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Thrift shopping for a good cause

Proceeds from Salvation Army Family Store help those struggling ‘get a new lease on life’

Shopping for a worthy cause, that benefits others, can be very rewarding.

The Salvation Army Family Store is located near Crossroads Center in St. Cloud. It offers a wide selection of items for sale. Money raised at the thrift shop is used to benefit those in need. Photo by Cathy Nelson

When a shopper combs through the aisles for a bargain, or that one-of-a-kind item at The Salvation Army Family Store, or they are dropping off donations, they are supporting a worthy cause. They’re helping people who face difficult challenges to feel hopeful, as they work toward changing and rebuilding their lives.

The thrift stores are the only source of funding for the Adult Rehabilitation Center, located in Minneapolis, which provides services to men struggling with addiction. The Salvation Army does not receive any government funding or funds from United Way, and participants do not need medical insurance and will not be turned away due to lack of income. All of the proceeds from the thrift stores go to the Adult Rehabilitation Center program to provide alcohol and drug addiction recovery services.

The Salvation Army Family Store is located at 55 Park Avenue South, near Crossroads Center, in St. Cloud (formerly the Hoye Home Furnishing store). Photo by Cathy Nelson

“When people shop or donate at one of The Salvation Army Family Stores, they are giving someone a new lease on life,” said Michel Wong, marketing director at The Salvation Army. “They are helping people who have lost their way in life get back to becoming productive members of society by providing hope and opportunity. I always say we are the best kept secret in town.”

The Salvation Army Minneapolis Adult Rehabilitation Center is a long-term residential rehabilitation program, providing services in the areas of alcohol and drug addiction recovery on a pay-as-you-can basis. Up to 130 men can be served at any given time, with completion after six to 12 months. “Many people aren’t aware we exist, which is a shame because many people need help and don’t know where to turn, or many people don’t have the money or medical insurance to seek help. You won’t be turned away if you don’t have an income or medical insurance,” Wong explained. She emphasized the importance of getting the word out. Help is available at the Adult Rehabilitation Center. “Whether it’s for yourself, a friend or family member, you can call 612-332-5855 for help.”

The center is open to men throughout Minnesota and beyond and is one of 120 Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Centers in the U.S. It has been operating in the Twin Cities for nearly 100 years. The men receive education, counseling and spiritual support at night. By day, they perform volunteer “work therapy” for 40 hours per week.

Some men work in the thrift stores and learn retail work. Others might work in the kitchen, learning to cook, or a call center, learning customer service skills. “Work therapy helps establish a strong work ethic, and it’s important that the men have marketable job skills to find employment once they complete the program,” said Wong.

Evenings are filled with spiritual and self-improvement classes, 12-step programs, Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings and counseling with professional staff. The schedule includes some leisure time, and there are occasional camping trips and outings to a Twins’ or Vikings’ game. “Everyone has to have some joy and happiness in their lives,” said Wong.

The Salvation Army Home Store in St. Cloud carries a wide selection including clothing, shoes, household goods, books, artwork, exercise equipment, toys, jewelry, furniture and more. Photos by Cathy Nelson

It’s easy to support The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center by shopping in their thrift stores and dropping off donations of clothing and gently-used merchandise.

The Salvation Army Family Store in St. Cloud is located at 55 Park Ave. South, near Crossroads Center, in the building that used to be the home of Hoye Home Furnishings. The large store is filled with racks of clothing, shoes, household goods, books, toys, furniture, jewelry, and many unique items. The store is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Although the store is closed on Sundays, the donation center is open from 11a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information on the Adult Rehabilitation Center program, call 612-332-5855 or visit their website at

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