No place has lost a greater share of its population than Braddock, Pennsylvania. This ravaged, near-empty stretch of abandoned homes, storefronts, and building just outside of Pittsburgh was once a storied cornerstone of the industrial age. After losing 90% of its peak population, Braddock’s spirit is being tested. Free Store 15104 works to bring back that spirit of community today and every day.
What began as a project for the community of Braddock, has grown to serve all families who make their way to us. Free Store 15104 is space where everyone is welcomed, embraced and received with love. It’s a place where perfectly wonderful things not needed in one home, can find a can find a perfectly wonderful home in another.
Even our physical store itself had a life before becoming Free Store 15104. Our shipping container spent seven to nine years at sea and was headed to a landfill. Now, it’s a bright, thriving meeting place that’s helping us change individual relationships with material goods while combatting poverty through empowerment.
Our story of love, and our commitment to fostering a spirit of community in Braddock is strengthened each time someone visits our store, donates to our cause or volunteers their time.
Our work is guided by our four core beliefs:
We believe that strong communities are built on relationships based on mutual aid and cooperation.
We believe that recycling and reuse are a means to counteract excessive waste and consumption.
We believe that we can eradicate food and clothing insecurity with the resources already available in our community.
We believe that the distribution of free items can be a catalyst for change.