Growing up in the community you develop friendships, acquaintances and sisterhoods with folks who, even if you don’t see often, you cheer for their success and are elated that they are making a difference wherever they go. One such individual is Peter Ibarra (aka Snowflake – but more on that later). We started our nightlife journey around the same time and his happy spirit is infectious. Running into him at any local establishment is always a treat, but I was very excited when he told me he was in training for a new position with a company that is finally opening its doors in San Diego!
AHF (AIDS Health Foundation) previously located on 4th Avenue is moving to be a part of a relationship like no other in town. AHF and Out of the Closet are opening their doors at 3580 5th Ave, San Diego 92014 (just one block south from The Loft). The newly renovated two-story building will be home of the Out of the Closet resale shop on the first floor where folks will be able to buy secondhand goods and brand-new items with a percentage of each purchase helping with AIDS services. On the second level AHF will provide free and private HIV testing, care, and a specialized pharmacy all in one spot.
We sat down with Peter and talked more about the grand opening and all the exciting things that Out of the Closet and AHF are bringing to town.
Tell our readers a little about yourself. Where are you from and how long you been in the community?
I’m originally from EL Paso TX. San Diego has been home now for 20 years and Hillcrest is where I Live, Laugh and Love!
Will your alter ego and drag persona Snowflake come out to be a part of the Out of the Closet experience?
Absolutely! Snowflake is gearing up to not only continue performing at some of our local bars and clubs but also bring about partnerships between them and Out of the Closet! I want to fundraise, educate, and bring attention to the needs of our community. Be on the lookout for some of our affinity groups and any events they have planned to participate in!
For folks who have never been to an Out of the Closet shop, can you expand on what the mission of the organization is all about?
We are not just a thrift store, but also more of a means for our community to give back while shopping and finding great items for themselves. When you shop at Out of the Closet, 96 cents of every dollar collected goes directly to fund AHF HIV/AIDS programs and their new housing services, as well as an onsite pharmacy and free HIV testing! I mean REALLY How GREAT is that!!
What can folks find when they shop at Out of the Closet?
Our community will be amazed at what they will find in our Out of the Closet shop! From apparel to jewelry, furniture, books, music, and home decor, there is really nothing you won’t find. And because we are based out of Los Angeles you can expect to find many NEW items at crazy low prices!
What makes the experience at Out of the Closet unique, especially with having AHF right above the shop?
It really is a one stop shopping experience. Not only can you shop, but you can also pick up your prescriptions at our pharmacy and visit our Wellness Center. It’s such a beautiful space and who wouldn’t want to, again, give back to our community by shopping and getting their prescriptions here!
If people want to donate, how can they do so?
Donations are received in the rear of the building. Our hours for donations are Mon. – Sat. 10AM – 7PM and Sun. 10AM – 6PM. When you visit our donation site you will see pink bins where you can place your items. And if you wish we can give you a receipt for your tax purposes. You will also see a sign that will point out some items that can’t be donated. Now if you have large items you wish to donate you can call (800) 558-8220 to schedule a free pick up.
Any fun news you want our readers to know?
I can’t wait for all to visit the first Out of the Closet San Diego store and pharmacy! We have an awesome rewards program and will continue to offer more perks to our community. We currently have a giveaway for a Vespa that you can check out at the entrance of our store! To enter to win all you have to do is visit our Wellness Center upstairs and take a free HIV test. And remember 96 cents of your dollars spent here goes directly to provide services and support to our community. See YOU soon!!