News From Terre Haute, Indiana

April 18, 2013

Light House Mission Thrift Store reopens

Howard Greninger
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Like the radio song that’s an ode to bargain shopping, people can once again “pop some tags” at the Light House Mission’s Thrift Store on Terre Haute’s north side.

The store closed last year when the roof collapsed during a heavy September rain. After a $150,000 roof repair and renovation, the mission’s first thrift shop, at 1165 Lafayette Ave., opened for business Wednesday.

Rev. Timothy Fagg, chief executive officer of the Light House Mission, said the location, first opened in 1999, is the most popular among the mission’s five thrift shops.

“We have always done financially better here than at any other of our thrift stores,” he said.

“I think having it down as long as was, I think folks are excited and we are pleased to have it open. It is the largest store that we have,” Fagg said.

Fagg said getting the store back open “has been a long drawn out process.”  A contractor and in-house work allowed the store to reopen. Four load bearing walls were installed to help support the roof, which created sections for display areas, such as women’s and men’s clothing and household goods.

The Light House Mission has an annual budget of $1.4 million, providing living quarters to 130 guests at its 1450 Wabash Avenue facility, plus operates 56 homes and apartments, rented at 30 percent of an occupant’s income.

The mission’s thrift shops account for 20 to 22 percent of the mission’s operating budget, Fagg said. The shop sites include Clinton, Brazil, Lafayette Avenue, 7th and Hulman and one on Poplar Street, across from Stables restaurant. That had been a temporary location while the Lafayette site was repaired. However, Fagg said the mission “will keep the location open. We now have five thrift stores.”

The Lafayette building, with about 12,000 square feet, of which 8,000 square feet is for retail space and the remainder for storage, formerly housed the Apple House, then Midwest Electric Supply and prior to the Light House Mission, another thrift-type business, said Fagg, 56.

Grace Allen of Terre Haute decided to shop at thrift stores along Lafayette Avenue Wednesday “and boy did we come into a good one,” said of the Light House Mission’s store. “I have been through every rack and I am not done yet,” she said Wednesday morning while shopping.

“We didn’t know it was reopening [Wednesday], but glad it did,” Allen said.

Allen said she shops for 23 grandchildren, but on Wednesday, she found many items for herself. “It is girl day today, so it Ok,” she chuckled.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or howard.greninger@