The Salvation Army will close its last remaining Treasure Valley thrift store on Friday, but an adjoining food bank will stay open.
The Salvation Army, an evangelical ministry and charitable group, decided to close the store at 4308 W. State St. in Boise because it can no longer make money selling second-hand and other clothing and items that are donated but not sold by the store, said Major Robert Lloyd, corps officer. Those items were shipped to foreign countries.
“There was a period when the recycle market was very strong, and it made sense to operate thrift stores,” Lloyd said Thursday in a phone interview. “Over the last couple of years, the recycle market has declined dramatically. We’re not getting nearly as much as we used to get. We’re having to pay more and more dump fees” to send the items to the Ada County Landfill.
Also, “There’s been a rather dramatic increase in the number of local thrift stores over the past three years,” Lloyd said.
The Treasure Valley thrift-store market is dominated by the Idaho Youth Ranch, which has 15 retail outlets from Ontario, Oregon, to Mountain Home. Several other charities, including Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, St. Vincent de Paul and the Assistance League of Boise, and business people operate thrift stores in the area.
The Salvation Army Boise Corps, which serves Ada County, is focusing its energy on its new Boise Corps Community Center going up at 9492 W. Emerald St., Lloyd said. That center will provide clothing, food, education and counseling to people in need, he said.
The center also will become the new home of the Marian Pritchett Schoool for teen parents that the Salvation Army has been operating in partnership with the Boise School District at the 98-year-old Booth Home building at 1617 N. 24th St. A developer has purchased the Booth Home campus and plans to turn the main building into condominiums and to subdivide the campus for single-family houses.
The food pantry next to the State Street thrift store will move to the new Emerald Street center, Lloyd said — but not until the end of September, by which the Salvation Army hopes to have received a certificate of occupancy from the city.
Other social services offered on State Street, including help for paying utility bills, will stay open for now and will move at the same time the food pantry does.
“I share my appreciation to the Treasure Valley for their support to build this new 50,000-square-foot facility to serve Boise and Meridian,” Lloyd said.