Inmates serve the community at Club for Boys Thrift Store
Only 20 dollars in your pocket can go a long way at the thrift store that benefits the Club for Boys. It's jam-packed with pretty much everything. The constant onslaught of merchandise used to make it hard for the staff to keep up.
"Sometimes I think they'd feel like they were just overwhelmed,” said Club for Boys Executive Director Doug Herrmann. “It's just coming in so fast and furious. But now they feel like they have resources to kind of manage that."
The improved work situation is because since December of last year, the store has partnered with the department of corrections to employ inmates.
"It has I think gone very smoothly, actually,” said Thrift Store manager Jeanni Gossard. “Usually within a few days we can tell if it's going to work out or not, and if it's not then we get a replacement. But for the most part, very good."
The inmates make 25 cents an hour. Many of them work 40 hours a week and do a wide range of different jobs.
"I was pretty excited to get off the unit and put in some community service work,” said one of the inmates. “It's a good opportunity to serve."
"It's been a huge moral booster for them, being able to get out of that unit and come out and work and be able to help," said Melody Tromburg, Unit Manager for Rapid City Community Works Center.
The back-up of clothes that had accumulated is now clear and the thrift store is succeeding this in mutually beneficial program.
The inmates working at the store are from all over the state, but the majority is from the Black Hills area.