The Germantown Thrift Shop not only raises funds for the Whosoever Gospel Mission, but it provides real-life workforce-development training for men enrolled in the New Life Rehabilitation and Job Readiness program.
The thrift shop at 101 E. Chelten Ave. has acted as their stepping stone and has also made its presence known within the surrounding community through the years.
In 2011, the Germantown Thrift Shop provided thousands of pieces of used clothing to more than 1,600 people in need. More than half were children, said Heather Rice, program coordinator of the thrift shop.
The mission also reaches out to people in need referred by agencies like the Salvation Army, Germantown Avenue Crisis Ministry and state Rep. John Myers’ office. In return, the thrift shop does its best to provide people with free clothing.
The Germantown Thrift Shop sees an estimated 10 tons of clothing donated during its drop-off hours from 9:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
It also schedules about 200 pickups a week from surrounding zip codes; two of the mission’s trucks go out and bring back what has been collected.
“People need it as a presence in the community,” Rice said. “When we were gone for some time we were told that the area just got a little rougher because the foot traffic wasn’t there anymore. It has become a place where people connect.”
Jessie Fox is a student at Temple University. Philadelphia Neighborhoods, a NewsWorks content partner, is an initiative of the Temple Multimedia Urban Reporting Lab.