Rockford, Illinois News

Thrift store planned for vacant Rural Street grocery store

ROCKFORD — A local nonprofit is in the process of purchasing a vacant grocery store and opening a thrift shop.

Faith-based Carpenter’s Place plans to open a “Thrift Plus” store at 1715 Rural St., the site of a Schnucks supermarket until 2014. Before Schnucks, it was a Kroger store. Before Kroger, it was part of  the local Hilander chain of markets.

Carpenter’s Place Executive Director Kay Larrick said the thrift store will include a free book section and a clothing section for those who need professional attire for job interviews. It will also serve a conduit to connect people with employment programs.

“I like the idea of using that space and using those items in the store to help people rebuild their lives,” Larrick told 13 WREX. “We’re really eager to get the input of the neighborhood.”

Carpenter’s Place operates a homeless day center at 1149 Railroad Ave. The organization also offers case management, support and education groups, employment training and a housing program.

Since Schnucks vacated the Rural Street store, the  property has been the center of numerous efforts to bring a supermarket back to the neighborhood. Friday’s announcement is the first have a concrete plan.

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