Who we are

Second Chances delivers free, empowering clothing to more than 600 homeless and low-income people in Cambridge, Somerville, and adjacent communities each year, working in partnership with 21+ local homelessness and social service organizations. We also provide more than 3,000 pairs of new socks and underwear to people in need in our community and recycle and reuse 300,000+ pounds of clothing, shoes, and accessories each year.

Mission statement

Second Chances puts donated clothing to work for our community, diverting clothing, shoes, and accessories from local landfills while helping our neighbors in need take their first steps toward brighter futures.


Second Chances began its work in 2003, and incorporated and received its 501(c)(3) nonprofit designation in March 2005. Our service area includes Cambridge and Somerville, Massachusetts and adjacent communities.

Second Chances is the only program providing free clothing, shoes, accessories, and gift cards to hundreds of homeless and lower-income Somerville and Cambridge residents annually while keeping more than 300,000 pounds of textiles a year out of landfills. Second Chances collects donations of clothing, shoes, and accessories at clothing drives and outdoor donation bins. We partner with local shelters and service providers to support and sustain their clients through challenging times.

How is Second Chances different?

When you donate to Second Chances, your donations benefit folks in our local community, which includes Cambridge and Somerville, Massachusetts, and several immediately adjacent cities and towns. We even recycle and reuse textiles that can't be used by clients locally.

Second Chances' clothing donation program is unique in the way we work almost invisibly through existing service providers. CASPAR/BayCove, Cambridge Health Alliance, Cambridge Housing Authority, On The Rise, Respond, Somerville Cambridge Elder Services, Somerville Homeless Coalition, Somerville Housing Authority, Transition House, and Vinfen are some of our most consistent partners, and we add new providers to our network every year. By partnering with local housing, shelter, and service providers, we make their clients' already difficult lives a little easier by delivering the clothing they need where and when they need it.

Second Chances is also unique in serving all ages and gender expressions, and for providing clothing for a full range of activities and styles.

Donations to Second Chances

A successful clothing drive means a full van! These donations are headed to our warehouse for sorting, hanging, and storage so that we can pick out great outfits when they're needed by our clients.

Gentle Giant voluteers

Gentle Giant has moved our clothing donation bins pro bono several times over the years. We are so grateful for their help and commitment to our community.