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Grand opening is Thursday for Urban Thrift at its new location

READY TO OPEN — Store Manager Tiffany Beckwith stands in the furniture area of Urban Thrift and Opportunity Center that will open Thursday to the public at its new location at 236 N. Seventh St., Steubenville, in the Seventh Street Plaza owned by Urban Mission Ministries. The doors will open following an 11:30 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony. -- Janice Kiaski

STEUBENVILLE — Tiffany Beckwith is excited for two reasons.

She has a new position with Urban Mission Ministries where she has served more than three years as its community engagement director, recruiting and placing mission volunteers.

Now she’s store manager of Urban Thrift and Opportunity Center, and it’s opening Thursday in its new location at 236 N. Seventh St. next to Family Dollar in the Seventh Street Plaza, Steubenville, where she’ll be working with volunteers.

A ribbon-cutting at 11:30 a.m. there with the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce will precede the store’s official opening to the public.

The new location for Urban Thrift is a spacious one, divided into two sections, with the back area featuring a variety of donated furniture and the front providing consumer-friendly space to shop for items such as household goods; women’s, men’s and children’s clothing; shoes and purses; jewelry; kitchen ware; collectibles; and miscellaneous goods.

“All of the goodies are up front, and the furniture is in this back section,” she explained Tuesday as staff and volunteers worked there in preparation for opening day.

Urban Thrift will be closed on Sunday and Monday and open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Furniture and items can be brought to the store at the donation drop-off center behind it, not the main entrance, Beckwith noted.

“There are signs that say Urban Thrift donation center, and it goes to the back of the building,” she said. Drop-offs can happen during regular store hours.

Urban Thrift had operated at 644 Market St., Steubenville, where it opened in April 2018 at the former City Rescue Mission thrift store on the corner of Market and South Seventh streets. It and the City Rescue Mission were donated to Urban Mission Ministries by longtime owners Harry and Tracy Kellermier when they retired.

It closed at the end of March in preparation for its relocation to the plaza, owned by Urban Mission Ministries, which factors into the mission’s plans to consolidate various ministries.

The move comes with several advantages, including being handicap accessible, better parking, more space and everything’s on one floor.

“Everything’s all on one level so we’re able to transport goods from the donation drop-off center directly to the store area without having to go around the building or up steps so the one level is really a very great benefit,” she said.

Urban Thrift closed at the Market Street location in late March.

“We’ve been working here more than a year,” she said of remodeling work done. “Last year right about this time we had a JOSHUA group come in and they scraped up all of the floor tile,” she said, referring to a group from Sunbury United Methodist Church in the Columbus area.

“It was really nice because when they came back this year, they got to see the fruit of their labor because they had really kicked off the demolition of this place,” she said. “Terrence Rainbow has headed up most of the construction that took place, working all through the winter, sanding the floor, staining the floors, just about a two-person crew that included a volunteer, they sanded and painted and built walls and created this space, the storage area and sort room,” she said. “Terrence led the way for all the renovations,” she said. Rainbow is the director of the JOSHUA program.

“Then we all chipped in and painted,” Beckwith said.

“I am extremely excited,” Beckwith said of the new store. “For the first three years I’ve been with Urban Mission I have been placing the volunteers, so this gives me the opportunity to work hands on with volunteers and also with the public so I am really excited.”

In addition to Beckwith, Justice Slappy is assistant store manager. “We have a group of about 20 volunteers,” she said.

“Our underlying motto is you are welcome here,” Beckwith said. “We just want to make a welcoming space for the community to shop or come and just be here. We have coffee available, a lounge area, and we really do want to welcome the community and create that space,” she said.

All proceeds from Urban Thrift support Urban Mission programming, from its homeless shelters to its food pantry.

The phone number at Urban Thrift is (740) 282-4851.

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