Although the Crisis Center and its core activities have ceased to exist, the Thrift Store is still operating and still accepting donations. That word came from Crisis Center board chairwoman Peggy Melvin, who noted this week that while the outreach organization and its services aren’t available, the retail arm of the center would remain open until further notice.
“We haven’t closed yet,” Melvin stressed. “Donations of clothing, furniture and money can still be made and people can still come in to shop.”
The East Main Street shop, situated next door to the now defunct Crisis Center, is operating with a limited staff and is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
“We still have a good inventory,” Melvin stressed, pointing out that there are still plenty of clothes and furniture still available for purchase.
What’s more, she said, the Thrift Store was continuing to assist those in nursing homes and individuals referred to them through the Department of Social Services’ Foster Care program.
“We also are here to assist fire victims with clothes and furniture, too. If they’ve been burned out of their home and they come to us with a fire report, they can get clothes,” Melvin said.
While it’s not the same level of service provided when the Crisis Center’s doors were open, Melvin said at least it was something.
“Client services are no longer in operation and haven’t been since the Crisis Center closed its doors, but we have the clothes and, where we can, we will provide help.”
They are also encouraging people to come in to browse for clothing items to purchase. The prices, Melvin said, were more than reasonable.
Funds received will go to help offset the remaining Crisis Center debts.
The Crisis Center closed its doors in early June, with board members citing a succession of problems that dated back to the downturn in the economy several years back compounded by a slowing of contribution and the rise in other outreach services throughout Sampson.
The combination of things was the one-two punch that knocked the Crisis Center to its knees and forced the closing of its doors.
The board, Melvin said back in June, saw the handwriting on the wall months before they could bring themselves to admit the inevitable conclusion. “We simply had no choice. We’d run out of attempts. It simply made no sense to keep it open when all we were doing was getting further and further into debt.”
This week, Melvin couldn’t answer how long the Thrift Store would remain open, but she said she felt certain they would be there another month.
“We’re saying until further notice right now, because really that’s all we can say,” Melvin stressed.
(Editor Sherry Matthews can be reached at 910-249-4612. Follow her on Twitter @sieditor1960; follow the paper @SampsonInd.)