Haven of Mercy's new store already drawing stream of shoppers

Sue Guinn Legg • Jan 25, 2020 at 12:37 AM

Ten months after a fire wiped out some 60 percent of its operating revenues, the Haven of Mercy rescue ministry has opened a new thrift store location on South Roan Street.

Located in the former Doozy Truck Center building at 2230 S. Roan, the new Haven of Mercy Thrift Store has been open for two weeks ago and is already enjoying a steady stream of shoppers, even as store setup continues.

Haven of Mercy Pastor and CEO Grant Rockley said a grand opening celebration will be held in mid-February when everything in its place and priced.

Together with the smaller Haven of Mercy Thrift Shop on Quality Circle in Boones Creek and the new store to be built on Broadway Street, where a devastating fire all but wiped out the ministry’s main thrift store operation in March, Rockley said the ministry will have three store locations.

For now, the ministry has storage buildings in place at its Broadway location and is selling second-hand items in its parking lot there when weather permits.

But with 5,000 square feet of floor space at its new South Roan Street store, including a second level to dedicated to electronic equipment, a better layout than the Broadway store and the luxury of heat that the Broadway store didn’t have, Rockley said the new location “is going to make a big difference for us.”

“We lost a lot of money because of the fire. We lost a lot of income,” he said. But with plans in the works for a new store to be built on Broadway that will include a women’s and children’s shelter on its upper level, Rockley said the prospects for the ministry’s expansion are exciting.

The city recently gave final approval to a rezoning request needed for the new Broadway store, and Rockley said the ministry is working now to determine what specifications will be needed for the new building.

The next step will be the building plans, which Rockley said will be made public as soon as they are available.

Meanwhile, at the Haven’s existing shelters on West Millard Street and West Unaka Avenue, the recent cold weather has resulted in an influx of people.

“We’re full and we’re having trouble feeding those people. Our biggest needs are for meat, eggs and vegetables,” Rockley said.

Food donations may be made at the Haven of Mercy shelter and kitchen at 123 W. Millard St., or more information about how to help may be obtained by calling the Haven of Mercy at 423-929-0616.

Donations for the thrift stores can be taken to the new store at 2230 S. Roan St., or pickup can be scheduled by calling 423-767-5195.

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