Thanks to the Hutton Parker Foundation, Alpha Thrift is back in Santa Barbara.

It’s hard to believe that it has been five years since Alpha left its location on State Street because of increasingly prohibitive rental costs, but the community is invited to the grand-opening celebration and ribbon-cutting from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday of its third thrift store, at 700 N. Milpas Ave., the site of the old Salvation Army store.

The store will serve Santa Barbara residents, while the two sites on Hollister Avenue will continue to serve Goleta.

The stores, owned and operated by the Alpha Resource Center of Santa Barbara, a countywide organization that provides programs and services for children and adults with developmental disabilities, place more than 40,000 items per month in new homes locally, and reduce more than 1 million pounds of waste to the landfills each year.

During the past several years, Alpha has partnered with agencies providing clothing and textiles to developing nations, so that all donations are used or reused. All of the revenue from the stores fund programs for people with special needs in Santa Barbara County.

“We love being in Goleta,” said Sean Dunn, Alpha’s director of retail sales. “Many of our devoted Santa Barbara customers have seen me and asked, ‘When are you coming back downtown?’ Now, I can answer and know that we will be serving all of our South County community.”

— Marisa Pasquini is the outreach coordinator for the Alpha Resource Center of Santa Barbara.