Habitat changes name, expands

Published 9:01 am Monday, December 29, 2008

By By Kerry Whipple-Bean
Brewton’s Habitat for Humanity chapter is known for coming up with innovative ideas to attract attention to its projects - building a home in a week; constructing a “green” house; involving area churches in a building blitz.
Now the chapter has some innovations of its own on the way.
The chapter has received final approval to change its name and expand its reach. The affiliate will now be known as Escambia County Habitat for Humanity. The name change coincides with an expansion of Habitat’s mission - the group will now be able to serve all of Escambia County and accept donations of land from all of the county.
Previously, Habitat could only receive donations of land and could accept applications from residents within the Brewton and East Brewton police districts.
Habitat can also buy property anywhere in the county now.
To make the expansion a success, Habitat needs support from all over the county. The organization has received commitments from all areas, including Atmore, Glaize said.
To build enthusiasm and awareness of the expansion, Habitat is planning a fund-raising bike ride from Brewton to Atmore in May. Cyclists will pay $50 apiece to take part, and Glaize said Habitat will also encourage cyclists to raise more donations.
In addition to the name change, Habitat has another new project on the horizon. A Habitat Re-store - a sort of thrift store for construction items and appliances - will open in Brewton soon.
A startup grant of $70,000 from the Neal Trust has enabled Habitat to open the store, Glaize said.
The store will be a site for homeowners to donate appliances and other home goods, and also for homeowners to find good prices on slightly used merchandise.
Longtime Habitat volunteer Jack O’Neil, who has retail experience, has been working on the project, and the group is looking for a store manager.
The new store will open in the shopping center where Kmart used to be, Glaize said.
Habitat has also purchased a truck so that the store can pick up donated items.
The project is part of Habitat’s push to become self-sustaining, Glaize said.

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