From left., Anagqus Dorn, Althea Taylor, Darla Broughton, Kathy Gonzales and Cassie Contreras work for the Safe Harbor Secondhand Store which is located on California Street. Courtesy of Shay Kelley

A local thrift store will start the new year with a new name and new look and a renewed sense of purpose.

Second Hand Rose now officially Safe Harbor Secondhand Store has for years offered gently used clothing, household goods, books and toys from its location on California Street.

The name change more closely associates the store with its mission. While much about the store has changed this year, for one of the employees it’s a sweet reunion of sorts.

“I remember back for years, getting dressed up and coming in from Datil to shop here,” says Anagqus Dorn, whose name means “Bright Star” in Cherokee. She and Cassie Contreras join longtime volunteer Althea Taylor to work the store, now open six days a week 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Operated by Puerto Segura/Safe Harbor, the store functions both as a fundraiser and as an extension of the services the day shelter offers clients.

“Through the thrift store, Puerto Seguro can provide additional assistance in the form of free baby toys for children, free durable medical equipment, and vouchers,” Shay Kelley, PSI/ Safe Harbor board president said. “The proceeds from Safe Harbor Secondhand Store supports the mission of the day shelter, offsetting the costs of groceries, hygiene products, socks and other essentials for the people we serve.

“The voucher program,” she continued, “allows Puerto Seguro to assist people who may need a suit to wear to a wedding or a funeral, a nice button-up shirt to wear to a job interview, work boots for their first day of employment, or a mattress for their newly acquired housing.”

The voucher program allows the day shelter to concentrate on the many services they provide, including laundry service and showers, while still providing those extra essential items, Kelley noted. “We experienced several shut downs this year due to COVID19, but rather than be disappointed, we saw it as an opportunity to complete some long-needed projects. New paint, and a deep, thorough cleaning was completed during the most recent pause in operations, and we were thrilled to open up with a renewed space and sense of purpose,” Kelley added.

Shelter director Kathy Gonzales and assistant Darla Broughton run both programs.

“They’ve got a great eye for organization, and they want to see the thrift store succeed because it means greater assistance for the people they serve,” Kelley said.

A grand re-opening is planned for the first of the year, literally: The opening on Friday, Jan. 1, 2021 will include prizes and specials.

“We’ll have all the staff here and as many volunteers as we can to celebrate,” Kelley said.

Meanwhile, Safe Harbor Secondhand Store is brightly painted, clean and organized. Customers are remarking on the openness, said Althea, who said she especially likes the new library corner. Althea has worked the store for years and continues to work mornings; another regular helper customers will see is Casimira (Cassie) who now works afternoons and Saturday mornings.

Socorroans may have met Dorn in another position as a local server or knew her when she lived here previously. Now she’s glad to be back in Socorro, enjoying the reunions and the small town welcome.

“Anagqus is fantastic at customer service,” remarked Kelley. “We are excited to have her on board, and she will be handling our online sales in the future as we expand our internet presence.”

Safe Harbor Secondhand Store accepts donations although they are not taking clothing currently. The collection of items available at Safe Harbor Secondhand Store is constantly changing as new donations are processed.

“We regularly have furniture, electronics, kitchen supplies and appliances, glassware, pottery, holiday decorations, games, sporting equipment, CDs and DVDs, an entire little library of books, vinyl records, jewelry, and of course clothing, shoes, and accessories,” Kelley said.

The store at 107 N. California St is open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Questions? Call 575-835-2090.

Gwen Roath | Guest Writer