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Wetaskiwin thrift shop owner giving clothing away for needy residents

Hurricane Hustle owner Katrina Kraft says homeless people have been asking for some items for free and she can’t say no to them. Photo by Qiam Noori

A Wetaskiwin thrift store owner is offering free items for those in need in the city.

Katrina Kraft, who owns a small thrift store called Hurricane Hustles, says some unhoused individuals have been asking for items for free — and she can’t say no.

She explained that if those in need have specific items they need, they can just come forward and ask.

“Stealing from me isn’t right. I need the money just as much as (they) do,” Kraft said.

Kraft said she has been doing this since she opened her store back in March 2023.

She says those homeless people who are visiting her store mainly ask for winter-related items, such as winter boots or clothing.

“I’ll use my judgment. And this is not for other merchandise at the store. It’s for necessities, such as winter clothing or boots.”

The City of Wetaskiwin is dealing with a growing homelessness issue.

An emergency shelter set up by the non-profit Hope Mission has been subjected to criticism — some residents even want the shelter to be closed permanently.

Some of the items Kraft is giving away for free come from the community donations and some she finances herself.

When asked why she has decided to help, Kraft says it’s simple.

“I was there once. I needed help once. I know how to look for items on the internet, but lots of people don’t know that.”

Hurricane Hustles, located at 4802 49 Ave., is welcoming any type of donation from community members.

Qiam Noori

About the Author: Qiam Noori

I am a reporter for Black Press Media based in central Alberta.
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