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'homeless'

Jan 06

Down the Road Thrift

Posted to Business Spotlight on January 6, 2020 at 11:26 AM by Rachel Horst

Down the Road Thrift group photo in front of shopIn November 2017, when Jerry Vaughan started Down the Road Thrift, he had no idea the store would end up finding a home in the heart of Cocoa. While searching for a home for his business, finding the Peachtree spot through Craigslist gave him the perfect location for his true calling, serving Veterans.

Down the Road is a thrift store for the general public but is a nonprofit charity with the goal of helping, “Brevard's in-need or homeless Vet population,” explains Vaughan. “I'm a Veteran, my father was a Veteran, my grandfather worked for the Army Corps of Engineers paving the Cape.” His military history runs deep, and it shows, from the framed portraits of his father and himself in uniform that greet you as you walk through the door, to the memorabilia and photographs of servicemen that line the walls of the “FootLocker” in the back.

Since March of 2018, Vaughan and his team have partnered with Veterans of America and outfitted 186 apartments for Veterans, “from the couch all the way down to the silverware.” To start, the apartments are typically furnished with a bed and nothing else. Vaughan hopes to be able provide for the needs, so all an individual or family has to do is maintain the residence. As with many thrift stores, the rooms are full of shoes, clothing, furniture and more, but what you won't find at other stores is the “FootLocker”. The room lies behind olive green pallet walls, its
contents include; a food pantry, undergarments, toiletries, tents, camping equipment, and even an assortment of military dress uniforms that can be requested by funeral homes to lay a Veteran to rest.

When Down the Road Thrift moved from Rockledge to the current location on Peachtree, Vaughan was met with a Cocoa Police notice on the door, encouraging more lighting for added
safety. The positive partnership between the City of Cocoa and Down the Road Thrift continues to flourish. From the business license process to feeling welcome and wanted in Cocoa, he
doesn't plan on moving the business again any time soon. Stop in and browse the merchandise, strike up a conversation and ask Vaughan for a tour of the shop, he'll happily agree with a smile.
For more information on Down the Road Thrift, you can find Down the Road Thrift on Facebook or visit Down the Road Thrift's website or check out our Down the Road Thrift Business Spotlight feature video.