DHS to Open Thrift Store

DHS to open Cimarron County Thrift Store

What was once the home to Odd Fellows and Rebecahs, will soon house a Thrift Store managed by The Department of Human Services and employing the developmentally challenged.

According to Carol Batterman, of the Guymon DHS office, the Thrift store, at 118 North Oklahoma in Boise City should open on Dec. 13, or Dec. 20 at the latest.

“We'll have two women working there one full-time, one part-time; and then we'll have about five disabled workers,” Batterman explained.

“Pam Jones, will be the store manager and Shelia Lewis will be the part-time employee; but we have to train both of them so they can work with the disabled,” Batterman said.

“We'll be working on goals, (for the challenged employees),” she added.

“It's going together, hopefully we'll be able to have it open before Christmas.”

The DHS has similar stores in Beaver, Guymon and Edmond. The Guymon operation also has employees building surveyor's stakes, and making repairs to wooden pallets. Seaboard has a contract to purchase any pallets repaired and the stakes are sold all over the Panhandle to contractors.

Asked why the DHS had decided to open a store in Cimarron County, Batterman said, “Well because we knew there were individuals with disabilities that we were serving that had nothing to do. This (having a job) will make them feel good about themselves; also, it helps our funding.”

Asked if eventually she saw the Cimarron County facility having workers that built items like the Guymon store, Batterman replied, “It could be...if things progress. We'd like to see a recycling center, where we recycle aluminum cans. We'd like to do mowing in the communities. We do that here in Guymon, we also clean offices.”

Linda Burns, the DHS representative for Cimarron County pointed out that although the building proper is located in Boise City, the facility is planned to help the developmentally challenged from all of Cimarron County.

“Anyone in the county will be eligible to work there. They'll sell used items there and your donations of those items is a nonprofit tax deduction,” Burns said.

“There are all kinds of positives about this. The employees can learn job skills; it will provide employment, and give us, (Cimarron County) another retail outlet.”

Also, they learn other skills, fire and tornado drills...independence.”

Those who collect a check from SSI can also collect their disability and be employed,” Burns explained.

“But, to make this work, the community must be supportive,” she emphasized.

 

 

 

 

 

Boise City News
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