Former Schneider-Vetter Glass Company employee Yvonne Nelson has returned to her hometown of Milwaukee after 32 years to open “DI’MANS ReSHOPPE!,” an upscale retail store to support her work in the community.
In 1999, Nelson began operating a small after-school neighborhood organization out of her home in Memphis, TN. After being laid off in November 2008 during the economic bust, from her job as an editor for the Mid-South’s major print publication, The Commercial Appeal, Nelson applied for a 501(c)3 nonprofit designation from the IRS. When it was approved in January 2009, she began operating DI’MANS, Inc. on a full-time basis using personal funds.
“The idea for the name came from my son, Douglas Jr., my daughter, Iman, and the fact that there were three of us,” said Nelson. “Everyone knew my house was somewhere they could get a nutritious snack or meal, help when needed with homework, or where they could simply find someone they could come to with any type of problem they had. I did not profess to have all the answers then and I certainly don’t have all the answers now, but we seemed to always be able to work things out on a positive note. I can’t think of one child who got in any serious trouble, including my two.”
Nelson, a graduate student of Capella University in Organization and Management with an emphasis in Leadership, is noted for her research on youth intervention and development programs. While completing her dissertation, the name of the organization was further expanded to discuss the lack of evaluated programs for youth development and the acronym was further expanded to the mean the “Developmental Intervention Model for the Assessment of Neighborhood Systems.”
“The absence of youth voice in our programs for youth intervention and development and the lack of significant program evaluation revealed that most programs designed for our youth are not as effective as we would like to believe they are,” said Nelson. “We monitor our own success through our youth’s success in life and we assist other organizations to evaluate the success of their programs as well.”
The upscale resale shop will host a soft opening on August 30 and will have its Grand Opening on Nelson’s 56th birthday August 31st. The store is located on the northeast corner of Holton at Burleigh and will be open from noon until 4:00 p.m. on every first Sunday of the month, and from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. every Tuesday through Saturday.
Nelson will be accepting donations of slightly used clothing, household goods, and just about everything else that can be sold for a few dollars She hopes to use the funding earned from sales to support several much needed programs in the Riverwest Community. Through FaceBook she has already raised enough to provide a healthy Thanksgiving dinner and some household supplies for one local family.
“DI’MANS programs will serve youth and families from all over the Milwaukee area,” said Nelson. “We don’t have a lot of space for storing furniture or vehicles, but we are not turning down any upscale item if we think there’s a chance we can resell it!”