At long last, Newark Neighbours has a new place to call home.
After 30 years at 310 John St. E., the charity has plans to upgrade to a new, bigger location in Virgil.
“We have an aging building and we are completely out of space. We need more room for both our thrift store and food bank,” said Newark Neighbours board chair Cindy Grant.
After hoping to move for more than a year, the organization has secured space at 1534 Niagara Stone Rd. in the former Lincoln Interiors storefront and plans to begin operations there in the spring or summer.
Grant said they were looking specifically for a place that did not have any stairs, accommodated the functions of both a food bank and a thrift store, and was easily visible to the community in a central location.
A tall order but they found the perfect spot.
“When this place came along it kind of fit, it checked all the boxes.”
Newark Neighbours began leasing the new property on Jan. 1 in order to prepare the space in the upcoming months.
“Right now, it’s a big open room, so we’re going to have to design where we want walls, where we want the shelving, where we want the racks, what we want the food room shelving to look like,” she said.
The food bank and thrift shop, which began serving Niagara-on-the-Lake more than 50 years ago, will be organizing a charitable event in the coming months to help cover the one-time costs of renovating the new building.
Ongoing operating costs for the volunteer-run organization will be covered by money set aside in anticipation of the move.
“We do have a reserve fund,” said Grant. “Over the years our board has been conservative, knowing that at some point we were going to have to move.”
“We are confident that with our current revenue through our thrift store and donations that we will have enough money to fund our ongoing operation,” she said.
Until their relocation this spring or early summer, Newark Neighbours operations will continue as usual at the current site, on property owned by the Riverbend Inn.
“The Newark Neighbours Board and volunteers thank the staff and management of Riverbend Inn for being gracious and supportive neighbours for the last 30 years,” Grant said in a news release Tuesday.