development workshop series and has doubled down on her search to find a more permanent role, one where she can use her people skills and one where she can use her own experience to put out a hand to others — to help them the way others have helped her. In the meantime, she is doing what she loves again — streaming a once weekly music show.

“I feel stuck sometimes,” the sixty-one-year-old admits, when we talk about the challenges she still faces. “But coming here to Bottomless Closet reminds me of how far I’ve come and what I can do. The smiles here, the kindness — the workshops — all of it means so much to me. I find a sense of belonging here. I need to be patient, to take the next step and I know I’ll get where I need to go. When I leave Bottomless Closet, I am reminded of that. Coming here, being part of this family makes me feel motivated and hopeful.”

Bottomless Closet Donor Diana