The Vinnies shop in Alice Springs is closing and its future is unclear. Staff were told yesterday and a public announcement was made today.
Acting CEO Martha Swart says the board of the Society of St Vincent de Paul in the NT will work with an Alice Springs sub-committee to come up with a business plan for the future.
Ms Swart said only the shop is closing; the daily emergency relief program and food van will continue and Christmas hampers for the needy will be unaffected.
The reason for the shop closing is that the building requires extensive renovation. It leaks, it needs re-wiring, new air-conditioning: “We can’t have our staff and our customers working in a building like that,” she says. “It’s a valuable property but it will cost a lot to rebuild.”
It’s not clear where the money will come from. Ms Swart says the money raised by the shop goes immediately into the emergency relief program, which assists up to 120 people a month.
The possibility of the shop operating from other premises is one of the things the board and sub-committee will examine. Presumably funding of the relief program is another. – KIERAN FINNANE