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Big vision for Next to New
Used-clothing store reopens in Ingamo Hall

Samantha Stokell
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, September 29, 2011

Inuvik's only used-clothing store has found a new home in Ingamo Hall and the new organizers have a new vision for the program.

NNSL photo/graphic

Ingamo Hall executive director Susan Ross stands in the new Next to New used clothing store, now located in Ingamo Hall. It is now a partnership with the IRC, GTC and ECE and will be open Wednesday to Sunday. - Samantha Stokell/NNSL photo

The store was originally a part of the now-defunct Inuvik Works and provided a place where people using Inuvik Works could find job experience. Next to New will now operate out of Ingamo Hall, located in the back corner of the main hall area, with all profits funnelling back into the building to help with utility costs.

While the store opened during the summer and gave away its stock for free, it needed a permanent location to operate. It will now fill a gap in the community.

"Look at all the people transferring here for school or with new jobs," said Susan Ross, executive director of Ingamo Hall. "They don't have all the necessary items for kids or themselves and they can get it here for a discount."

Ross has plans of having not just the store, but also a flea market on weekends and lunches.

Ross hopes the other programs offered in Ingamo Hall, such as the youth program and Healthy Babies, will bring customers to the store.

Next to New, which will be renamed in a contest, will have three employees paid by the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, the Gwich'in Tribal Council and the GNWT Department of Education, Culture and Employment.

While looking to solve the Next to New/Inuvik Works issue, the IRC approached Ingamo Hall to take it over since it's an ideal location with all the different programs. The IRC had run Next to New during the summer months with funding through its summer student program.

As the summer and funding ended, the IRC realized it couldn't run both the new Inuvik Training Centre and the store and so handed the store over to Ingamo Hall. The move also allowed the IRC to benefit other communities in the Beaufort Delta.

"We reduced a lot of the stock by filling a large Sea-Can and barged it to Paulatuk. It was like Christmas for the town," said Candace Morgan, chief human resources manager for the IRC. "Then we had a truckload go to Fort McPherson and Tsiigehtchic."

As for Inuvik Works, it will be reinvented as the Inuvik Training Centre and be located in the old Inuvik Works building on Berger. The IRC, GTC and ECE will work together to provide an employment training centre for all Inuvik residents. The organizations and the Town of Inuvik will be discussing a lease this week.

Next to New will be open Wednesdays to Sundays, from 3 to 7 p.m., with drop-off times during the week from 1 to 7 p.m. The store mostly needs clothes that have already been washed, although it will accept household items, and books, among other things.

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