Since 1972, it's all about Refuge - Recover - and Restoration at the Ventura County Rescue Mission. Super Thrift Stores are an important ministry of the Ventura County Rescue Mission. All proceeds benefit the hungry and homeless men, women, and children.
Incorporating a Thrift Store with a Rescue Mission improves community involvement, provides jobs to those in recovery programs, low cost basic goods to those in need, and a constant stream of income for the Rescue Mission. An expansion of this project is an important part of the revitalization plan I developed.
There is no government funding. Everything comes from Ventura County donors and Thrift Store proceeds. The thrift store provide job training and offer low-cost goods to the community. 100% of the net proceeds feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, and help people become productive citizens again. Solicitation of unwanted goods from the community has met with great participation and enthusiasm. The program has been recognized by the City as part of their recycling drive.
Building On Success
The Ventura County Rescue Mission currently operates 2 Super Thrift Stores, both in previously vacant commercial buildings. I was called in to design a new facade and update the building's exterior to make in more community friendly.
My first job was to make the front doors easy to find on a large commercial building with no style. The current front door was so hard to find, the Rescue Mission had painted a huge sign on the side of the building to let folks know where the door was located.
Dollars and Sense
I usually recommend adding a Thrift Store to any Rescue Ministry expansion or remodel plan. In general, 10,000 square feet of display space can generate $650,000 net income to fund programs. It makes sense on so many levels.
Thrift Stores not only generate much needed revenue, they also provide important job training, increase community involvement and provide necessary goods at reasonable cost. I can point Rescue Ministries to sources for the planning and funding of new Thrift Stores or expansion of existing ones.
Getting Local Support
Local governments like Thrift Stores because they turn unwanted clothing, furniture, household items, even used vehicles, into sellable goods. Thrift stores help cities meet their recycling goals while keeping their dumps from filling up with piles of unwanted stuff. This goes a long way towards getting the community behind a Rescue Mission renovation project.