Did you know that the City of Wayne is home to one of the most impressive and progressive vocational programs in the state?
The Tried and True Thrift Store on Michigan Avenue in Downtown Wayne has been under the ownership of Services To Enhance Potential (STEP) since June of 2007. STEP provides services under the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority.
STEP offers a variety of services to individuals with disabilities including daily skills building, support coordination, volunteer opportunities, supported community employment, and job development placement. The goal of STEP is to provide a full integration into community life, no matter what one’s level of ability.
The Tried & True Thrift Store, which was one of STEP’s community volunteer sites prior to 2007, is now one of their premier supported employment sites.
Tried & True is operated by individuals with a variety of disabilities. Donation pick-ups, sorting, pricing, merchandising, marketing, customer service, cashiering, and many other jobs follow a training curriculum that develops independence in the employee’s completion of these tasks. It also provides an incredibly satisfying experience to the shopping public.
Store associates, as the employees are called, are paid at greater than minimum wage, which further empowers their integration into community life. When people have money they can more readily access the wonderful variety of businesses, and services that are available in our great city. With experience, knowledge and self-confidence many move beyond the need for STEP’s supports and go into other independent community job placements.
The City of Wayne and their citizens have been great supporters of the Tried & True Thrift Store. Donations of gently used clothing, household items, sporting equipment and more come in on a daily basis. Customers have found great items at very low cost and there is a steady stream of both donations and customers.
The enterprise has been such a successful operation in so many ways, that STEP opened “Tried and True Too” in Southgate in April of 2011.
Wayne is truly a great city with so many of its citizens working to make our world a better place. Our Tried and True Thrift Store is just one more of our many reasons to be proud!
Editor’s note: Services To Enhance Potential is a non-profit organization providing supports and services to persons with disabilities and other mental health needs in Wayne County, Michigan. This editorial was submitted by their organization.