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Another Baton Rouge thrift store is closing; this one helps formerly incarcerated women | Business

A Baton Rouge thrift store that aids formerly incarcerated women is planning on closing its doors later this year.

Connections for Life, located on Highland Road near Harding Street just north of LSU, will stay open for “a few months” as it liquidates before shutting down, said Karen Stagg, executive director of the eponymous nonprofit that runs the thrift store.

“Most assuredly, it is a bittersweet time for us because we have loved the opportunity to serve and we hope that we have made a difference,” Stagg said. “It has certainly been our intention to do so.”

Connections for Life’s thrift store is the second such store to close in Baton Rouge in about a month. Here Today Gone Tomorrow, located on Burbank Drive, went out of business in July.

Connections for Life has entered into a “collaborative agreement” with First Grace Community Alliance, which provides food, housing and other emergency needs in New Orleans. First Grace Community Alliance runs Hagar’s House, a program that helps women, children and gender non-conforming people find safe housing, among other initiatives.

As a result, Connections for Life has chosen to shutter its Baton Rouge thrift store and redirect its patrons to services provided by First Grace Community Alliance.

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The nonprofit has wrestled with the decision for months, said Stagg, who added that the last two years of the COVID-19 pandemic have been difficult.

“The important thing for us is that we be our strategic about our focus and such that women continue to be served and served well,” she said.

Connections for Life incorporated as a nonprofit in February 2000 to help women recently released from prison by offering housing and clothing assistance so they can live independently. The

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