A dream of opening a thrift store to fund the efforts of a non-profit group that cares for gay Atlanta's homeless teens turned into reality on Thursday as organizers threw open the doors of a 13,000-square-foot facility.

Lost N Found's new Thrift & Consignment store sits in a former art gallery on Chantilly Drive just a few blocks from Cheshire Bridge Road and I-85. It's a massive space now filled with thousands of donated items up for sale. Cash from the sales will, in turn, help fund the operations of Lost N Found, which recently celebrated its second anniversary.

“This has been a community effort, from the people who donated items, to the hundreds of hours of hard work by our volunteers, to help from our city officials," Paul Swicord, LNF treasurer and thrift store CFO, says in a prepared statement.

The effort to open the thrift store bogged down during the city's permitting process, but gay City Council member Alex Wan helped push the store through the effort.

“Helping to navigate the sometimes tricky waters of city permitting process was the least I could do for this very worthy cause, and I look forward to working closely with them going forward," Wan says in a statement.

LNF and thrift store officials -- Rory Evans, Brad Thornton, Rick Westbrook and Swicord (top photo, left to right) -- treated Project Q Atlanta to a tour on Thursday during the story's soft opening. It's now open noon to 6 p.m., Thursday through Sunday. Tour here, then go visit.

Welcome to their dream come true.

 

What is it? A thrift store.

 

With lots of stuff to help homeless LGBT youth, too.

 

Grab a shopping cart.

 

Thousands of items are waiting for you.

 

And these folks are ready to help.

 

Pick up a few shirts.

 

Shoes, too.

 

Some knick knacks.

 

Even some hardbacks.

 

The store is drag queen ready.

 

Pumps to go with that dress?

 

Even boots for your night at the Eagle.

 

But they still need your donations.

 

Then wear your new stuff to LNF's monthly fundraiser.