The Salvation Army Thrift Store in downtown Quesnel has permanently closed. The organization hopes to fins a new location and be up and running again this fall or early 2021 at the latest. (Observer file photo)

Salvation Army Thrift Store in downtown Quesnel permanently closed

The organization hopes to find a new location in south Quesnel and reopen this fall or in early 2021

The Salvation Army Thrift Store located at 246 St Laurent Avenue in downtown Quesnel has permanently closed.

The thrift store has been closed for the past few months due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic which Major Randy Gatza, one of the pastors in charge of the Quesnel Salvation Army, says has worsened some of the ongoing issues around the viability the store.

“That exacerbated the process, we’ve been looking for awhile to find a new location but it has been hard to find anything suitable and viable in town here because it was costing us too much,” said Gatza. “We were losing a lot money, we weren’t making a lot of money and the overhead is very expensive – mainly it’s the economics, we just cant afford to be there,”

The 8000 square foot building also houses the Salvation Army sanctuary for church services which Gatza explains will now be moved to The Salvation Army’s Warrioir Song Cafe, located at 374 McLean Street, which will be unaffected by the thrift store’s closure.

“When church starts again we well be having it at the Warriors Song, we are preparing the Warriors Song to have our congregation meet in there and we are working on renovations for the Warriors Song too so that will be coming at some future time as well.”

Gatza says understands that the closure of the thrift store will be a disappointment to some and may com as a shock but he is hopeful that the thrift store will find a new home that better suites the needs of the Salvation Army as well the Quesnel community.

“It’ll be a bit of a challenge for those who are dependent upon our service there, the ideal situation would be for us to be in a more suitable and a safer location because we have been having more incidents downtown,” said Gatza. “Unfortunately we had to make the tough decision here and there is not much we could do about that at this time with the economics of whats happening.”

Gatza says while they don’t have a new location for the thrift store pinned down at this point, the plan is to be back up and running in a new spacce this fall or at the latest early in the new year.

“We are hoping by fall if not in the fall maybe sometime in the new year because once we hit our Christmas campaign we are not going to be available to make a transition,” said Gatza.

While the thrift store is closed the Salvation Army will not be accepting donations of clothing, furniture and household goods, Gatza asks that individual who wish to donate those items find a comparable organization to give them to.

“We are grateful and thankful for the past patronage we have had from the community at our stores and we regret that we had to make this decision for them and hopefully in the near future we will be able to find a more suitable location to serve them again,” said Gatza.

READ MORE: COVID-19: Quesnel Salvation Army soup kitchen switches to bagged lunches

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