Margarite Courchene lives alone in the North End of Winnipeg and doesn't leave her home when it is dark outside. "I don't need to watch the news on TV to learn about the crime and violence in this neighbourhood," she says. "It is in front of me when I look out of my windows."She is not afraid to leave her house during the day when the streets are filled with people of all ages and from all walks of life, and her destination is the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) thrift shop on Selkirk Avenue, just a short walk from her house. "I come here lots of times, sometimes more than once a day," she says. "It is a good peaceful place to be.""We are located in a neighbourhood that benefits tremendously from our merchandise," says [Gerry Loewen]. "We are a very busy store. But even on days that we don't sell a lot, it is busy because it is a meeting place."