Habitat for Humanity Kamloops opening ReStore in Salmon Arm

Salmon Arm getting ReStore

Good ideas tend to spread.

And Habitat for Humanity Kamloops is preparing to open another ReStore in Salmon Arm next spring.

Habitat Kamloops was established in 2006, with the ReStore opening shortly afterwards. And since then it has become a trusted centre for donations from the community—homeowners, contractors, retailers and manufacturers—of new and used furniture, large and small appliances, household goods and building materials that are then sold to the public at greatly reduced prices.

“The public can come to the ReStore and save anywhere from 40 to 60 per cent below retail,” says Bill Miller, Habitat Kamloops’ executive director. “The original intent was for the Restore to generate enough revenue to cover the operating expenses of Habitat Kamloops and its efforts to help families, seniors and veterans get into attainable housing.”

The new ReStore location in Salmon Arm will play that role as well, and more, when it moves into the 8,500-square-foot site, the former Kal Tire building, just off Highway 1.

“It’s a great location,” Miller says, adding that part of the secure exterior will serve as a staging area for Habitat Kamloops building projects in the community. This was a large part of the decision to choose Salmon Arm for the new ReStore.

“Habitat Kamloops covers four regional districts in the interior of B.C. Our broad service area creates the opportunity to better serve other communities like Salmon Arm where we are working on a seniors’ housing project, plus other projects nearby in Enderby, Sicamous and Blind Bay.”

Part of the ReStore’s success has been the impact it has had on the surrounding communities.

For one, it diverts quality used goods and materials from landfills. But the Kamloops Restore is also stocked with donations of brand-new items from the generous businesses in the community.

“We have businesses like Urban Barn, which is a major contributor, donate brand new, high-end furniture that hasn’t even hit their showroom floor, and we sell it a substantially reduced price,” Miller says.

Other larger donors include hotels in the region that can routinely have commercial grade furniture to re-home as each property undergoes a renovation.

But the benefits of the ReStore don’t end there, as it creates jobs, volunteer opportunities and economic activity.

Habitat Kamloops employs up to 15 people at the original store.

Initially, the Salmon Arm ReStore will employ as many as eight people, and will require about 30 to 40 volunteers.

“When Habitat Kamloops comes into a community and spends a dollar on a project, the economic spinoff there is four times that,” Miller says. “That can add up very quickly when you are involved with a million-dollar build.

“Communities like to see us bringing our business to their communities because we bring them something positive, in terms of affordable housing and economic activity.”

More information about Habitat Kamloops’ ReStore and the ReStore can be found here.

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