A loving organization that shut down last month due to increased operational costs and a reduction in financial donations plans to reopen under another roof.
People Loving People’s downtown location closed its doors in late September, leaving residents with hope that the non-profit’s board would come up with a new concept.
The building is now up for sale and the thrift store plans to rent a storefront and start to build back up with the help of its army of volunteers.
“A lot of people are getting the wrong impression, they figure we’re dead but I’m saying no we’re not,” said PLP president Leroy Pedersen.
“As far as I’m concerned were not closing, that particular store is closed but I don’t plan on having us die.”
What began in 1992 when Annalea Thompson and a group of volunteers started to collect clothing and goods to send overseas, over time grew to include distributing goods to local people in need and providing opportunity to hundreds of local volunteers, including those with barriers.
PLP’s mission was to rescue, repair and redistribute goods, like clothes, shoes, household items, computers and medical supplies to those in need – both in the community and in developing countries around the world.
Pederson said the organization will now pull back its service and concentrate on its three Rs but at a local level and will control volunteer volumes to ensure it doesn’t operate like a drop-in centre, rather than a workspace.
“We have to crawl, before we walk again,” he said. “Our restructuring is getting out of that store, which we bought and is killing us.”
The charity bought its two-storey building on Bay Avenue in 2006, knowing that it needed to raise $200,000 over the next few years to keep on a sustainable path.
“I’m going to make every attempt to keep us going,” he added. “Hopefully we can just get right back in business again.”
The thrift store will be clearing out some remaining stock at upcoming sales this Saturday and the following Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.