John Scoville, executive director for Cabot Habitat for Humanity, hopes the group's new retail operation will help the organization expand its services in Newfoundland and Labrador. Photo by Andrew Robinson/The Telegram
In an average year, Cabot Habitat for Humanity will build two to three new homes in the St. John's-Mount Pearl area to provide shelter for low-income working families.
Next year, it plans to build six homes.
That's a big jump for the organization, which has built 37 homes since the local affiliate's inception in 1994. But a new retail operation for the not-for-profit organization should make that feasible.
The Cabot Habitat for Humanity ReStore will have its grand opening Saturday. Located at the corner of Logy Bay Road and Robin Hood Bay Road in St. John's, the store will sell new and used building materials, appliances, furniture and other household items.
All funds raised by the sale of goods will go towards building new homes. Items for sale at the store are donated by businesses and individuals.
"Basically, the goal is to raise money for us, but it's also a very green (business), because obviously we want to keep as much out of the landfill as possible," said John Scoville, executive director for the local Habitat for Humanity chapter.
Usually reliant on funding from government sources and corporate donors, Scoville said funds from the ReStore will help the group build more homes.
That bodes well for its intentions of becoming a provincial affiliate. This year, the group is working to adopt a home in Labrador for a family in need. Two of the six new homes for next year are being earmarked for western Labrador.
"This will give us an opportunity as we expand to help us do those projects," said Scoville. "There are a couple of other areas in the province that have expressed interest in partnering with us to do something in their communities."
Aside from accepting donations at the site, the ReStore will offer a pickup service. However, it will be selective about what it does take.
"Obviously, we want the items to be resellable. There's things we won't take, like mattresses and appliances that are more than 10 years old. The ability to resell them usually isn't that great."
A full list of items it does not accept, including electronics, opened paint cans, and office furniture, can be found on its website.
Already, its stock is piling up. As of Wednesday, the store had a vast array of tables, chairs, fridges, washing machines and various building materials on hand. Scoville expects it will manage to maintain a consistent supply of items.
The store's profitability is helped by the fact it's largely supported by volunteers - it will have only two paid staff members. It will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday. A donation day will be held on July 8, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony taking place at 10 a.m.
The St. John's location will represent the 58th ReStore opened in Canada.