Seconds on the Avenue…True To Emergency Closet Roots


The Council of Community Services has been offering an emergency closet and community thrift store since 1981.  While the store may have changed hands, names, and locations over the years, it remains committed to our shared mission of providing diverse, supportive services to those in need.

Seconds on the Avenue, located at 203 South Gillette Avenue, has come from humble beginnings.  In 1981 Carter Mining donated a mobile home which was re-purposed into an emergency closet offering clothing. With the People Project (a local Christian Ministry organization) just finding their footing in the community, both CCS and members of the People Project saw the emergency closet as a good fit with the People Project.  The People Project operated the emergency closet from 1981 until 2004 when the People Project merged with the Council of Community Services.

Transitioned into a community thrift store

Along the way, the emergency closet transitioned into a community thrift store offering gently used items at a discount.  In 2016, the emergency closet and thrift store moved to Gillette Avenue under the name Seconds on the Avenue.

Seconds on the Avenue operates primarily as a thrift store but remains true to its emergency closet roots by supporting the low-income community.  Seconds on the Avenue offers support to the needy in many ways.  Revenue generated at Seconds, made possible by generous community donations, first goes back into the store to pay employees and maintain the building, but any surplus revenue goes to the Council of Community Services to support programs.  Not only does Seconds on the Avenue provide support to the other 9 programs CCS offers, but the store is committed to making sure people have what they need even if they typically couldn’t afford it.

Vouchers for those in need

Year-round Seconds on the Avenue offers vouchers to people in need.  Vouchers can be used to receive clothing, household items, and even furniture at no cost. In 2018 Seconds on the Avenue has provided 1,874 vouchers with 57% of those vouchers for clothing.  While vouchers are available to anyone, Seconds works closely with our housing programs and emergency shelter to ensure basic needs are met.  The store offers more than vouchers though.

Easing the burden

During fiscally trying times for families, like back to school and the holidays, Seconds on the Avenue finds ways to ease those burdens.  In August the store gave away 70 backpacks filled with school supplies to families in need.  This was made possible by generous donations and many school supply drives around the community.  For the holidays, Seconds on the Avenue has heavily discounted gift options and creates a special shop, with a twist, for the kids.  Children can receive a coupon to shop for gifts their parents would enjoy.  This allows children to experience the joy only giving a gift can bring, without the financial worry.

While Seconds on the Avenue’s focus is helping people in need, it has grown into a great resource for the community as a whole.  Seconds on the Avenue has an incredible selection and wide variety of items at great prices.  It is also a wonderful place to donate used items knowing they go on to help people in need.  So, the next time you are trying to find a unique home décor piece or are looking to do some spring cleaning, keep Seconds on the Avenue in mind.

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