Habitat For Humanity Okaloosa County
Box Trucks for Habitat Restores
We are not blessed with the large Walton County fundraisers, our sister affiliate in Walton receives those funds. We have learned that we must create avenues to cover our costs and build more homes. The ReStore is that avenue. These stores have now raised enough funds to cover the affiliate's overhead AND provides funding for our homes. Home 63 is fully funded by the ReStore. We need to increase the funds that come in to the ReStore and thus increase the number of homes we can build. The amount of donations from areas in Destin through Navarre and north to Crestview and Milton have increased. We average 10 pickups a day. We only have one old box truck so we are losing donations.
Our affiliate does not receive income from large fundraisers held in Destin/Walton County, so we have to raise our own funding to survive. This year, most of the fundraisers we conduct were cancelled. We rely almost exclusively on sales at our "ReStore" to support our mission of building safe and decent homes for families in need as well as covering all the affiliate's payroll, overhead, and construction. Through our ReStore, we help our community by providing affordable home repair items, furniture, cabinets, and appliances.
The ReStore brought in over $450,000 in the last fiscal year. This was at a time when the pandemic was at its worst, in fact things got so bad that we were forced to temporarily shut down the ReStore and postpone pickups.
This fiscal year, we stand to make approximately $600,000. Our present store averages are between $10,000 to $12,000 a week and there are times when our stores are almost empty because items are selling the same day they come in. Imagine what we could do for the community if we had the trucks to pick up even more donations.
An unseen, but important environmental impact our ReStore operation can claim, is that of reducing the stress on our county landfills by repurposing household items that would otherwise end up being dumped.
In 2018, we diverted 741,683 pounds, or 370 tons, of material. In 2019 we diverted 739,156 pounds or 369.5 tons and in 2020 we diverted 585,052 pounds or 292.52 tons. In the past three months we have already diverted approximately 195,000 pounds.
We have recently begun picking up items as far away as Gulf Breeze to help our sister Habitat affiliate in Pensacola, which has been hindered by damage to the 3-mile bridge. We are sharing profits with them.
Our ReStore is not only making enough money to cover the affiliate's overhead and payroll, but also enough to help us build one home. Construction costs have increased and it takes about $90,000 to buy materials for a home. We try to build at least two homes each year, one sponsored by Gulf Power and the other by ReStore.
We, like Impact 100 through its grant program, receive far more applications for ownership than we can possibly provide homes. We have just opened our homeowner application period and have received 34 applications. Only two families will be picked.
If we could increase pickups, we could increase our income. As of today (Oct. 9) we are about two weeks behind in pickups and are having to schedule pickups two weeks out.
We lose donations because we cannot pick up fast enough for some donors. Oftentimes these donors are balancing our pickup and the arrival of their new items so they need immediate pick up. If we had two trucks we could send one out for immediate pickup items while maintaining regular pickups with the other truck.
We have a very generous agreement with our military bases that allows us to dismantle all the cabinets in base housing before they are torn down, about 100 units a year. We send in a team of staff/volunteers to remove the cabinets which are mostly in near new condition and schedule pickups to adhere to their demolition schedule. We also take down doors and lights. These items bring in a lot of money to our store. We need the extra truck to satisfy the donation, which should last for several years.
We cover Okaloosa County all the way to the Alabama line. We also cover to Navarre. Most of our volunteers are military and live near Navarre, so they call us for pickups. Our old truck will not last long at the rate of usage and just too small and too old to pick up large items. We've spent over $20,000 in maintenance this year alone. With new trucks our maintenance budget will decrease considerably.
We're asking you to please provide us the Impact 100 grant and help us to continue our work of providing shelter to those in need