•      Homewood city officials and residents received Jimmie Hale Mission's efforts to start a thrift store in their community with open arms Monday night.

          Tony Cooper, mission executive director, received warm applause as he announced the mission's intention to locate a thrift store in Homewood.

          Michael Mazer of Mazer Discount Super Store, 816 Green Springs Highway, plans to lease the mission 33,000- square-feet in his 250,000-square-foot facility for a thrift store.

          "I was troubled when I heard the news they were turned down, and I knew I could help," Mazer said, referring to the mission's failed effort to open an upscale thrift store in Vestavia Hills.

          "We moved some things around within our complex to accommodate them and then I made the call. Tony Cooper is a wonderful guy. We hit it off right away and the rest is history."

          Last month, Vestavia Hills city officials and residents opposed the thrift store proposed for a vacant building off U.S. 31.

          "It's a completely different scenario than I encountered a few weeks ago," Cooper said. "We're excited about partnering with Mazer and about coming to Homewood. We feel we have something to add, to contribute to the community and receive a blessing by being here as well."

          Homewood Mayor Scott McBrayer said the thrift store will be a win-win situation for his city. "I think it's a good thing for Homewood," he said.

          Cooper said he expects it to take between four to six weeks to get a building permit, sign variance and business license. He estimates the store will open in 90 days.

          The Christian mission uses proceeds from sales at its thrift store to support its ministry to homeless men, women and children and those recovering from various addictions.

    Click here to see the original story on al.com.


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    by William C. Singleton III -- The Birmingham News  
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