RALEIGH, N.C. — A new business, with the mission to hire adults with autism and intellectual or developmental disabilities, is opening in Raleigh.
Real-Life Thrift is a thrift store under the nonprofit Real-Life Works. Executive Director Chrystal Austin says she wants to create an inclusive environment at her business, which opens over the weekend.
“These adults are working where there is nobody there that they can talk to. There is nobody that is talking to them, so they feel very left out. And, that’s what I’m trying to create with this store — with this mission. It’s to have a place where they’ll feel comfortable, where they feel valued, where they will work at their abilities,” said Austin.
Michael Bush, who is on the autism spectrum, is volunteering his time at the store. He says he enjoys working with Austin.
“She understands people with autism,” said Bush. “We can go to her and tell her how we feel and if something is uncomfortable, she says we can do [something else] instead.”
Austin said the loads of donations they have gotten so far have helped them get to opening day.
“Opening the store and the sales from the store, goes right back into creating more positions. Getting Michael paid, getting some of his coworkers paid,” said Austin.
The store will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30 and from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 31. It is located at 5100 Lacy Avenue, Raleigh.