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To Keep Services Flowing, St. Vinnie's Re-opens 2 Store Locations

Photo Courtesy of Bethany Cartledge

St. Vincent de Paul has re-opened two of their Eugene locations after in-store supplies have begun to dry up. The nonprofit says they’ve implemented a number of safety measures for customers and staff.

Director Terry McDonald says they’ve been supporting emergency respite centers for the unhoused with clothes and other items. To keep up with demand and provide for other services, they’ve found a way to open and accept donations.

“We’ve come up with a protocol that was approved of by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) for quarantining the product as it’s donated to us. We don’t touch that material, it goes into a large box, but at the end of at least 72 hours it’s available for us to then go through,” he said.

The nonprofit was able to rehire 40 furloughed employees to work at their 201 Division Avenue and 705 Seneca Road locations. McDonald says the stores have implemented safety measures to protect workers and customers.

Economic Development Director Bethany Cartledge says in addition to consulting with OSHA, they’re following guidelines set by the Oregon Health Authority, and the Centers for Disease Control.

“We wanted to make sure that we weren’t just using other stores that are open as an example, we really wanted to use the utmost caution,” Cartledge says.

This includes leaving shopping carts outside until they’re sanitized, installing a clear barrier at the checkout line to separate customers from staff, and spacing out aisles.

St. Vincent de Paul is also in need of shirts and sweatpants, and new unused underwear. These items will go directly to individuals staying at the respite centers in Eugene and Springfield.

For safety reasons, St. Vincent de Paul is not taking large furniture. But, they are accepting all other donations as long as they are bagged and boxed. Both stores are open 7 days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

© 2020 KLCC

Melorie Begay is a multimedia journalist for KLCC News. She was the Inaugural KLCC Public Radio Foundation Journalism Fellow. She has a bachelors in Multimedia Journalism from the University of New Mexico. She previously interned at KUNM public radio in Albuquerque, NM and served as a fellow for the online news publication New Mexico In Depth.