The first Deseret Industries outside the western United States — located in Houston, Texas — opened to the public on Thursday.
More than a thrift store, Deseret Industries’ quest to effect lasting change through job training, skill enhancement and career counseling will be a blessing to the Houston community and beyond, said Elder Sean Douglas during the dedicatory service on March 24.
“This operation is a gift from God, created to do for others what we individually are not equipped to do for them on our own. It is, in essence, an inn for God’s children, and He is the innkeeper,” said the newly called General Authority Seventy, referencing the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10. Elder Douglas was an Area Seventy at the time of the dedication.
The new 65,000-square-foot Deseret Industries is located at 8625 Cypress Creek Parkway, 15 minutes away from the Houston Texas Temple. The building also houses the Church’s Development Counseling Services and Employment Services.
Alex Wathen, one of the first customers Thursday morning, said: “I’m so excited for the first Deseret Industries east of the Rockies. We’re so privileged and excited to have it. … This will become a very popular place very quickly.”
It’s a place where lives will be put back together by getting back into the workforce, he said. “Lives change here.”
The facility already has a history of supporting the community. When the Church purchased the building and its six-acre lot in 2017, the location became a command center for relief efforts during Hurricane Harvey — serving as a coordination point for some 17,000 volunteers.
“I am grateful that this place will continue to be a place of relief and hope for many of God’s children and a place that will continue to bless this community,” Elder Douglas said.
This Deseret Industries is one of 45 stores total throughout Utah, Idaho, California, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Oregon and now Texas.
Read more about the new store on the Church’s Newsroom website.