The Starkville Area Habitat for Humanity is opening a new ReStore. The store, located at 206 Jackson St., will host a grand opening event at 11 a.m. April 26.
Habitat for Humanity has built 64 homes in the Starkville area over the past 30 years. Joel Downey, the executive director of the Starkville Area Habitat for Humanity, is looking forward to the expanded opportunities the new store will bring.
“The vision is to bring in enough money to build three houses a year,” Downey said. "We feel like we have the student support and the volunteer backing to do that–we just lack the funds. Hopefully, the store will provide that."
Anne Varieur, the family services coordinator, said she is also looking forward to the economic opportunities the store will provide.
"The potential for income is huge," Varieur said. "No nonprofit can function without income."
Currently, Habitat for Humanity builds two houses a year in Starkville. The first is built in the fall and is called the Maroon Edition, as it is primarily Mississippi State University driven.
The second is built in the spring by college students from across the nation who participate in the Collegiate Challenge, who give up their spring break to come volunteer. This year, students from Rockford University and Oakton Community College served Starkville, and a group from Notre Dame Prep is coming later this month.
Habitat for Humanity’s goal is to build houses in order to benefit communities as well as the individuals who become Habitat homeowners. Downey said the Starkville Area Habitat for Humanity strives not only to make a difference to families by providing the homes, but also by stabilizing the area.
Downey explained the organization tries to build homes in clusters of three or four, rather than sporadically building in different locations. For example, Habitat has built 20 homes in the Sunset subdivision. This is to provide property value support to the homes they build.
Varieur works on enhancing the communities Habitat homes are in, even after they are finished being built.
“The focus is more on community development and working with people who become Habitat homeowners as they transition into the new role of being a homeowner,” Varieur said.
Habitat for Humanity’s mission is, “Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.”
Downey and Varieur said they are both anticipating the ways the new ReStore will help them accomplish this goal. The current Habitat ReStore is located on Rockhill Road. Due to its location, many people do not even realize it exists, Downey said.
When discussing the opportunities the new store will bring, Downey said he is especially looking for this to open it up to students and to the general public. Varier echoed the desire for the new store to be more prominent in the community.
“Even now before opening, people are noticing Habitat,” Varier said. "We are hoping to integrate more into the community and communicate to the community more of who Habitat is and what Habitat does."
Following the grand opening, the store will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.
Varier said he encourages everyone, students and community members alike, to take advantage of buying and donating items at the new ReStore.
“I hate seeing good things be thrown away when someone else can use it. I just hate it,” Varier said.
At the end of the year, Habitat plans to set up points on campus for students to donate used furniture to the store. Items can be donated to the new store now by calling 662-324-7008.
To get involved with Habitat for Humanity, visit its website at starkvillehabitat.com, or contact the Maroon Volunteer Center for more volunteer opportunities. Students can also get involved with the campus chapter of Habitat by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.