The HUG's Resale Shop -- benefiting a fledging group that helps homeless women and children -- will open soon in the shopping center anchored by Jewel/Osco at Arlington Heights and Golf roads in Arlington Heights.
The village board approved a variance Tuesday to allow the store to operate in the center. Under village ordinance thrift shops are not allowed in that particular type of commercial zoning.
Matt Dabrowski, village planner, told the Plan Commission at a recent meeting that he had not been able to determine the reason for the prohibition. Commissioners said perhaps this rule should be changed.
The owner of the real estate said finding tenants for vacancies in the center has been difficult, said Dabrowski.
Patricia Gaulin, operations manager for Humanity United Group, said this would be the group's first thrift store, and the staff hopes to open it within a few weeks.
HUG has not yet obtained its not-for-profit status but has received donations of money and store inventory, she told the Daily Herald Wednesday.
"In this economy there is so much need," she said. "Groups put people on waiting lists. Imagine, when people are hungry they go on waiting lists."
She estimates the organization has helped between 100 and 150 people this year with food and clothing and referrals to other resources, she said.
HUG is trying to network with other groups and with area churches, she said.
"People who were doing fine five years ago are in trouble now,' said Gaulin.