Liz Doan.

Liz Doan.

Point of View: Homer Thrift is more than a store

Many people do not realize that Homer Thrift, located on Ocean Drive, is a program of South Peninsula Haven House. Through employment security and on-the-job skills training for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, Homer Thrift is an outlet of Haven House to extend our core values of compassion, dignity and respect to the people of Homer and beyond.

Our thrift store has a pulse on the community. Homer Thrift is a place where families can be safe, children play freely, and a personal shopper can help you dress for success. We are also known amongst local families as a place that coordinates activities around holidays for children and disabled adults. During Christmas time, children can shop at no cost for their parents with free gift-wrapping. At Easter, staff and volunteers stuff and hide 900 eggs for 60-70 children and adults with disabilities, which are found in 90 seconds.

Through a voucher system we provide essential clothing to families and individuals in need and experiencing a broad range of circumstances. Teenagers living on their own, caregivers with children who are fleeing domestic violence, and assisting families who have survived a natural disaster are all situations in which Homer Thrift has provided vouchers for clothing and other essential household items.

Last year Natalie (name and identifiers have been changed) sought services at Homer Thrift. She arrived in Homer from out of state, having fled a domestic violence situation with her two young children. Natalie was brave, eager and willing to work toward a better future. She started working at Homer Thrift, was able to get an apartment and was diligent in saving for her first vehicle. Some days and weeks were difficult, but Natalie was strong; and with the help of her new support system at Homer Thrift eventually secured daycare services for her children so she could look for a full-time job in the community. Today Natalie and her children are living a safe, full life here in Homer.

Several years ago, Homer Thrift was generously gifted a truck. (The same truck that enabled us to help Natalie move into her first apartment.) This truck has transported household goods to families in need, and allowed Homer Thrift to offer pick-ups of leftover garage and estate sale items, which becomes merchandise for the store. Due to continual use, our truck is now having issues beyond repair. Our pick-up service for donations is one way we ensure having quality merchandise at Homer Thrift, and an agency vehicle also enables us to help move shelter residents when they are ready to transition into stable housing.

Homer Thrift is turning to you, our community, in hopes of obtaining a reliable four-wheel drive truck. If you or someone you know would like to donate monetarily, please call Liz at Homer Thrift 226-2027, or send to 3776 Lake Street, Homer, Alaska 99603. Please mark your donation Homer Thrift Truck.

Thank you. We look forward to continuing to serve our community.

Liz Doan has lived in Homer since 2002. She has been the Homer Thrift Manager for three years.

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