It began as a simple idea in discussions with those who care. How to provide more dignity for those homeless. Of course they need shelter, help in getting their lives back together. But, they need an opportunity for possible work, to find much needed clothing, and so much more. Dégagé Ministries continues to answer that need, and is doing it  with something new.

Yesterday they held their official Grand Opening of Thrift on Div, which actually has a soft opening in November. Thrift on Div is a thrift and artisan market. The store, located at 140 Division Ave South, also provides employment to participants of Dégagé’s Workforce Development Program. With hours Tuesday - Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., as well as Thursday evenings 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., this is a sincere effort to serve those in need with dignity.

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Thelma Ensink, Executive Director for Dégagé Ministries, said:

“We are thrilled to share this beautiful store with the community. Each detail in this store has been carefully tended to by people who know what it is like not to have a place to call home. It is a place where all, regardless of socioeconomic status, are welcome to participate in this unique shopping experience together, and where each sale restores hope to those experiencing homelessness and poverty in Grand Rapids.”

 

The cool thing about this store is that this is not just some shop set up with tables piled with donated clothing, or boxes filled with needed supplies. It has an exciting design laid out so that those shopping or working there would feel special, and cared for. The store even has old, repurposed pieces such as a vintage cash register, antique radio and repurposed theatre seats.

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Boutique owners from JB and Me, and Lee and Birch donated fixtures, mannequins and displays, while personal stylist Cari Wolters offered jewelry and women’s attire perfect for job interviews.

 

So what does the store have to offer? The store offers new and gently used men’s and women’s clothing, featured artisans, and renowned Paul’s Moms’ Cookies, made by women from Dégagé’s Open Door Women’s Center. All items are $10 or less!

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How does one, possible homeless or is severe economic distress pay for these items. They accept not only cash, debit and credit cards, but  accept vouchers that can be earned by the men and women served by Dégagé for performing tasks around our ministry.

“I was able to purchase a coat, hiking boots, a shirt, and new socks and underwear for someone going through a tough time with vouchers that I earned doing chores at Dégagé Ministries. This is an amazing store for the homeless and those who are not homeless,“ explained Emily, a patron of Thrift on Div and Dégagé Ministries.

 

Can you help? You sure can! You can donate new or gently used items by visiting  www.degageministries.org.

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