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'We have outgrown our building': Somerville Area Assistance Ministries to expand thrift store

Posted at 2:15 PM, Feb 22, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-22 15:15:39-05

SOMERVILLE, Texas — The Somerville Area Assistance Ministries is expanding its building after receiving approval from city council to build onto an adjacent back alley.

  • The Somerville Area Assistance Ministries, a local thrift store in Somerville, is experiencing an influx of donations, forcing the ministry to expand its building.
  • The shop receives about 6-10 donations each day, even when closed, according to Executive Director Ruth Cummins.
  • The expansion would allow the shop to expand into the back alley, adding about 30 feet for its donation processing room, food pantry and shopping space.


Bag after bag after bag — it's almost never ending for volunteers at Somerville Area Assistance Ministries.

“We get donations every day even when we’re closed we get donations," Executive Director Ruth Cummins said.

Now, it's becoming too overwhelming, and the thrift store is trying to expand.

“We have outgrown our building. This would be our second expansion," she said.

But expanding is harder the second time around.
"This is the alley that they'll be giving us, right here, starting at that pole," Cummins said.

“City council approved the request to have the right away closed and that took also the adjacent property owner approval,” City Manager Danny Segundo said.

Now, they just have to submit a few documents and drawings for approval.

The expansion would add about 30 feet to the store, adding space for donation processing, its food pantry and more shopping space so that they can help more weekly customers like Eugenia Powell-Smith who doesn't know what she'd do without it.

“When I was down and really needing stuff, they was able to assist me even though, you know, I work but we all fall short sometime, and they were able to assist me when I was at my lowest point,“ Powell-Smith said.

And so, they can help themselves.

“It would mean to me a better place for my volunteers to volunteer and work at, but for the community, it would give us an opportunity to put out more items for them to purchase," Cummins said.