NEW BOSTON — Habitat for Humanity in Scioto County has been running solely on donations, recycling and occasionally a grant. Still, with many hours of research and work, they are planning to offer more at their new location.
With the purchase of the Blackburn building in New Boston, HFH will open its doors this Thursday to continue offering its current services and adding more to the community. Habitat for Humanity is a non-denominational, faith-based organization that attempts to provide affordable, safe, clean housing for families that qualify.
Families that qualify take responsibility for working with the HFH in promising to repay a no-interest mortgage and put in 350 hours of work (sweat equity) in order to make their repayment and meet the requirements made available through HFH. HFH believes that what they offer to qualify families is a hand-up, not a handout.
Based on the need for an accountable source of income, the Scioto County Habitat for Humanity (HFH) organization started looking at how larger and more successful Habitat organizations were in their programs. HFH functioned almost entirely on donations from the public and private sector and on low-income projects such as recycling and an occasional grant. What the fund was that most of the organizations were relying on something called an HFH Restore.
This was a store that was run by the organization that sold new or gently used items that were donated by the local public/community and resold at a markdown price to move what they had to offer and ultimately generated an income for them to use to be able to continue building homes.
Following checking into the requirements to open a Restore, the local affiliate found a great shortcoming in their chances to qualify to open one, as they needed a full-time paid CEO. That put Scioto County out of the picture because the entire organization was totally volunteer. This was when the HFH started looking at other possibilities to qualify.
They found that the HFH affiliate in Huntington, West Virginia, seemed to be one of the most successful in the area. They then reached out to the West Virginia affiliate to see if there was any way that Scioto County could somehow merge with the paid CEO that they had on staff there.
Continuingly trying to make this all happen, the officials found that other small organizations were having similar problems and were also seeking help from the Huntington affiliate. Finally, there was a merger opportunity for all these organizations, even though they were in three different states.
The new organization would change its name from The Huntington Habitat for Humanity to the Tri-State Habitat for Humanity. The Tri-State HFH now consists of combining Scioto and Lawrence counties in Ohio, Greenup and Boyd counties in Kentucky, and Cabell and Wayne counties in West Virginia.
Paul White and Nancy Donini, members of the Scioto County Habitat for Humanity, said one of the stipulations that they asked for was that any money raised in Scioto County would stay in Scioto County. This was of utmost importance to them. The advantage for Scioto County was that they would now be eligible to consider opening a Restore.
Thus, this is how the Blackburn building in New Boston comes into play. The new Tri-State Habitat for Humanity is now in the process of purchasing that building and turning it into a Restore. HFH still had to take out a loan for the building and due to its size, they will be looking into renting part of it, plus the Blackburn Pharmacy will still be in business in the building.
In order to get the ‘ball rolling,’ the HFH is going to be selling hanging baskets plus flats with flowers and vegetables from local Greenhouses in Scioto and Greenup County starting this Thursday, May 6, through Saturday, May 8, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The immediate action of starting and having this sale is to provide people who have depended on Blackburn’s to provide both flower and vegetable plants. This will also include the hanging baskets and other decorative plants to serve as a location for the purpose of Mother’s Day and Memorial Day.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
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