Keeping merchandise in order is a priority for Jill.
She’s a sales associate at the Freedom House Thrift Store on Battleground Avenue in Greensboro.
“Well we come in a little before the store opens and we kind of straighten everything out, make sure everything is in the right place,” Jill said.
Unlike the shoes and clothes on the racks, Jill said her life hasn’t always been organized.
“Well I arrived here in 2019,” Jill said. “I struggled with addiction for many years and I had unsuccessfully, many times, tried to handle it on my own and I just progressively got worse.”
Jill is now in her second year of the Freedom House Program.
Freedom House is a Christ-based two-year residential recovery program for women and their children.
Like all others in the program, working in the thrift store is part of the recovery.
“Right away you start picking up skills in customer service, merchandising, time management, technical literacy, how to be task and goal-oriented,” Jill explained.
“And they do all of this while they consistently reinforce your self-worth and teach you how important it is to work with a team.”
All items purchased go directly into the rehab program.
Executive Director Houston Core said the need for their services have increased in the past year and a half.
“A lot of people needed a lot of help from covid,” Core said.
“It’s not good for people who are dealing with addiction issues to be at home by themselves like we were, so we’ve seen a lot of calls, we’ve had a lot more people come to our program,” Core said.
As Jill begins to transition out of the program and plans a new future for her family, she hopes her story will encourage those struggling with addiction to seek help.
“I think I would be dead,” Jill said.
“I do not think that I would have made it much further, Freedom house saved my life. So, every dollar that comes into this store, is able to support, to recruit, to save lives.”
Freedom House is one of a few programs in the country that allows women to go through treatment while being housed with their children.
The two thrift stores are located on Battleground Avenue and Bridford Parkway in Greensboro.