Humane Educational Society of Chattanooga thrift store still awaiting repairs after crash

Humane Educational Society of Chattanooga thrift store still awaiting repairs after crash

December 25th, 2017 by Joan McClane in Local Regional News

Deja Nu, a thrift store run by the Humane Educational Society, is seen on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017 in Chattanooga, Tenn. A car backed into the building at the beginning of December.

Photo by C.B. Schmelter

How to help

If you would like to help the Humane Educational Society of Chattanooga to help offset the lost holiday earnings from the Deja Nu Thrift Store closure, go to www.heschatt.org.

The Humane Educational Society is still waiting for the building that housed its lucrative thrift store, Deja Nu, to be repaired after a car backed into the store front earlier this month.

The crash happened Dec. 3 after a woman, who was backing out of the Baskin-Robbins parking lot on Highway 58, reversed across six lanes of traffic and ran into the front of the thrift store.

The woman, who wasn't injured, crashed through three quarters of the building and destroyed more than $10,000 worth of products. Glass shattered everywhere, so the carpet had to be removed, said Bob Citrullo, executive director of the Humane Educational Society of Chattanooga.

It's a serious financial blow to the Humane Society, he said. Every day that the thrift store remains closed, the Humane Society loses around $500, money desperately needed for operational costs.

Deja Nu, a thrift store run by the Humane Educational Society, is seen on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017 in Chattanooga, Tenn. A car backed into the building at the beginning of December.

Deja Nu, a thrift store run by the...

Photo by C.B. Schmelter

"That money helps pay utilities and buy food for animals," Citrullo said. "Most people want to donate money for a specific animal or to the shelter. We don't get donations to keep the lights on and pay maintenance. So that money freed up operational money for the animals and for special-needs surgeries."

Marc Gentry, general manager for the riverfront location of Erwin Marine Sales, which leases the property to the Humane Society, said he was hoping to have the front of the building patched up to allow Deja Nu to reopen this week, but he is still waiting on the insurance companies to settle a few things.

Once he gets approval, Gentry said, he is ready to begin securing the front of the building. He hopes to give the building a complete facelift later in January, he said.

Gentry said Erwin Marine Sales employees are working hard to get Deja Nu up and running because they know that this time of year is financially crucial for the Humane Society.

"They are really missing out on money that could help them achieve their goals and operate," he said.

Contact staff writer Joan McClane at jmcclane@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6601.


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