March 4th, 2024

Shoppers, supporters ‘upset’ by sudden closure of The Post

By Brendan Miller on November 30, 2023.

Starla Bailey and Natasha Morgan say they are shocked by the sudden closure of the The Post Thrift Store operated by the Canadian Mental Health Association - Alberta Southeast Region.--NEWS PHOTO BRENDAN MILLER

“It’s upsetting, I mean I love shopping here,” says Starla Bailey, a regular customer of The Post Thrift Store as she read a “permanently closed” sign now posted on the front door.

“This is a place where you can have $20 and walk out with bags of stuff,” adds Bailey.

The Post has served the community since 1979 when the Canadian Mental Health Association opened a second-hand store for the purpose of charitable fundraising, and was run solely by volunteers and one manager.

Merchandise and goods sold at The Post were brought in by individual donations, garage- and estate-sale leftovers and excess from local stores.

A variety of items including homeware, purses, books, clothing, electronics, appliances and furniture could be found at the thrift store.

But today, more than 40 years later, dozens of costumers expressed disappointment because The Post’s doors are closed for good.

“It’s affordable and it’s decent quality at second hand. It’s affordable for everybody right now,” said Natasha Morgan, who had planned to do some shopping at The Post. “You get to find unique stuff, different stuff that you cant find in regular stores.”

Bailey told the News she enjoyed shopping at The Post because she knew her money was supporting people living with mental illness.

“That’s why you want to come to The Post because in the end it’s helping people,” said Bailey.

Another regular customer and donor, Eugene Ast, says his wife is living with dementia and shared his concerns about the store’s sudden closure with the News.

“I heard on the radio this morning they were closed permanently, what are they going to do now for mental health? That’s my question,” said Ast.

The News reached out for comment to the Canadian Mental Health Association – Alberta Southeast Region board, which operates The Post.

The News was told an update would be provided today, however its provincial body cites ‘financial pressures’ that led to closure.

Intern CEO Mara Grunau with Canadian Mental Health Association – Alberta Division, provided the News with the following statement:

“We are all deeply saddened by this closure. CMHA-Alberta Division has been informed by the CMHA-Alberta Southeast Region Board that they have made the difficult decision to cease operations effective immediately due to financial pressures” states Grunau.

“Providing community mental health-care programs and services, including suicide prevention support, in Medicine Hat and throughout Alberta is a priority to CMHA-Alberta Division. We are dedicated to ensuring the ongoing delivery of effective programming in Medicine Hat. CMHA-Alberta Division will be working with local partners and other CMHA regions as part of this process to determine the best path forward.”

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