Shelby thrift store must move, money supports men's ministry - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Shelby thrift store must move, money supports men's ministry

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SHELBY, NC (WBTV) -

A popular Cleveland County thrift store must close its doors and find another location. 

Crossroads Rescue Mission operates its nonprofit men's shelter and recovery program with money raised from a thrift store it opened eight years ago in an old Lowe's Home Improvement building on South Post Road in Shelby.

"Oh we love this place," said shopper Joanne DeVoe. "We find everything here."

Lowe's has paid the rent on the 70,000 square foot space for years, in support of the Rescue Mission, which helps about 250 men a year to conquer drug and alcohol addictions through a Bible-based program.

Now, the company that owns the building plans to develop the property. That means the thrift store has to go.

Since about 60 percent of the funds needed to operate the shelter come from thrift store sales, Crossroads needs to find a new store location quickly. The lease expires in February.

According to Crossroads executive director Rocky Shelton, Lowe's doesn't have any other spaces it's leasing that are close enough for the mission to use them.

That means Shelton is keeping an eye out for a new space to lease. He says even though the mission has been blessed with a huge building for the past eight years, he's willing to downsize to a smaller location, around 30,000 square feet. He's praying someone can donate the space or offer it at a low cost.

Crossroads houses about 45 men at a time and helps them recover from a variety of addictions. Shelton is a former alcohol and drug addict himself, who served prison time for robbing a drug store. While in prison, his wife brought him a Bible.

"She said, 'You've tried everything else,'" said Shelton. "How about trying the Lord?"

He took the Bible, asked Jesus to save him, and has never looked back.

"I've never been the same," said Shelton.

The shelter he started is full of similar stories. Alex Portice is 20 years old. He tried drugs as a teen, thinking he wouldn't get addicted. He quickly found out he was wrong.

Taking pills and over-the-counter cough syrup landed him in the hospital multiple times.

"My mom didn't find out until she was holding my hand in the emergency room, begging me to stop shaking," said Portice.

He lived in Michigan at the time. His pastor told him about a men's ministry down in Shelby, North Carolina that might be able to help.

"My pastor recommended coming here, and it's changed my life," said Portice.

He's been living at the shelter since June. He says he knows God in a way he didn't before. He's studying the Bible and learning what it takes to conquer his addiction.

Portice hopes someone will come through for Crossroads, an organization that has helped so many men get their lives back.

"I'll be able to leave here and start in college again and get my life going, instead of where it was going," said Portice.

If you can help Crossroads find a new space, contact the mission at 704-484-8770. The shelter is located at 206 Mount Sinai Church Road in Shelby. Shelton says he's willing to look at properties in Shelby, Gastonia, and as far away as Charlotte.

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