The Second Mile Center, a thrift store selling discount goods ranging from clothing to furniture, has been a Walnut Hill fixture for approximately 30 years.
The store, unrelated to the controversial Jerry Sandusky charity, hires ex-convicts, former drug addicts, the homeless and other local residents who may have difficulty finding employment otherwise.
“They try to give people a second opportunity in life, and well, they did that for me. It’s been very beneficial,” employee Jafar Thornton-Bey said.
Ronald Lucas, the associate director of The Second Mile Center, said the center is a “non-profit, Christian mission that exists to help people with life controlling problems.”
Aside from providing employment to those who need it, The Second Mile Center is a community-based organization and focuses heavily on connecting with the Walnut Hill neighborhood.
“We try to service the community, we try to hire people from the community, we try to be a part of the community here,” Lucas said. “We have events here at the Second Mile Center where the public and the community is always invited…We are a reflection of this community.”
“It’s like one big family,” employee Tracy Burch said. “Everybody gets along; there’s a lot of love here.”