Thrift store ministry forced to move as site to be developed

by: Sarah Rosario Updated:


SHELBY, N.C. - A thrift store in Shelby that supports a men's ministry is being forced to move. The building, leased by Lowe's, will soon be used for development.

Beyond the racks of clothes, home goods and electronics, people who buy from Crossroads Rescue Mission thrift store are helping out a greater good. Proceeds from the Cleveland County store help out a ministry for men battling drugs and addiction, but pretty soon that could change.   

The building used to be a Lowe's. When they moved the company continued to pay rent to Post Road Property in support of the Rescue Mission.  The charity had an agreement with the company to stay there for the remainder of their eight-year lease while Lowe's paid the rent. Now the building owner has plans to develop the property, which means the thrift store must go. 

Rescue Mission General Director Mel Lockhart said Post Road Property sent them a letter in May telling them they'd have to be out when the lease ended Feb. 28.  The nonprofit knew the lease was coming up, but hoped Lowe's or another company would continue to let them stay there and pay the rent for them.

Sixty percent of the money needed to operate the shelter comes from thrift store sales. The other 40 percent comes from local churches. The proceeds not only pay for its utilities, but it also helps pay for operations at Crossroads Rescue Mission including staff salaries. The Rescue Mission helps more than 250 men conquer additions each year. The Bible-based rehab program gives them a home, food and help they need.

"We save the community here locally at least a million and a half dollars a year based on services we provide for the men that normally would be paid for by the tax payers, " said Lockhart. 

They're looking for a new place to rent, and hoping a new donor will step in and lease it for them. Lockhart said they've had several calls from concerned business owners but no official offers yet.