Check this Out: The Brown Elephant

Do some resale shopping and help uninsured people living in Chicago? Sounds like a great idea to me, but where can you do this, you ask? At a place called the Brown Elephant.

The Brown Elephant is a resale shop run by the Howard Brown Institute, a Chicago Institute that works primarily with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender communities in the Chicago area to obtain health care and access wellness programs through clinical, educational, social service, and research activities. The Brown Elephant is one of the many ways that Howard Brown raises funds for its organizations, these shops proving to be quite successful and providing assistance for more than 50% of their uninsured clients.

The Brown Elephant currently has several locations:

3651 N Halsted
11:00 AM – 8:00 PM / Thursdays
11:00 AM – 6:00 PM / every other day

5404 N. Clark
11:00 AM – 8:00 PM / Thursdays
11:00 AM – 6:00 PM / every other day

1459 N Milwaukee Ave
11:00 AM – 8:00 PM / Thursdays
11:00 AM – 6:00 PM / every other day

217 Harrison Street
Oak Park. IL
Hours – 12:00 PM – 7:00 PM / Monday – Friday
11:00 AM – 6:00 PM / Saturday – Sunday

The Brown Elephant is generally pretty packed with great stuff, especially if you are trying to outfit your new apartment, get a few household necessities, or fill in some of the blanks in your wardrobe (I just scored an awesome cashmere scarf for $3!!). It is also great because the Brown Elephant accepts donations and you can schedule to have them pick up your unwanted junk. To find out about what they do/do not accept as well as who to contact for donations visit:

If you’re interested, you can also volunteer your time at the Brown Elephant or other Howard Brown events. To find out more, visit

Make any great finds? Tell us about them!

One thought on “Check this Out: The Brown Elephant

  1. McKenzie

    My boyfriend and I (MAPH ’05ers) can attest to the wonders of the Brown Elephant. Almost every piece of furniture we own came from the Milwaukee location. Post-MAPH loans are a lot more manageable when you can find a decent couch for your new apartment for only $75. Thanks, Linda, for letting the MAPH community know about this great place.

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