‘Heavenly Treasures’ has homeless looking up
by WILLIAM WRIGHT
Sep 12, 2012 | 1948 views | 0 0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print
‘Heavenly Treasures’
Banner photo, WILLIAM WRIGHT
HEAVENLY TREASURES volunteers Charlotte Howaid, her son Steven Howaid and Larry Porter are answering the call to help feed and clothe the poor near Johnston Park in downtown Cleveland.
view slideshow (2 images)
For those who think you cannot get something for nothing or that the homeless have no help, there is a small thrift shop in downtown Cleveland that gives back to the poor without asking for anything in return.

Heavenly Treasures, which opened originally in Sweetwater, then moved to Cleveland on Harrison Pike, has found its home near the homeless of Cleveland at 260 Broad St.

While the jam-packed store offers a homeless person a full wardrobe of a shirt, pants, socks, shoes, underwear and a coat for as little as $6, Sharon Loskey, owner of the charity-friendly store, said no one in need will be turned away as long as Heavenly Treasures has what someone needs.

Although the store could still use more volunteers, it has loyal supporters in volunteers like Larry Porter, Steven Howaid and his mother Charlotte who are giving back to the community.

“For those who are homeless there is a food bank in the back. For those who have no food, we offer food. For those who have no clothes, we offer free clothing,” Steven said. “We want to help people get back on their feet financially. My mother came here the other day and bought two skirts for $2. The price tags on them were $49 a piece. For $100 worth of skirts, she paid only $2. So it’s helping out tremendously for those who are in distress with their finances.”

Loskey listed the price of every blouse and shirt in this place for men, women, boys and girls — $1 a piece. Pants are $1.50, while jeans are only $2. Prices decrease all the way down to .75 cents for a toddler. Then they become 50 cents. All suits — American Eagle, Aeropostale, Faded Glory — are only $3. All shoes for adults are $1.50. All kids’ shoes are 75 cents. Coats are $3. Jackets and sweaters are $2.”

According to Loskey and her volunteer staff, Heavenly Treasures could not be in a better location to meet the needs of the homeless in the community.

“We’ve had fire victims come in and we’ve offered free clothing and food to them,” Steven said. “But we also let them know the impression we want to leave on them. We focus our attention on the Lord Jesus Christ and what he has done for us — we do for others.”

Steven said he will personally go to the Johnston Park area where many homeless individuals wander around and let them know they are welcome to come into the newly located thrift store for needed supplies or just to associate with them and be reassured of God’s love.

“Some have come down here and even wanted to volunteer,” he said. “It’s a blessing to be able to help them.”

Foskey said she understands the plight of the homeless and helpless because it was once her own life. Living on the streets, wearing the same clothes, begging for a handout while trying not to give out, made Foskey a woman whose empathy and understanding of the homeless have proven a valuable commodity as she ministers to those in need.

“When God turned my life around and took me off the streets — delivering me from alcoholism and drug addiction — I truly began to understand about not storing up treasures on the earth where moth and rust corrupt, but to store up treasures in heaven,” she said. “All my treasure is stored in heaven.”

Now that she has made a 180 degree turn in her lifestyle, the 49-year-old charity worker is all about helping the underprivileged with a ministry focused on providing food and clothing for the needy at a cost even the homeless can afford.

“Through experiencing first-hand the pain that is out there in the world — how many people are doing without — they may look like they’ve got it together but really they don’t. I’ve been there.”

According to Foskey, 95 percent of the items in Heavenly Treasures are donated and in very good condition. She and volunteers personally inspect each item to make sure she is offering the best, explaining, “because God has given us the best He has.”

Although her thrift store may prove to be a blessing to the needy, the Athens native said there is something she needs from the community.

“I need more volunteers,” she said. “We need people who are willing to come in and give of their time to help out so I can go out and visit the churches and talk to the pastors. I am asking them if they will put a toy box or food box in the churches to collect toys and food for children. We need men’s jeans and men’s shoes. We’re desperate for those. Also, we’re asking the community to bring us sleeping bags, tents, backpacks, Coleman [camp] stoves, Coleman [outdoors] lanterns, cases of water and nonperishable canned good with the pull-top lids. I will be giving these items to the homeless starting the last of November.”

Foskey said all donations by the community help pay the rent and utilities, and also purchase food.

“Whatever is needed. It’s all going back into the ministry,” she said. “My volunteers and I just want to be used to help those in need.”

For further information, contact Sharon Foskey at 423-728-2211. Heavenly Treasures is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.