The newest thrift store to open in Akron will raise money for the new homeless shelter for veterans, the Harry Donovan Jr. Valor Home.
The store, still unnamed, is located at the rear of 764 W. Market St. Its grand opening was held Saturday.
Valor Home, which opened in July, is run by Family & Community Services Inc. of Portage County. The home, at 1121 Exeter Road in Akron, currently houses 17 residents, with a capacity of 30.
The same organization also operates Freedom House, another homeless shelter for veterans in Kent.
David Peacock, therapeutic director of Valor Home, said clothing sold at the organization’s thrift shop will be used to raise money so more sites can be purchased for homeless veterans — in particular a house for female veterans.
“We want to purchase homes on the same streets to try to start a veterans’ village,” Peacock said.
Matt Slater, director of veterans services for the Kent agency, said money raised will be used “to develop permanent housing options for homeless veterans, including female veterans and veteran families.”
Freedom House in Kent does not have a thrift store, he said.
“This is unique to Summit County,” Slater said.
He said the first month of operations at Valor Home “has gone great,” but the home could always use more “volunteers, household items, toiletry items, such as razors, shaving cream, towels, deodorant etc.”
Antonio Smith, 50, an Army veteran who served in the first Gulf War, was volunteering at the store this week.
“We are trying to get the word out,” that the store is open, Smith said. “We have a lot of men’s clothes, but we are in dire need of ladies and children’s clothes.”
Nadine Lewis, 51, of Akron, also a volunteer, said she hopes sales at the store will help area veterans.
“I am hoping and praying,” she said, that people will find out about the store and “spread the word.”
American Legion Post 19 gave Valor Home money for three months of rent, and the owner of the building where the store is located donated two months of free rent as well, Peacock said.
The store is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
For more information on Valor Home, go to www.valorhome.org.
Jim Carney can be reached at 330-996-3576 or firstname.lastname@example.org.