ROBERTS -- Shortly after celebrating its sixth anniversary in 2016, the St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity ReStore moved from its building in New Richmond to its current location at 801 Wagner Drive in Roberts. At the end of November, the ReStore, which turned 10 this year, will close after the organization’s board of directors decided to focus solely on its core mission.
“The basic message is that we have committed to our Habitat for Humanity core mission, which is to build houses, get families in those houses and out of their current living situation, as well as make them flourish,” Executive Director Mike Orth said. “We also took a look at our financials and saw that we needed to focus on one thing because we are spread too thin with the ReStore and the commitments the ReStore has.
“We are trying to make this process as seamless and painless for everybody as possible.”
To begin the liquidation process, the store stopped taking non-monetary donations Sept. 7. The last day of business is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 19. The SCV Habitat — which covers both Pierce and St. Croix counties — affiliate will remain, though the board is searching for new office space.
“The one thing that has struck me this past week is how many people have come in and have explained how sad it is that the community is going to lose such a resource in terms of what we do here and recycling and re-purposing,” ReStore manager Andy Scheiderer said. “It has been really nice to see that and know that we have been appreciated. Our presence here has been largely successful, so that part has been special in terms of the feedback we have gotten. It will be sad to close though. Me and the ReStore staff will have to find something else to do.”
According to Scheiderer, the ReStore will be having a series of sales up until the store closes on Oct. 19. From Tuesday, Sept. 24, to Saturday, Oct. 5, everything in the store will be 50% off, with a 75%-off-or-more sale taking place Thursday, Oct. 10, through the store’s last day on Saturday, Oct. 19. Scheiderer and the ReStore staff will host a cookout on the last day, which will feature brats, hot dogs and chips to mark the closing of the store.
“Beside from the fact that the ReStore is a great community asset, it caused us to rethink in the short term. We think there might be a ReStore in the future, but we would have to put together a solid business plan and not just put it together because there was an available space,” Orth said.
The organization plans on being out of the building by Nov. 30. The property will be taken over by the mortgage company that handled the organization's purchase of the building, but Orth said he doesn’t know what the company plans to do with the property.
“The location of our office isn’t as important now that we are no longer also housing the retail operations. We get visitors here, but it is mostly just people who want to come by to say hi,” Orth said. “We also get some mortgagees and homeowners who come in to pay their mortgage in person and then share their vacation photos and stuff like that. But not all of our 44 or 45 homeowners are doing that.”
Over the next year, the organization plans to recycle a home it previously built in Hudson and will look to have a new family moved in by February. Habitat will also look to construct two new homes in New Richmond in the near future, with the possibility of building a new home in Spring Valley.
“I’d like to get us to the point where we are doing one additional house per year. At this rate, we’ve done three this year, if you include the one coming up in February. Next year, we’d be cued up to do three, maybe four. But that is all dependent on financials and the number of volunteers,” Orth said. “We never seem to be short of volunteers, but we aren’t always able to get them timed up correctly. There is also a timing factor when it comes to the weather and time of year. We normally don’t get too many people volunteering in January, for instance.”
For more information on Habitat for Humanity visit www.scvhabitat.org. To inquire about volunteering, contact operations administrator Kailey Nourse at 715-760-3300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.