September 25, 2013 - 2:26 PM
KAMLOOPS - Today is a better day for the New Life Mission.
Outreach Centre manager Terry Butcher is confident power will be restored to Thrift City today, allowing restoration to begin following a recent bout of damages to the non-profit property.
"Really none of the restoration or cleanup (can be done) until the power can get back on," he says. "We're in a bit of a pickle right now, but we're making the best we can."
Butcher is relieved to report that after a bad couple of days — Monday, a fire and Tuesday, vandalism — there was no new destruction overnight.
"It really starts to make you wonder, 'what's going on?'" Butcher says.
He says the Seymour Street office has been 'paralysed' in the last couple of days — employees unable to work, the store unable to accept donations or even phone calls. The store is under the umbrella of services provided by the New Life Mission.
"It's a vital part of our economic picture," Butcher says.
The Mission recently made the decision to sell off property and close the House of Ruth in order to realign the books.
"Not having the income for the thrift store is just one more thing we're going to have to deal with," Butcher says.
He has no timeline for the reopening of the store, saying it could still be a couple weeks by the time the store is cleaned up.
RCMP received a report for the vandalism but has no suspects according to Kamloops RCMP Cpl. Cheryl Bush. Kamloops Fire and Rescue chief fire prevention officer Dean Olstad says an investigation into the fire has been completed. He says household items left outside the building caught fire.
"Someone lit them on fire," he says. "There was no other source of ignition in the area."
Olstad says the fire is simlar to one at an adjacent building last month.
"It's suspcious in nature," he says.
Thrift City store manager Regan Wilson says the vandalism happened yesterday morning around 3 a.m. He thinks a fight broke out in front, the window a casualty. The 352 Seymour Street complex neighbouring the store was recently targeted in an RCMP raid, a known 'drug house' as described by police.
"It just seems to be the wrong neighbourhood at the wrong time," he says.
While fire and police crews work to determine what's going on at the store, Wilson is busy plotting out a solution to donations regularly dropped out back, the store has no room for during restoration efforts.
"Please just hang onto your donations," he says. "We still value those donations."
Anyone interested in donating time or money to the Mission can visit the Outreach Centre at 181 Victoria Street or call 250-372-9898.
To contact a reporter for this story, email: email@example.com, call: (250) 319-7494 or tweet: @jess__wallace.
WE REGRET TO INFORM YOU THIS STORY ONCE STATED THE HOUSE OF RUTH HAD SOLD WHEN IT HAD NOT. WE APOLOGIZE FOR THE INCONVENIENCE THIS MAY HAVE CAUSED. IT WAS CHANGED ON OCT. 11, 2013.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013