MEMPHIS, Tenn. — On the surface, BAM Thrift Store on Madison Avenue looks like any other thrift store.
Furniture, clothes, and antiques can be found throughout the space, but the men who work inside the store set it apart from the rest.
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“We call it B.A.M! It stands for Business as Ministry,” Alexis Harris said.
Harris is the Director of Re-Entry for Adult and Teen Challenge of Memphis.
Adult and Teen Challenge of Memphis is a long-term faith-based drug and alcohol treatment program for adult males ages 18 and up.
Harris said the men in the program also run the store.
“Our thrift store operates because people donate things to the ministry and we sell them in the store and all the money generated goes back into the ministry to support the men on their journey,” Harris said.
Harris said the thrift store not only generates money for the rehabilitation program, but it also helps to teach the men discipline.
“So, the men that come in and struggle with drug addiction and alcohol abuse, they learn a new way of life,” Harris explained.
“The biggest problem is that they don’t have discipline and so we have a very structured and discipline program.”
Harris knows firsthand.
Before he was a director, he graduated from Adult and Teen Challenge of Memphis in 2016.
“I found out what my real identity was,” Harris said.
Accepted Jesus Christ as my savor, learned a new lifestyle and I’m still learning a new lifestyle.”
BAM Thrift Store moved into the Old Steward brother Location in December of 2014.
Adult and Teen Challenge of Memphis operates several other enterprises that generate money for program including a carwash, coffee brand and storage facility.
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