A new opportunity for low-cost shopping will soon be available in Paris as area nonprofit Safe-T’s thrift store is scheduled to open in the coming days.
Safe-T provides care, crisis intervention and advocacy for victims of domestic and sexual abuse in Northeast Texas, and also provides a shelter for victims of abuse. The thrift store will be open to the general public, not just Safe-T clients.
The thrift store, at 1579 Clarksville St., will open Sept. 3. It’s named Michelle’s Place in memory of a late Safe-T client who was murdered by her abuser earlier this year.
“She was staying at the shelter, but her abuser knew where she worked, and he went there and shot and killed her,” store manager Christie Barnett said. “We decided to name the store in her memory, and the family agreed to let us do that as a sign of respect.”
The money the store makes will go toward running the shelter, assisting clients in finding housing after staying at the shelter and maintaining the other Safe-T services.
The store relies on donations, as all items for sale are from donations, said Safe-T prevention education director Pam Pellett.
“We will accept donations of any items; furniture, clothes, books, toys, appliances, you name it. The only item we don’t accept is mattresses,” she said. “We solely run on donations, so we greatly appreciate any donations. And we know there are other thrift stores in Paris. We’re not in competition with anyone, we just feel like our purpose is important and want to continue helping people.”
The store accepts donations during business hours, and a drop-off bin will be placed in front of the store for donations of clothing and shoes that people can make after hours.
Barnett said the store is almost ready to be opened to the public, and only a final few tasks remain.
“We’ve worked hard in the past month, doing the electrical, painting, bringing in the shelves (and) things like that,” Barnett said. “We only have a few finishing touches left to do.”
The thrift store will be the second Safe-T store, the other located in Mount Pleasant. Pellett said it’s too soon to say if the nonprofit will expand further in the future.
“We’re still working hard to get this store open, so we can’t really say yet,” she said. “But we’re excited to open up and continue serving the people of Paris and the surrounding areas.