The Salvation Army Thrift Store gets a new Hamilton Downtown location thanks to the heartfelt support of community members.
Located at 59 King Street East for 18 years in a heritage building in need of restoration, The Salvation Army Thrift Store has looked for a new location in the downtown core for over two years. With a short list of retail locations with a donation drop off area and parking, the Thrift Store faced leaving downtown and community members that need them to stay.
In stepped realty developers Core Urban Inc. who began a restoration project at 59 King Street East. “With the development they needed our store space vacant to complete the project resulting in us having to move,” says Michele Walker, Director of Retail Operations, The Salvation Army Thrift Store. “They not only gave us time to find a new location but after months of no luck joined us in the hunt for a new space.”
An ideal location was found blocks away at 250 King Street East where Core Urban made the Thrift Store’s dream to stay a reality. “When we realized The Salvation Army would have to move we wanted to do the right thing and find a solution,” says Steve Kulakowsky of Core Urban Inc. “When we found this location it was perfect, so we purchased the building with the sole intent of providing them with a new home. There is no better site for the Thrift Store’s work in this community.”
For Craig Withers, Hamilton Downtown Thrift Store Manager, continuing in this community has truly touched his heart. “In 25 years working with The Salvation Army this is the single most ‘wow’ moment, it’s a dream come true to stay, I can’t even put this feeling into words,” said Withers. “We’ve been in downtown for so long we really see the transformative effect, The Salvation Army shield means something here.”
In the last18 years, through The Salvation Army’s voucher program, over $71,000 were given to those in need to shop free of cost. There have also been countless items given away to those looking for immediate assistance. Additional funds have also been raised to support in the fight against poverty.
The new location is twice the size, has a Donor Welcome Centre and will provide employment for the larger team needed. “The Thrift Store space is really gaining traction locally and is becoming more popular among everyone. We’re happy that a whole new generation will get to know this store,” says Dave Sauve of Core Urban Inc.
The Thrift Store will remain open on 59 King Street East until its relocation with a Grand Opening celebration for the new location in mid-summer. Other locations include: 879 Upper James Street, 2500 Barton Street East and 18 – 64 Hamilton Street North.