Local Thrift Stores Provide Vocational Training for Homeless

With seven stores nestled in Duluth, Marietta, Roswell and stretching to Athens and Gainesville, the Atlanta Mission Thrift Stores provide more than just a place to find household items, clothing, furniture at a low cost.

Established in 1938, Atlanta Mission opened its seventh thrift store on Pleasant Hill Road this year, which is not only a fundraising source for the city’s largest and longest-running organization that provides services to the Atlanta’s homeless population, but each store location allows the many who seek Atlanta Mission’s help build their resume and experience.

“We use the thrift stores as a way to teach vocational training to the many individuals who come to us for help,” said Jennifer Scholle, Director of Public Relations. “Through the store, they receive training in merchandising, cash management, customer relations and so much more, which helps them get a job and get back on their feet.”

In addition to helping those in the mission’s program, each thrift store extends a hand to low-income situations in its immediate community. In 2010, the thrift stores helped over 155 families secure clothing, furniture and household needs through its voucher program.

The stores are maintained with the help of volunteers who come in to sort and display donated merchandise for customers. “We count on donations to help keep these stores as a place for people to shop and get what they need at affordable cost, but we count on individuals or groups to come in and help us maintain this community resource,” added Scholle. “There are over 8,000 homeless individuals in Atlanta and we want to help them. Through our programs and thrift stores, we really aim to restore the entire individual by addressing their emotional and physical needs and that’s possible with the help of the Atlanta community.”

Last year, Atlanta Mission ended homelessness for 441 people and served more than 800,000 meals in its downtown-based shelter.

To volunteer with Atlanta Mission, contact Megan Dorris at megan.dorris@atlantamission.org

In Other News: On Nov.4, Cowlicks Yogurt and Floats donated $300 to Atlanta's Young Survival Coalition. Young Survival Coalition is dedicated to addressing critical issues unique to young women who are diagnosed with breast cancer.