Photo courtesy of the Lampes, who are shown with building owner Nenette Corotto
Linda and Patrick Lampe, who run the My Father’s House and Hollister Community Center ministry that takes in homeless residents, will start a new thrift operation at the former Pat’s Place store in downtown Hollister.
The Lampes will open the new thrift store at the 101 Fifth St. location and will call the new shop the Worth Saving Mercantile & Thrift Store. The Community FoodBank ran the Pat’s Place store and took in proceeds from the sales, but announced in early April it would close.
The Lampes have been running Hollister Community Outreach/My Father’s House since the fall of 2015 at 910 Monterey St. That happened after the Lampes ran a street ministry in previous years.
Linda Lampe in an interview Thursday, after announcing the thrift store news, said the two prefer to call the My Father’s House center a “launch pad” and not a homeless center. They take in residents in need, provide showers and food, and try their best to put them in the right direction.
She said the thrift shop will sell clothes but also some other household items.
“When we help them to get find what they know what their worth is, then I tell them there’s no stopping them,” Lampe said.
She said they have helped up to 146 people get off the streets permanently and into long-term recovery. Lampe said My Father’s House takes in 75-90 people per week and provides 20-30 showers daily. She estimated there are more than 600 homeless residents in San Benito County.
“We have a lot of people that are not homeless yet,” Lampe said. “They are in need of food. They’re in need of encouragement, all different kinds of help.”
She and her husband hope to open the new thrift store by mid-July or early August. It is meant to help the organization financially, as she and her husband currently provide the majority of funding, which she called unsustainable.
Lampe said she’d had a thrift store in mind even before Pat’s Place opened nearly a decade ago.
“I really admire what she did and I wanted to carry on that legacy, too,” Lampe said.
While offering some household items, another change is that the Lampes said they’ll set up the shop more like a department store.
Before that happens, though, Lampe said they want to paint the store and take on other labor like putting in shelving. She said they plan to invite local artists to the store to help paint the inside. They may invite artists for a “paint day” at the store and hope to get help with other labor inside as well.
“I truly want the store to belong to everybody,” she said.
Additionally, the 23 volunteers from Pat’s Place have shown interest in helping out at the new store as well, and the Lampes will be meeting them Friday.
She also mentioned how Pat’s Place was a valuable resource for back-to-school clothing, one reason she wants the new store to open by August, and that the Lampes plan to reach out to local churches to bless mothers and children in need one day a week.
She had kind words for local other agencies and particularly mentioned the local hospital. Lampe said she’s probably visiting the hospital more than anyone else.
“I see the love and the care and the professionalism that the hospital gives,” she said.