Canyon County Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Canyon County Habitat for Humanity ReStore
Raising Funds for Affordable Housing
By Jessica McAnally

The adage “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle” has been used regularly for years, and many people try to live by this standard to the best of their ability. However, there are not very many efficient ways to recycle a bathroom sink that is being discarded during a remodel, and what can someone do with an order of non-returnable custom sized windows that ended up not fitting? The answer, unfortunately, has often been to attempt reselling the items or taking them to the landfill. The good news is that there is now an alternative solution that not only allows items to be reused but helps a worthy cause as well.

The Habitat for Humanity ReStore is the green, eco-friendly solution to providing a new home for building materials, large appliances and other fixtures that are no longer in use. Instead of throwing away things that are still in good condition, donating them to the ReStore gives items the opportunity for further use, and allows Habitat for Humanity to fund their efforts in Canyon County.

It is important to look at the Habitat for Humanity organization as a whole to fully appreciate the significance of the ReStore. It is a substantial part of their mission to bring people together to build homes, communities and hope around the world. Local affiliate programs, such as the one in Canyon County, help those in need by providing a means to home ownership, a goal that is often unattainable for impoverished families.

The key to this program is in the interest free mortgages offered directly through Habitat for Humanity. Homes are built almost entirely by volunteers. Licensed electricians and plumbers are brought in so that the house will be up to code and pass inspections. Funds are raised to build these homes through the ReStore, donations, fundraising events, and grants. The ReStore’s whole purpose is to raise money for affordable housing.

The family application and selection process, fully delineated on the Canyon County Habitat for Humanity website, requires that a family member must be currently employed or on permanent disability and have lived and/or worked in Canyon County for a minimum of one year. Also, applicants must be currently living in inadequate housing and be able to repay an interest-free loan. If approved, 500 hours of “sweat equity” must be given through volunteer work, which helps perpetuate the program.

Marcia Davis has been a part of the Canyon County Habitat for Humanity program since 2004, starting as a volunteer. Her prior experience in real estate and homebuilding gave her an advantage as she spent her time helping forward the Habitat for Humanity mission. In 2007, she was elected by the board of directors to be the Executive Director.

The Canyon County ReStore opened in May of 2009 in Caldwell, after Davis heard of the success with the program in other areas around the state and country. “I’ve always been a supporter of recycling, and it made me sad change to: is unsettling that oftentimes, perfectly useable items would be sent to the dump,” Davis said.

It was this idea that brought the ReStore to life. The ReStore is a nonprofit home improvement store and donation center that sells new and gently used building materials, furniture, home accessories, and appliances to the public at affordable prices – just a fraction of what their retail price might be. “We want to give back, and this is a great way we can share with the community while funding our programs,” said Davis.

After operating in Caldwell for four years, the ReStore outgrew its location. They were able to move to a larger location in downtown Nampa, into the building formerly known as Lloyd’s Lumber. After transporting their inventory to their new store throughout the month of May, they held a grand opening in June of 2013.

The change of scenery has done a lot to boost the awareness of the program in Canyon County, and the support that has been given by other local businesses has been substantial. The welcoming atmosphere of downtown Nampa has added a sense of community to Habitat’s program.

Wally Placido came to work for the ReStore October 1st of 2013 as Retail Manager. His former experience working in home improvement and his desire to be a part of an organization that gives back to the community led him to Habitat for Humanity. “I was looking for a company with a conscious, and I’m glad that I found it,” said Placido.

The ReStore, as Placido describes, it is “a full service home improvement store, with an ever changing inventory.” The products include everything from light fixtures to cabinetry, toilets to flooring, and furniture to appliances. Items are all variety of shapes and sizes and nearly everything finds an almost immediate home. The constant change is reason enough to visit the store regularly, since it is impossible to know exactly what you will find.

The new Nampa location also holds the main offices for the Canyon County Habitat for Humanity affiliate, and is also the volunteer center. “I feel good about working here because we are truly helping people. We’re not only providing homes, but home ownership,” said Davis. “It’s wonderful to know that we’re making a difference and helping to break the cycle of poverty.”

More information about the Canyon County Habitat for Humanity ReStore can be found online at www.canyonhabitat.org. They can also be reached by phone at 208-463-0864. The public is welcome to come and shop, donate or volunteer at the store, located at 1404 1st Street South in downtown Nampa, in the old Lloyd’s Lumber building. ReStore is open Tuesday through Saturday 9:00am to 6:00 pm.

 

Article Published in the Urban Liaison Magazine‘s 2014 Winter Issue, which can be read online here.

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