The Salvation Army Family Store will reopen.
At the beginning of March, the doors to the Salvation Army Family Store closed unexpectedly. Lt. Shannon Forney, with the Salvation Army said the closing was as much of a surprise to her as it was community members.
“The store closed unexpectedly and it was as much of a surprise to me as it was people in the community,” Forney said.
The store closed after its two employees quit. Forney since then said she has been looking for two, part-time employees to fill the vacancies and reopen the store.
“Applications have been available for over a month and we had over 40 applications for two, part-time positions,” she said. “We are currently narrowing down the field of applicants and conducting interviews.”
The two part-time positions are for a store manager and clerk. She plans to have the management position filled by the end of this week.
She hopes to reopen the store in the coming weeks, but asked the community to remain patient.
“We are hoping to hire staff and once they get things cleaned up and organized, we will reopen,” she said.
In the meantime, Forney is asking community members to stop dropping off donations.
She said, despite signs being posted that the store is closed things are still be left at the business.
“Please stop leaving things outside the store,” Forney said. “I have posted on Facebook, and even with the three or four signs outside the building people are still dropping things off, and sadly, not just donations, but bags of trash.”
Forney said the Chillicothe Police Department has said they will enforce the dumping ordinance, but only if they catch, or some see a person dropping items off, whether they be trash or donations.
There has also been numerous reports of people going through the bags outside of the store, and this is causing an issue, that Forney would like to have stopped as well.
“Right now, the items being dropped off do not only make the store look bad, they make the neighborhood look bad and we would really like to have the community's help in stopping this. At this point the drop-offs are causing us more issues,” Forney said. “There are only two of us on staff and we have to make time to go and clean-up the outside of store. It really is causing us more of a hassle.”
Once the store reopens donations are welcome, in accordance with previous policies.
The closing of the store has left a gap in the community, and the Salvation Army.
“We know there are people and other groups looking for items that they depended on the store for,” Forney said. “That is one reason we are hoping to get it reopened as soon as possible.”
Since the closing of the store, the funding at the Salvation Army has suffered too.
“Half of our funding comes from the proceeds of the Family Store,” Forney said. “It is hurting financially not to have it open, we have monetary donations from individuals but whatever sales we make at the store help to pay our bills and keep us going and since it temporarily closed we have been financially strapped.”
Forney said there are more changes in the future of the store as well. Though, she cannot talk about all of the changes until paperwork has been signed and the plans are final, she said in the near future she hopes there will be a new home for the store, within the Chillicothe city limits.
For now, she hopes the community will remain patient with them as they work to reopen the store.
“I know there are rumors we are closed permanently, and we are not,” she said. “Keep us in mind, we will be back up and running before long.”
Forney mentioned the organization is alway in need of volunteers to help with office work, assist in the food pantry, check in bread orders and also at the store.
For more information about volunteering contact the Salvation Army at 646-3538.