People continue to use the space behind Hidden Treasures Thrift Store as a de facto dumping grounds, rather than a place for donating gently used clothing and useful household goods, according to manager Jose Goedbloed.
The lot is often full of broken and unsellable items, which volunteers have to sort through and then take the junk to the dump, said Goedbloed.
She said the organization ends up bringing three or four loads of trash to the dump each week, at a cost of $30 to $40 each time.
That’s money that could be better spent supporting the store’s benefactor M2/W2 Association, a Christian organization which supports people during and after incarceration, said Goedbloed.
There are signs posted asking donors to only bring items when staff are present from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. but many people do not obey them, she said.
There is a donation box on site, which is not entirely secure, said Goedbloed, who reported seeing people fishing items out of it using makeshift tools.
She said there was a noticeable increase in items being taken and strewn about from sorting after the homeless camp on Gladys Avenue was cleared earlier this year, but she does not believe all the issues are coming from the area’s homeless population, as she has seen people in cars both take and dump from the area.
Goedblood said there is always a need at the store for gently used clothing and household items, but they do not need large furniture.