SAFE Resale Store Moving - Brevard NC

 

SAFE's resale store is moving to South Broad Street in Brevard. (Times photo by Derek McKissock)

In January, SAFE's Attic resale shop will move to a new location on South Broad Street in Brevard.

The uncertainty about the future of the shop's current site on North Broad Street is the main cause for the move, according to Salley Stepp, SAFE's executive director.

The nonprofit, which was incorporated in 1985, serves victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

The shop's current site is part of the ongoing civil case involving the will and trust of the late Charles Pickelsimer Jr.

The uncertainty, Stepp said, forced the nonprofit to "take our destiny into our own hands."

The recent discussions between the City of Brevard and the county about possibly building a parking deck were another factor, Stepp said.

In early November, a space formerly occupied by a bedding business beside Grover's Office Supply became available and SAFE jumped at the opportunity.

The new 5,200-square-foot location is another bonus over the current 3,800-square-foot site.

The larger space will allow for a better "process center," Stepp said.

At the current site, donations sometimes mount up, because of the lack of space, before they can be put on the shelves for sale.

The move's downside, Stepp said, will be the separation of the resale shop from SAFE's administration office, which will remain, for now, on North Broad behind the shop's current site.

The office is also located on property involved in the Pickelsimer civil suit.

The proximity of the two buildings, Stepp said, allowed those seeking SAFE's services to discreetly park in the resale shop's parking lot and go to the office.

SAFE's other resale shop in downtown, Attic Interiors, will remain at its East Main Street site, Stepp said. It's another location that is part of the Pickelsimer estate.

"(Pickelsimer) was a very good friend of SAFE. I can't say that enough," Stepp said. "He believed in what we did. He was a huge supporter."

Stepp said Pickelsimer could have charged SAFE a lot more for rent.

"We will always be eternally gratefully to the Pickelsimer family," she said.

SAFE opened its resale shop in 2004 at the current site and its office in 2010.

SAFE's Attic generates about 54 percent, or more than $300,000 a year, toward SAFE's annual income, Stepp said.

SAFE relies on lots of volunteers, particularly at the resale shops, and has about 24 paid staff, most of whom are part time.

SAFE operates a shelter in town - Stacy's House - named in honor of former Executive Director Roberta Hallinen's daughter, who died at the hands of her abuser when she was 24 years old.

On average every year, SAFE helps about 368 women. The vast majority are from Transylvania County.

SAFE doesn't just provide shelter for woman. It also provides programs for the alleged abusers, Stepp said.

"Our goal is to stop the violence," she said.

SAFE is also involved in the courtroom, helping with protection orders and other related matters. It also provides counseling and support to women who end up in hospital because of abuse.

These services are provided free of charge to the women. Those who take part in abuse prevention classes are charged, but Stepp said SAFE is hoping to eventually make those classes free sometime in the future. The programs are designed to help men and women become better parents

"We want to be able to help people to solve these issues within their own home," Stepp said.

Another program SAFE provides is in the school system.

All sixth and ninth graders are taught about how to have "healthy relationships."

Stepp doesn't believe Transylvania County has a greater issue with abuse than other counties, but SAFE does worry about reaching the smaller communities in the county, such as Balsam Grove, because of their distances from Brevard.

Part of SAFE's strategic plan, Stepp said, is to reach out more to these communities.

For the new location, SAFE wants to make it look not so much like a thrift store, though it will continue to have the same types of merchandize.

The new store, Stepp said, will have more "messaging," so people who shop there will know what their money is supporting.

Stepp said the current store will close the first or second week of January and the move should be completed before Feb. 1.

 
 

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