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South Side Mission breaks ground on new thrift store

 South Side Mission Board of Directors President Sherry Cannon speaks at the groundbreaking of their third thrift store location on Garden Street
Isabela Nieto
South Side Mission Board of Directors President Sherry Cannon speaks at the groundbreaking of the agency's third thrift store on Garden Street.

South Side Mission broke ground Monday on a new thrift store on Garden Street in an expansion of services for residents in the 61605 zip code area.

South Side Mission has contracted with a minority owned architectural firm, IDG+, as well as a female and minority owned general contractor, AFE Construction.

Sherry Cannon, president of the board of directors for South Side Mission, said the selection of these contracts was intentional and important because 90% of the people they serve are people of color.

“We want our young people to be able to see people that look like them in leadership doing things like this, because it's always about our children. It's always about them being able to believe and see that there are opportunities,” she said at the groundbreaking. “And if you can see it, you can believe it.”

The South Side Mission provides a variety of services for the community, including other thrift stores, a culinary school, and a youth department that provides after-school tutoring, dance and music lessons, and mentoring groups. The organization also provides holiday meals to those in need.

Cannon said equality, equity, and justice are essential in planning projects that support a community. “I think with us demonstrating that today in the use of who we're using on this project is just another sample of what is needed in Peoria,” she said.

This location in particular will provide retail and management job opportunities, as well as extend the mission's training programs that will allow the agency to transfer people between their headquarters on Laramie Street and the new location.

This thrift store will be the third location, with the other two on War Memorial Drive in Peoria and Main Street in Morton.

Isabela Nieto is a student reporting intern at WCBU. Isabela is also a student at Bradley University in Peoria.