Stuart thrift store expands

House of Hope has doubled the size of its Stuart thrift store, just one year after moving the store to Federal Highway.

The thrift store, at 2525 S.E. Federal Hwy., now occupies two storefronts (starting in November 2015) in the shopping plaza with PPG Paints, just north of Southern Pig & Cattle Restaurant.

Surrounded by artwork in the expanded thrift store, volunteer Barbara Scharlau says, "Buy!"

Surrounded by artwork in the expanded thrift store, volunteer Barbara Scharlau says, “Buy!”

The new area features furniture, appliances, lamps and artwork. The original side has housewares and clothing, including an expanded children’s section.

The store is open seven days a week, with hours as follows: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Wednesday, 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Meanwhile, renovation soon will begin at the agency’s main office and service center, a 14,000-square-foot facility at the corner of Bonita Street and Dixie Highway/A1A in Golden Gate. Renovations include making the welcome center and food pantry more accessible and efficient by moving them into the space formerly occupied by the thrift store. Plans also include increasing the capacity for fresh produce and frozen meat.

Moving the thrift store from Dixie Highway to Federal Highway has brought more visibility to the agency and has increased revenue, further enhancing House of Hope’s ability to serve Martin County residents in need. Thrift store sales produce more than a third of the money that House of Hope needs to operate its services.

Founded in 1984, House of Hope now touches the lives of more than 5,000 people per month with services that include basic needs — food, clothing, furniture, financial assistance – and case management that help people build life skills for a more self-sufficient future.

In addition to its Stuart thrift store and service center, House of Hope has locations in Hobe Sound, Jensen Beach and Indiantown. Each of these locations has both a thrift store and service center.