Since the beginning of March, the Salvation Army Thrift Store in Chillicothe has been closed.

Since the beginning of March, the Salvation Army Thrift Store in Chillicothe has been closed.

In the Constitution-Tribune’s April 25 edition Cpt. Shannon Forney said the closing was a surprise to her.

“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. On Wednesday, Forney said she has two people in the process of being hired. However, lengthy hiring processes through the Salvation Army’s main office in St. Louis have slowed that process down.

“The hiring process is much longer than we anticipated,” she said. “We are working with the office and the new employees as diligently as possible to get the process completed.”

Despite several Facebook posts and a story in the Constitution-Tribune, some people continue to drop off donated items at the Thrift Store.

“We do have signs up asking people to please not leave donations,” Forney said. “However, it is still happening. Items are still being dropped off by the front doors and the back alley is cluttered.”

This not only causes an issue for Salvation Army staff, who drive by almost daily and work to remove any items left, but also for the city.

“This is a beautiful city and we want to make sure we are doing our part to support the city and neighboorhood,” she said. “The piled-up donations detract from all of the hard work of so many. We want to continue to have a good relationship with the city and our neighbors, and want to make sure everything we can do to support that is happening. We are just asking for no donations at this time.

Forney suggested that anyoen wanting to donate specifically to the Salvation Army to hold onto their items. There are also several other organizations in town that accept donations. Those include the Community Resource Center, helping hands, along with the yellow donation bins in front of the Sliced Bread Market.

“Once items are left, if they are damaged in any way we have to throw them away, and no one wants that,” Forney said.

The problem with dropped off donations at the Salvation Army Thrift Store is two-fold. After items are dropped off there have been numerous reports of residents going through the items.

“This is considered stealing, but law enforcement cannot do anything unless a person is actually caught going through things and taking them,” Forney said.

In a Facebook post, she addressed the issue and encouraged city residents to take down license plate numbers and get descriptions of anyone they saw taking items from in front of the store or the back alley and report it to the Salvation Army.

“If you see anyone leaving items or stealing items from our property, please send us pictures, videos, license plate numbers or anything you capture so that we can turn it in to the police and those violating our policy can be dealt with accordingly,’ she said,

As staff works to get the Thrift Store open, they are also working hard on the store’s new location, which will be on Elm Street, just around the corner from its current location at 606 Jackson St. The new store location will also house the social services center and food pantry operated by the Salvation Army. Their current location for social services, the food pantry and church at 621 W. Mohawk Rd., will remain open as the church only, once the sale and transition to the Elm Street location are finalized.

Forney encourages community members to watch on Facebook for updates on the re-opening of the Thrift Store on Jackson Street.

“We will post updates as we make progress,” she said. “We have quite the task ahead of us as we have to sort all of the donations in the store and get things ready to re-open, but we will re-open and appreciate everyone's patience.”