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Safety. Options. Hope. - How Thrift Stores Help Make it Happen

This month, we're digging into Someplace Safe's Thrift Stores. While many of us appreciate a fun find at a great price, our stores have proven to be so much more through the last twelve years of their existence.

Prior to opening the stores, clients accessed much needed items through connections with local residents who had items, utilizing donations stored at local community outreach offices, or through very limited funds that Someplace Safe was able to help provide. While hundreds of individuals were helped annually across the region, the need was greater.

Opened in Alexandria, MN, in 2010, Someplace Safe's first Thrift Store came to fruition to provide much needed clothing and household items to clients while also helping to provide sustainable funding for the agency. The original location was in a 3-level historic building in downtown Alexandria, complete with a year-round Christmas room and entire third level with nothing but clothing. Community members, organizations and businesses embraced the idea of having a physical location that could help to provide much needed items to victims and survivors in their local communities. Generous donations of funds, items and volunteer hours were crucial in the beginning, and remain so today. The store has since moved to it's current location at 690 Voyager Drive, complete with a drive around area for donors to drop off items and while staff and volunteers sort through the numerous donations received daily.

In 2013, a second store was opened in Morris, MN, to help meet the growing demand of client needs as well as community requests for a secondary location for shopping and supporting. The Morris community and University of Minnesota, Morris, campus were incredibly supportive in the initial planning stages and remained so on through store set-up and staffing in the form of service-learning, volunteers, and job training opportunities. Located at 708 Atlantic Ave, the Morris location offers a unique shopping experience, complete with fun window displays and a central downtown location convenient for not only victims and survivors in need, but local shoppers, students and supporters.

The newest thrift store opened in March of 2022 in Fergus Falls, MN, and is off to a phenomenal start. Fergus Falls is where it all began for Someplace Safe, with the organization's original emergency shelter for area victims of domestic violence opening there in 1979. While many things have changed in the more than 40 years since then, what has not waivered is the ongoing local support. As soon as it was announced that a third Someplace Safe Thrift Store would be opening, generosity poured from the community and remains strong. The store is located at 204 West Cavour.

In the last year, Someplace Safe Thrift Stores provided over $7,800 in vouchers assisting at least 221 local individuals. If you or someone you know is in need of assistance from Someplace Safe or our Thrift Stores, please reach out to your local community advocacy office for more information. We are always looking to grow our volunteer pool at each of our stores - just contact any one of them to learn more about getting involved! It is because of the generosity and support from our communities that Someplace Safe continues to be able to assist victims and survivors of crime and their families in West Central Minnesota. Thank you! We hope to see you in one of our stores soon and wish you happy shopping!

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Safety. Options. Hope. - How Thrift Stores Help Make it Happen

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