Carla’s Closet Partners with HISD Board President Wanda Adams to Help Homeless Students Experience Prom

ABOVE: (L to R) Lisa A. Jackson, Homeless Liaison, HISD Homeless Education Office; Carla Lane, Ilka J. Rosado, Outreach Worker, HISD Homeless Education Office; and HISD Board President Wanda Adams

This past Sunday, March 19th, Carla’s Closet, a program of This Woman’s Work, hosted a Prom Dress Drive at The Gite Gallery in collaboration with Houston Independent School District (HISD) Board President and Trustee Wanda Adams (District IX) and the HISD Homeless Education Project.

The goal of the drive was to provide 100 dresses for 100 girls. They outdid themselves, as several individuals responded to the call, and in just a two-hour timeframe, contributed over 300 dresses, over 100 pairs of shoes and purses, jewelry, eyelashes and hair that will benefit many of HISD’s homeless students.

“Houston is a city that takes care of its own, and we jumped at the chance to support Trustee Adams because we believe in doing what we can to improve the lives of women and young girls”, said Carla Lane, the founder of Carla’s Closet and This Woman’s Work, and President & CEO of Lane Staffing. “Many of these students would not have gone to prom, but because of you, now they will be able to go.”

Nearly 6,000 homeless students attend HISD schools, and just like their peers, they want to hang out with friends, participate in extracurricular activities, and attend school functions such as prom. Unfortunately, many of those students can’t attend prom because they lack the financial resources to purchase a dress and shoes. This initiative helps to alleviate many of those issues.

Trustee Adams was the catalyst behind the Prom Dress Drive, and has worked with This Woman’s Work and Carla’s Closet on other drives such as Coats for Kids which provided 80 coats to students in need at two HISD elementary campuses. The dresses, shoes and accessories that were collected this past Sunday will be given to Project Prom at their event on April 8th, where there will be motivational speakers, college and career resources and other information.

“Project Prom is an annual initiative created to meet the needs of homeless students during the prom season,” said Trustee Adams. “They work in collaboration with various agencies to provide free prom dresses, tuxedo and shoe rentals, and accessories to hundreds of homeless and at-risk high school seniors planning to attend their prom.”

As it relates to the event this past Sunday, Lane gave special thanks to Gite Gallery for providing the beautiful space; Chef DeeDee Sledge Coleman for making sure the food was perfect; all the IronWomen who came out and worked the event, and Dorita Hatchett, Fred Goodall, and Clarissa Henderson for making sure everything fell into place perfectly. Also in attendance were Ilka J. Rosado, Outreach Worker, HISD Homeless Education Office and Lisa A. Jackson, Homeless Liaison, HISD Homeless Education Office/Project S.A.F.E., who work with the HISD Homeless Education Project.

This Woman’s Work is the largest minority woman-owned employment solution in the Southwest, and is an IRS approved non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls. For more information on Carla’s Closet and This Woman’s Work, please visit their website at

If you have additional Project Prom donations feel free to contact The Homeless Education Department at 713-556-7237 or at Houston Independent School District, Homeless Education Office, Peck Elementary, 5001 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Houston, TX 77021.

Carla Lane and HISD Board President Wanda Adams team up to provide prom dresses to deserving girls

Michelle D. Farris, Assistant Principal at Madison High School; Karen Carter Richards, Publisher/CEO of Forward Times; Carla Lane, and Wanda Adams, HISD Board President

            Darian Davis, daughter of Carla Lane assists in Prom Dress Drive

                                                           Deltas show support

    Northside High School teacher, Cynthia James delivers 40 prom dresses

     Dorita Hatchett and Carla Brown were happy to lend a helping hand!