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South Side Mission Relocating One Of Its Thrift Stores To South Peoria

210922 SSM thrift store sign.jpg
South Side Mission
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The South Side Mission intends to relocate one of its thrift stores to South Peoria next summer.

Plans are underway to open a shop at 2919 W. Garden St., just a few blocks east of the mission’s main campus on Laramie St.

“We're just very excited,” said South Side Mission development manager Rich Draeger. “We had the opportunity, in looking at some of our future planning and vision, to want to bring something to the 61605; It seems unfortunately that a lot of things are leaving this area.”

Draeger said the new location will replace the thrift store on Sterling Ave., where their lease agreement will expire in June.

“We're moving it into a building that we already own,” said Draeger. “So we feel we're being better stewards of dollars there, and then those dollars can be poured into to other ministries.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to provide some job opportunities, and then also some job training through some of our other ministries that we have and that we hope to have in the future. So we just think it's kind of a win-win for those that live in the 61605 and really just living out our mission statement.”

The nonprofit operates two other thrift stores, one on War Memorial Drive and one in Morton. In a media release announcing the move, South Side Mission executive director Rev. Craig Williams said bringing a thrift store to South Peoria will have “a bigger impact” in the neighborhood.

“Shopping at our thrift stores is more than the feeling you get when you find a special piece,” said Williams. “It’s also that feeling of knowing you are helping a neighbor who may be experiencing hard times.”

Draeger said he’s optimistic there won’t be any gap between the end of the lease at Sterling and having the new store ready to open.

“We've already started talking to architects and construction folks, and the city. That's an ongoing process,” he said. “But we're hoping that because it's not erecting a new building, and just doing some remodeling and some outdoor work, that it that will be able to be accomplished by then. If not, if we need to go month by month or make other arrangements, we've already had some of those conversations as well.”

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