Local women's shelter delayed in opening due to Nate Lions closure
By: Brittany Comak
FALL RIVER, Mass. (WLNE) - In addition to many customers who are wondering if they'll ever get what they paid for, a shelter for young mothers is feeling the effects of the closure of the Nate Lions Appliance store in Fall River.
The Fall River Salvation Army women's shelter, known as the Gentle Arms Teen Parenting program, is close to finishing an 18–month top to bottom renovation.
"It allows them to complete school, find employment," explained Salvation Army Major Geoffrey Swires.
During the renovations the five young mothers, and their children, have been living in dorm like housing.
But things are somewhat delayed now in moving them back into the shelter, with the store having suddenly gone out of business.
"Like most people we were unaware that they were closing," said Swires.
There's been no explanation as to why they closed so abruptly.
"It was surprising," said Swires. "It was a little concerning to wake up and discover that we didn't know the status of this, particularly with a project that had been going a year and a half. And we were hoping to be in by Christmas. And that's just unfortunately not a reality at this time."
Fortunately, Rhode Island chain Wickford Appliance, which has been honoring Nate Lions' customers' receipts and selling appliances at cost, will be donating the remaining appliances needed to move in to and re–open the shelter.
"It's a shame to hold up an opening of a shelter for something like that," said Wickford Appliance President Timothy Chaput. "To give back like that is something we love doing."
The Fall River Salvation Army is not sure at this point when they'll be able to move the women and children back in, but say they are grateful to be able to get the ball rolling again.
"It's wonderful to see that even in the midst of something like this happening in the community, there are wonderful communtiy partners that'll step up and help the Salvation Army to help these young women."
A representative with Paul Saperstein Auction House opened the door at Nate Lions Appliance World Friday.
He did not have any information about the closure, but said they've been hired to sell all the floor models in an online auction next month.
No one from the actual store returned our request for comment.