This story first appeared on mySuburbanLife.com

By MARY BETH VERSACI

CAROL STREAM – Just a hop, skip and a jump from its previous location along North Avenue in Carol Stream, the newly reopened Jubilee Furniture is ready for business.

The used furniture store, located at 730 E. North Ave., functions as a partner of Outreach Community Ministries, an organization based in Wheaton that serves children, teens, families and seniors in the central and western portions of DuPage County.

Outside of what’s needed to keep the store operating, the rest of the store’s revenues support the organization’s services, primarily its outreach centers in Carol Stream and Wheaton and transitional housing services.

With its new building, situated on 4 ½ acres of land, Outreach Community Ministries has plans to expand by building an employment opportunity training center at the site.

“That’s probably the No. 1 reason this became the right decision: the opportunity to expand,” Outreach Community Ministries CEO Chris Ellerman said.

Although its last building – an unfinished warehouse owned by Wheaton Christian Center – was actually bigger, there wasn’t room on the property to build, and Outreach Community Ministries also needed a finished space to be able to stay open for more days, based on village of Carol Stream requirements.

Instead of just operating on Fridays and Saturdays, Jubilee Furniture is now open Thursdays, as well, with hopes of extending its hours of operation to Wednesdays come January 2015.

“The time just came where we needed to be open more days a week,” Ellerman said.

The proposed employment opportunity training center would consist of a 10,000-square-foot addition made up of classrooms, offices and specialty training areas.

The six-month training program for young adults would provide classroom curriculum, on-the-job training at Jubilee Furniture and internships at local corporations.

But before the addition is built, a pilot job training program will begin in May at Outreach Community Ministries’ Outreach Community Center in Carol Stream and serve five to six students.

Jubilee Furniture’s new location along North Avenue had once been home to a carpet store and before that, Frank’s Nursery and Crafts, said Luanne Newman, executive director of the Carol Stream Chamber of Commerce.

Renovations to the space included some roof and ceiling repairs, interior paint, new tiling, revamped bathrooms and electrical repairs, Ellerman said.

Much of the donated furniture sold at the store comes from members of Outreach Community Ministries’ network of churches and other families in the area. Sometimes businesses in the midst of redecorating will donate furniture to the store as well.

Pieces for sale, at Jubilee Furniture are in good condition, ranging from the gently used to antique items. There is furniture on sale for every room of the house and some furnishings, too.

Newman said the store provides a wide selection of items, and it’s nice to know that shopping there helps to support a local charitable agency.

“It also provides affordable furniture to young families and people who may not be able to afford high retail prices,” she said.

Just as Carol Stream appreciates having a business like Jubilee Furniture within its borders, organization leaders are happy to be there, as well.

“We love being in Carol Stream. We love being along North Avenue,” Ellerman said. “We think it’s a great location.”

If you go

What: Jubilee Furniture
Where: 730 E. North Ave., Carol Stream
Hours: 1 to 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays
Website: www.outreachcommunityministries.com

How to help

Call Jubilee Furniture’s donation hotline at 630-337-1467 to arrange for pickup of furniture donations.