Working Essentials was founded in 1996 with the mission of eliminating one of the main barriers to employment for people who are homeless. By providing items such as shampoo, soap, and haircut vouchers, Working Essentials helps people look more presentable and feel more confident, greatly increasing their ability to secure and maintain employment. Working Essentials collects, sorts, and coordinates these items for job counselors at 17 local homeless agencies. These agencies in turn distribute the items among their clients to help them prepare for the job interview process. Working Essentials is now a program of the American Friends Service Committee (www.afsc.org).