2 Salvation Army Stores Reopen in County

Employees told NBC 7 they are thrilled to have the stores reopen because funds made at the retailers financially support the Salvation Army's rehabilitation program

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Two Salvation Army stores in San Diego County reopened their doors Friday morning to shoppers and donors.

The thrift store was closed for months due to the coronavirus pandemic but after California granted San Diego County permission to dive into Phase 2 of its reopening plan, the Salvation Army, along with other retailers, have resumed in-store shopping with some modifications.

The Salvation Army stores in Poway and Point Loma opened at 10 a.m., but some changes were made in order to keep everyone safe.

Social distancing is mandated at the two stores, with employees placing stickers on the ground to guide shoppers where to stand in line to keep safe from one another. An employee will be at the door of each location to monitor the number of people who enter the retailers in order to keep track of the number of shoppers inside the stores at a time.

Prior to the stores’ opening, employees cleaned and dusted both locations and wiped each item for customers’ safety.

“You’ll see people wearing face masks and we’ll also ask our customers to wear face masks as well as practice social distancing, staying six feet apart,” Maj. Iva West told NBC 7.

West, who is a Center Administrator for the Salvation Army, said she is glad the stores are reopening because funds garnered from the retailers finance a rehabilitation program the thrift store offers for adults combatting addiction.

The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center is a faith-based, work-therapy program that lasts six months and helps adults maintain sobriety. One person who successfully completed the program is James Durland, who started as a part-time worker with the Salvation Army and climbed up the ranks to become regional director of operations He now oversees stores in California, Arizona and Nevada.

“The stores mainly are the financial support for our men’s and women’s program,” he said.

For that reason, he, along with West, is excited that some of the thrift stores are opening again.

“We are ready to open and we’re excited to have our customers back,” Durland said.

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