Though Habitat for Humanity is most known for the homes it gives away, there is so much more that the organization does, from helping Arizona families that might not qualify for traditional home loans to helping with affordable home repairs in three Valley locations (The Canyon Corridor, homes around Grand Canyon University’s main campus; Victory Acres in Tempe; and Central City South, which is directly south of Downtown Phoenix) to the resale stores the Central Arizona chapter runs throughout the Valley.
This year, Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona is celebrating 35 years of building homes, communities and hope in the Valley of the Sun. It was on a farm in Georgia where Clarence Jordan and Millard and Linda Fuller developed the concept of “partnership housing.” The concept centered on those in need of adequate shelter working side-by-side with volunteers to build decent, affordable houses. Since then, the Habitat model of community building and reinvestment has reached into other areas as well—including Arizona.
“With the help of generous donors, sponsors, and thousands of volunteers, we’ve been privileged to build more than 1,150 homes, affect more than 2,500 repairs, and improve the shelter situation for more than 3,500 Arizona families.” says President and CEO Jason Barlow.
In addition to simply building houses to give away, "We partner with Arizona families who put in hundreds of hours of sweat equity helping build their homes and their neighbors’ homes and then they pay back an affordable mortgage. We then direct those funds back into the community," he says.
And, the organization is committed to the environment, as well, running Habitat ReStores in five Valley locations. Open to the public, these facilities offer a way for those who want to, to support Habitat by donating or purchasing gently used homes goods. Once known as more of a home-improvement thrift store, Habitat ReStores now carry furniture, flooring, and discounted appliances—many scratch and dent, but still under factory warranty.
As part of this charter, Habitat ReStores also greatly reduces the amount of unwanted items that are simply thrown away. Donated couches, sinks, cabinets, office furniture, lighting and even paint can all be salvaged and recycled through Habitat ReStores, and sold to home improvement enthusiasts at a discount.
To date, Valley Habitat ReStores have kept more than 30 million pounds out of local landfills, with all proceeds supporting Habitat’s ongoing mission of building homes, communities, and hope.