A ministry that helps homeless men held a grand opening event for its new thrift store Saturday.
Cumming Home Ministries, which has two homes that provide transitional housing for men who find themselves without a place to live for various reasons, opened the thrift store about a month ago.
David Allen, board chairman of the ministry, said the event drew more customers than any other day since it opened in a site off Canton Road.
“We’ve been doing between 20 and 30 sales each day and we did 80 on Saturday,” Allen said.
He added that a nearby eatery provided nachos and, “The owner said he thought he served 175 people. So, [the event] exceeded all of our expectations.”
Allen said Cumming Home Ministries began two years ago.
“We have two homes in Cumming that we currently have open for the men and the thrift store was brought in to help them both from a financial standpoint, to help with the cost of running the houses, and to also help with the opportunity for employment for men,” he said.
According to Allen, the ministry has helped about a dozen men since it began. They come from a variety of circumstances.
“Some of the men are coming out of being incarcerated in the local jail or state prison … some of them were living in tents in the woods and since the times are getting colder and they come out and need support,” he said. “Or they’re men that have been in substance abuse situations. It really goes all over the place.”
The thrift store provides a range of items for customers, including clothing and furniture.
“It’s just whatever treasures people bring us,” Allen said.
The facility is about 3,000 square feet, but Allen said about one-third of the space is used for sorting and a workshop area.
“That’s one of our goals, to provide a place where the men that have a natural ability and years of experience working with their hands to have a place to work,” he said.
The thrift store is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Donations are accepted during those hours.
Allen said employees can also pick up large item donations from donors’ homes.
“They should just call to schedule those at (678) 456-5544,” he said.