Sharon Dumas was living on the street when she met the Brogan family about five years ago through a Whalley church.
â€œI was living on the streets for about three years, under a stairway,â€ she said.
Five years later, sheâ€™s kicked her addiction and looks forward to the future.
Thatâ€™s why sheâ€™s elated to be helping set up a new Langley thrift shop that will help other women and their children.
The Battered and Abused Women and Children Thrift Shop opens today (July 2) on 56th Avenue and 205th Street (the former McFrugalâ€™s discount store site).
Dumas has lived at the Brogans farm for women and children for about three years where she loves tending the animals, helps at the Brogan Family Deli and their Kalma Family Restaurant beside thrift shop, and looks forward to helping others through the Brogansâ€™ various efforts.
â€œI was a taker all my life,â€ said Dumas, who dreamed of becoming a pastor in her youth.
Now her grown children and father are back in her life, and she wants others to know they can change their lives.
The thrift shop will have volunteer staffing so the funds can be devoted to helping the women and children, as the family has done for years.
Mike Brogan owns Kalma Family Restaurant ,and has spent several decades in the restaurant and hospitality industry.
His daughter Shannon Brogan and her husband, Keith Smythe, recently opened a deli beside Kalma. The deli is part of an operation that includes a seven-acre ranch and farm where abused women and children live.
â€œItâ€™s not a recovery house,â€ said Dumas. â€œItâ€™s a community.â€
A portion of the profits from the restaurant and deli support the project and now so will proceeds of the thrift shop.
The new shop accepts donations of clean, gently used household goods, furniture and clothing.
Shannon noted that if people need something and cannot afford to pay, the store will help them.
She grew up in restaurants and said Kalma is there to provide affordable family dining.
â€œWe want to reach the people that donâ€™t have a lot,â€ she said.
The restaurant will often provide a little something for those who canâ€™t afford food.
The new thrift store, which will expand in the near future to almost 20,000 square feet, will be open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The Brogans plan to have a grand opening for the deli and thrift store in late July.