Family Stores Thrive In Today's Economy

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Attractive Stores, New Merchandise and Great Bargains Key To Success

A new store opened in San Bernardino at the end of last year, offering men’s, women’s and children’s fashions, furniture, appliances, games and toys, books and other household goods.

In 2011, that store – The Salvation Army Family Store at 911 South E Street – enjoys a steady stream of business, as do six other Inland Empire stores in its “chain.”

It’s all for a good cause. The E Street store, along with others in San Bernardino (on Highland Avenue), Redlands, Fontana, Pomona, Hesperia and Victorville, support the work of the San Bernardino Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center. This program provides drug and alcohol rehabilitation to more than 300 men each year.

The E Street Store opened Dec. 2 with a modern design, allowing shoppers to walk easily from one section of the store to another, and giving them plenty of room to browse the merchandise, including racks of clothes. Five months later, this store still sparkles as it did on opening day.

Some of The Salvation Army’s other six stores have undergone transformations to make them attractive to 21st-century shoppers as well.

“They have a new look,” said Jack Katzman, chairman of the San Bernardino Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center’s advisory council. “They are kept tidy, and if merchandise does not sell, it is taken out to make room for new donations coming in.”

The San Bernardino Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center began transforming its older stores in about 2005, Katzman said. According to Katzman, Capt. Beau Perez, then commander of the program, had been instrumental in bringing about this change

“With the changes we made to the stores, we turned proceeds around, and we were able to keep the Adult Rehabilitation Center in San Bernardino,” Katzman said. “Once we showed we could keep our proceeds above expenses we also showed we needed to expand our services to more people.”

Since The San Bernardino Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center is a non-profit organization, it must invest all of the store’s proceeds back into the drug and alcohol program.

With the proceeds the six stores made, The Salvation Army’s first priority was to build a new residential treatment center next to its warehouse and distribution center at 363 N. Doolittle Road, San Bernardino. This 120-bed treatment center, which opened in 2009, houses 43 more men than its previous location.

“The local stores’ economic turnaround showed our leadership in the Southern California Region our program in San Bernardino had become more viable,” said Major Charles Fowler, commanding officer of the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center. “It then agreed with our recommendation to invest resources here, so that we could build the new treatment center.”

The new residential treatment center also saves The Salvation Army money. Before it was built, Adult Rehabilitation Center staff had to shuttle the residents four miles across San Bernardino twice a day to get them from their residence to the warehouse and back. Now, the men walk.

The stores, which are mostly run by employees, have continued to prosper in today’s economy, which is what allowed opening of a new store in 2010.

Katzman hopes Salvation Army Family Stores will continue to stay profitable no matter what the economy does in the future. But, since the stores acquire their merchandise only through donations, which have decreased in the last few years, he hopes an overall economic turnaround will cause people to let go of their unwanted merchandise and give it to The Salvation Army.

“Donations are very important,” he said. “Without them, we could not stay in business.”

About the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center
The Adult Rehabilitation Center is a six-month program, combining rehabilitation and work therapy for men who wish to overcome drug or alcohol addiction. These men attend Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings, receive one-on-one and group counseling, and learn about stress management, anger management, parenting and overcoming addiction. They also participate in spiritual and recreational activities they can continue after their treatment as part of a sober lifestyle.

Men in San Bernardino County or Pomona Valley who are seeking help to overcome drug or alcohol addiction should call the Adult Rehabilitation Center in San Bernardino at (909) 889-9605. The Salvation Army offers a similar program for men in Riverside County; for more information about that program, call (951) 940-5790.

Women can learn about Adult Rehabilitation Centers for them by calling the center in Anaheim at (714) 758-0414, San Diego at (619) 239-4037 or Pasadena at (626) 795-8075.

The Salvation Army is an evangelical part of the Universal Christian Church. One of the largest charitable and international service organizations in the world, The Salvation Army has been in existence since 1865 and in San Bernardino since 1887, supporting those in need without discrimination. To donate, call 1-800 SATRUCK.

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Carl Dameron

Ellen Porter
Dameron Communications
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