Pass It On opens at new location

Community Counseling Services Clay County Administrator John Mclendon and Director of Intellectual Developmental Disabilities Lori Latham address the crowd at the grand opening of Pass It On’s new location on West Main Street on Thursday (Photo by Ryan Phillips, SDN)

Pass It On officially opened at its new location on West Main Street Thursday and plans to offer more than just the typical consignment shop experience.

Community leaders and employees browsed the wide selection of clothes and knick knacks at the store opening, which ranged from color coffee mugs and Christmas decorations, to antique musical instruments. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was also held by the Growth Alliance to commemorate the occasion.

At the center of the new thrift store positioned next to Save-A-Lot is an innovative concept developed by Community Counseling Services, which is geared toward providing transferrable job skills to those with disabilities and addiction problems.

Lori Latham, director of intellectual developmental disabilities with Community Counseling, told the Daily Times Leader the concept was developed through the vision of Jackie Edwards, executive director of Community Counseling Services.

“This will be run by an individual who is clinically trained to be able to work with people with disabilities and get the best optimal care while they’re also here to learn those skills that they need to be successful out in the community on their next job,” Latham said,

Edwards said Community Counseling Services did not initially want to move Pass It On from its former location on Main Street, but was approached by the county, which had a need for increased courtroom space.

“It’s what we feel like provides jobs for our clients and that is just part of the service we provide,” Edwards said. “When somebody can succeed, it just means a much greater rate for success.”

Latham said those with mental illness, development disabilities or alcohol and drug problems will be able to come to Pass It On and work in the community, making the location much more than a simple consignment shop.

“These donations we receive are put out on a floor through a process of the donation center,” Latham said. “People going through those things make sure they are appropriate then we also have staff there that are working with the individuals to teach transferrable skills to be able to use out on the next job they look for out in the community.”

Latham then said Community Counseling Services helps those working in the store to find the job they would want out in the community.

“These transferable skills will make them go a long way with helping them build a resume and training staff here,” Latham said.

Community Counseling Services Clay County Administrator John Mclendon told the Daily Times Leader the organization is excited to have the new location open.

“We provide therapeutic services, psychiatric services, and case management services,” he said. “We really try to help support the community and make sure everybody has a chance to live a nice quality of life, so we’re glad to have Pass it On here.”