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Domestic violence center marks 2nd thrift shop opening
Gateway turns second-hand goods into fresh starts
Lili Mediana of Gainesville looks through racks of clothing Thursday at the Gateway Thrift Store in Gainesville. All of the proceeds from Gateway’s thrift stores benefit the Gateway Domestic Violence Center. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

Gateway Domestic Violence Center thrift stores

Where: 1080 Dawsonville Highway and 1642 Park Hill Drive in Gainesville

When: Donations are accepted from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m, Monday through Saturday. Tax receipts are available.

Contact: The center's 24-hour crisis hotline is 1-800-334-2836 or 770-536-5680.

More information: Visit the website.


Gateway Domestic Violence Center administrators have found a way to turn second-hand goods into fresh starts for some abuse victims.

The center recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its second Gateway Thrift Store. Although the new Park Hill Drive store opened this summer, center administrators chose to postpone the ribbon-cutting until October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

"The stores are a very important part of our operations," said Jessica Butler, Gateway executive director.
"The amount of income that the stores generate varies annually, but it is my goal for them to generate 20 percent of Gateway's overall income."

The center also receives local, state and federal funding.

In addition to housing abuse victims in a non-disclosed location, Gateway offers a number of other services such as support groups and occupational therapy.

"Gateway is best known as an emergency shelter for domestic violence victims and their children," Butler said.

"In reality, most of the families who receive help at Gateway never actually live in the shelter, but instead attend support groups, classes or receive assistance in the temporary protective order process."

According to Butler, in 2009 Gateway answered more than 3,600 calls on the center's crisis hotline and assisted more than 1,315 abuse victims.

All of the merchandise sold in the thrift stores - household items, toys and clothing - have been donated, Butler said.

In addition to helping fund the center's operations, the shops also serve another important purpose for individuals who are fleeing unhealthy home situations - often with very few personal items.

"The stores allow (us) to maintain an inventory of clothing in all sizes to provide to women and children receiving help at Gateway," Butler said.

"Additionally, when families are moving out of the emergency shelter, we are sometimes able to provide them with household items and furniture."


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