Habitat Restore

Imagine finally being able to achieve your dream of owning your own home, but still struggling to find affordable options within your community. That’s where Habitat for Humanity of Saline County steps in. For over 20 years, this Christian nonprofit organization has been dedicated to building single-family homes for low-income residents in the area, bringing hope and stability to families in need. 

With a mission to provide affordable homeownership opportunities and make dreams come true, Habitat for Humanity is more than just a homebuilding organization; it’s a beacon of hope and a lifeline for those who otherwise may have struggled to achieve their goals. Executive Director Stephanie Griffin helps us take a closer look at the impact this organization has had on the community and the lives it has transformed.

By completing “sweat equity” volunteer hours and saving for closing costs, partner families can purchase their homes from Habitat with a zero percent interest mortgage rate, Stephanie explains. “We are a hand up, not a handout, for Saline County residents who meet our qualifications and are willing to work for a tremendous opportunity of not only homeownership but also financial stability and security,” she says. 

Over the years, Habitat for Humanity of Saline County has built 80 new construction homes and served more than 100 families, with four to five families served each year. “The reason we have served more families than the number of homes we’ve built is we sometimes get Habitat homes back, either because of foreclosure or the family simply deeds the house back to Habitat to ‘recycle’ for another family,” Stephanie says.

The organization has also established a successful fundraising arm with the Habitat ReStore, which opened in Benton in 2002. It has become the organization’s main funding source. The ReStore accepts donations of gently used items and sells them to the public at affordable prices, with proceeds going directly toward funding the construction of new homes. The store benefits the community in several ways. 

Those who donate keep items out of the local landfill and recycle them to have new life for someone else who has a need or purpose for such things. In turn, those who purchase items from the ReStore help Habitat generate revenue that directly goes to support their mission to help fund construction of a new home for someone in need. 

Following Benton ReStore’s success, Habitat for Humanity of Saline County recently opened a second location in Bryant, with a grand opening planned for July 1. The new store at 3801 Hwy 5 North (where the former Bryant Family Pharmacy was located) offers a convenient drive-thru donation drop-off and plans to offer a constantly changing inventory of furniture, home decor, books, music, clothing, and more. The staff currently seeks donations to help fill the store and volunteers to help price and stock donations.

The new store also helps fulfill a broader vision of the affiliate. “Because we are Habitat for Humanity of Saline County, we wanted to expand our reach and have more visibility than just downtown Benton,” Stephanie says. ”Plus, we wanted donors, shoppers, and volunteers in the Bryant area to have a closer, more convenient location to connect with Habitat and help support our mission to the community.”

Community involvement is critical to Habitat for Humanity of Saline County’s success. As an independent affiliate, the organization relies on the generosity of businesses and individuals in the community to achieve its mission. Something people may not realize, Stephanie notes, is that each Habitat affiliate receives no funding from Habitat International. “Therefore, we rely on businesses and individuals in our community to help us achieve our mission of building homes, communities, and hope. Without financial support from our community, as well as dedicated volunteers, we could not do what we do, which is obviously making a positive impact on our county.”

Throughout May and June, Stephanie says the store will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday to take donations. “We are hoping to get enough donations in those two months to be able to have a store full and ready to open to the public on July 1.” And once enough donations are received, the store will remain open for donations and shopping the same time and days of the week. 

The new Bryant ReStore offers a convenient location for donors, shoppers, and volunteers to support the organization’s mission to serve those in need in Saline County. Habitat for Humanity of Saline County has been changing lives for over 20 years, providing affordable housing opportunities to families who otherwise might not have access to them. With the recent opening of the Bryant ReStore, the organization can continue to expand its reach and make a positive impact on even more lives in the community.