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A new thrift shop is open in downtown SLO — and it helps adults with disabilities 

Bargain Boutique in San Luis Obispo will employ adults with intellectual disabilities and provide vocational training.
Bargain Boutique in San Luis Obispo will employ adults with intellectual disabilities and provide vocational training.

A new thrift store in downtown San Luis Obispo aims to help adults with disabilities.

Bargain Boutique, a higher-end, secondhand shop in support of Achievement House, Inc., opened at 553A Higuera St. in late July.

Achievement House, a San Luis Obispo County-based nonprofit that started in 1957, provides vocational training and community living to adults with intellectual disabilities. The organization has offices in Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria.

The San Luis Obispo store will have about five workers in the training program, who will be assisted by two job coaches. Once someone in the program feels comfortable with the skills they learned, a job coach helps them find a job in the community and brings in a new person to train.

“We provide ongoing job support, and help remove the barriers to employment,” said Traci Hollinger, senior regional director of Achievement House. “It allows them to have better knowledge base of retail, so they can move on to other jobs in community. We’ve had people go to Old Navy, T.J. Maxx and Target.”

While the store is being set up, only job coaches are on site, Hollinger said.The program is still looking for clients.

Achievement House has four other shops with this model on the Central Coast, including a bargain store in Morro Bay and a thrift store near Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo. There are also Achievement House thrift stores in Lompoc and Santa Maria.

The Higuera Street location is the nonprofit’s second thrift boutique, which offers more high-end donations. The other is located in Arroyo Grande.

Bargain Boutique sells clothing, jewelry, furniture and more.

There are also artworks, cards and potholders made by adults in the program available for purchase. For each art purchase, 100 percent of the proceeds go to the individual artist.

The Higuera Street store is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

For more information, visit achievementhouse.org.

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