PORTLAND, Ore. — At Anniebug’s Attic thrift store on Northeast 110th and Sandy Boulevard, neighbors find a place stocked with affordable, secondhand goods. They also operate as a Pay it Forward store, meaning they give clothing free of charge to people struggling to make ends meet. But shop volunteer Caitlin Austin says lately, they’ve been dealing with their own struggles.
"We have seen a rise in the crime over in this neighborhood," explained Austin.
Theft, arson and harassment hall led to fewer customers and forced neighboring businesses to close.
"We've had someone pull a knife on my mom and the co-founder of the Pay It Forward store as well because they were trying to steal stuff out of here," said Austin.
She said reporting the incidents to police hasn’t helped, which led them to a difficult decision close down for good after almost three years on Northeast Sandy.
"Just because it’s becoming unsafe for the customers and for us," she said.
Gerod Mitchel, a customer visiting the store agreed with her assessment of the neighborhood.
"This area is getting bad," he said. "I feel bad that we’re going to lose them, but you got to do what you got to do to feel safe, everybody’s got a family."
The last day for Anniebug’s Attic thrift store will be September 15.They’re asking people to stop by if they want free clothes, or to just show support. They’re also looking for nonprofits that need donations so they can share what they have left when they close.
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