Charity expands operations to new habitat

Habitat for Humanity opening new Restore in Saanich

Volunteer Nadja Hesser and UVic summer student Griffin Troup load some shelving units into Habitat for Humanity’s new ReStore on 3311 Oak Street. The site is currently accepting donations and is expected to be open by August.

Habitat for Humanity’s popular ReStore has opened a new Saanich location and it’s ready to receive donations.

The opening of a new ReStore comes in response to a demand for a centralized location, which previously existed downtown but moved to Langford some years ago, said associate manager Mike Fimrite, who is overseeing setup of the new store. The store is at 3311H Oak St., just off of Blanshard and Cloverdale.

“We’ve had a lot of people asking for a location closer to town and we think we’ve found an excellent space,” he said.

ReStore sells new and gently used building supplies and household goods, appliances, hardware and materials. All proceeds support Habitat for Humanity’s mission of providing housing for low-income families.

Feedback from customers suggests up to 85 per cent of the Langford ReStore’s customers come from the West Shore. Yet a large portion of donations come from Saanich, Oak Bay and Victoria residents.

“Those same people who donate weren’t making the trip to shop at our store,” Fimrite said.

Known as ReStore Victoria, the new store will offer the same merchandise and prices as Langford. The store is currently open for donations from Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The full store opening is expected in early August, when it will be open seven days a week.

ReStore Victoria boasts about 8,200 square feet. While its two-thirds of the 12,000 square-feet of the Langford store, it’s nothing to scoff at.

Nadja Hesser was among those getting the new store ready on Monday, her first day as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. She recently donated some furniture to Habitat and decided to visit the organization’s website.

“I learned about this store opening and I live nearby so I thought it would be perfect,” said Hesser.

Habitat for Humanity’s Victoria offices will remain at the Langford location. However, the organization’s current project is in Saanich, the four-unit site at 4000 Cedar Hill Cross Rd., land secured from the District of Saanich in 2014. That site is due to be finished this year.

To benefit the homeowners at 4000 Cedar Hill, Habitat for Humanity Victoria launched a successful fundraising campaign in February, raising $109,000.

One of the families moving into 4000 Cedar Hill is headed by Amanda, a single mom of two young boys. Even though Amanda has a stable job, she’s had to uproot her family multiple times in the last 10 years because of unfit living conditions and increasingly unaffordable rents – at times spending upwards of 70 per cent of her income on housing.

Anyone interested in donating heavier items or items in bulk can call 250-386-7867 to have their donations picked up Monday through Friday. Fimrite reminds potential donators the store is only able to accept donations during regular hours.

“Anything left outside after hours is considered dumped, it’s often unusable and creates garbage for us which costs money.”

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