Non-profit center housing several organizations to help people get out of poverty

The William and Janet Strickler Nonprofit Center opens in Mt. Pleasant.

“It’s important to have a place like this so community members can have a central place to go, to hopefully meet a significant portion of their needs,” said Jill Bourland, President. of the William and Janet Strickler Nonprofit Center.

Five organizations dedicated to helping people get out of poverty set up shop at the centre.

“It’s so great to be inside the Strickler Nonprofit Center with the other agencies because we serve the same group of people,” said Julia Eigenbrood, executive director of The Care Store. “A lot of our customers struggle with transportation or gas prices.”

Clothing INC. is one of the center’s non-profit organizations. They make sure people in need have clothes and, at the same time, give them a realistic shopping experience.

“Unfortunately, clothes are one of the most expensive things. If you’re going to go without something, you’re going to go without clothes,” said Bryan Chapman, executive director of Clothing INC.

People can go to Clothing INC. every four months for items. Everything is free, but they are given a budget to respect.

“The fact that people come in and can find the things they need is really a game-changer for them,” Chapman said. “It really changes your behavior. It changes the way you are treated. It changes the way you treat people.

Another center organization is the Community Compassion Network. They have a pantry, baby pantry and nutrition club.

“I think it’s very difficult for a lot of people to ask for help,” said Peg Simon, chairman of the board of directors of Community Compassion Network. “If we make it as comfortable, warm and attractive as possible, they will come back when they need it and feel better about their choice, a very difficult choice they made to come and get food.”

The Care Store is also central.

“We have products like laundry detergent, toilet paper, women’s project products and things like that that people can’t get with their bridge card,” Eigenbrood said.

Other nonprofit organizations at the William and Janet Strickler Nonprofit Center include the AARP Foundation and the Adoption Option.

Virginia S. Braud