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09 Jun Ep. 68 Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore with Harper Zielonko and Ted Herman

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In this episode REALTORS® Adam Kruse and Shannon St. Pierre talk about Habitat for Humanity St. Louis’ home improvement store called ReStore with Harper Zielonko and Ted Herman. Harper is the Director of Resource Development for Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis and Ted is a long time volunteer with Habitat St. Louis. Find out the best way to know what new goodies the ReStore gets in every day.

Email questions to PODCAST@HermannLondon.com

Harper, Ted, Adam, and Shannon

Adam Kruse-https://hermannlondon.com/realtor/adam-kruse/

Shannon St. Pierre-https://hermannlondon.com/realtor/shannon-st-pierre/

ReStore – https://www.habitatstl.org/restore/


ITUNES – http://goo.gl/rs1q9X

Blog – https://hermannlondon.com/resources/

Website – http://hermannlondon.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/HermannLondon/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/HermannLondon

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/hermannlondonrealtors/

Address – 7350 Manchester Rd, St. Louis, MO 63143

Phone Number – 314-802-0797

Search For Homes on http://www.wizah.com/

Producer – Joey Vosevich

Theme Song by Trastornobeats



2:10 Adam introduces Ted Herman

3:30 Adam introduces Harper Zielonko

4:15 What does Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis do?

5:25 Habitat STL just celebrated their 400th home

6:12 Habitat STL gets about 5,000 calls a year about affordable housing

6:37 The people who qualify for homes go through an application process and work really hard to purchase a home at an affordable rate

7:42 Does Habitat only build brand new homes?

8:45 Habitat homes are very energy efficient and built to the Net-Zero standard

9:25 Habitat deals with affordable home-ownership not rentals

11:11 Often the entire extended family will show up to assist in building a home

12:30 When and why did Habitat decide to open ReStores?

13:58 What kind of things does Habitat accept?

14:20 Habitat helps take out items from homes being rehabbed

16:01 Ted helped open the first St. Louis ReStore on Forest Park Blvd.

19:35 What’s different about the inventory at the West County and the city stores?

20:14 Inventory changes hourly. How do you know when new stuff comes in?

24:00 Call the store to check on inventory

27:33 It’s hard to keep roofing tiles and  window blinds on the shelf

28:40 Has anyone ever accidentally donated something like a bag of cash?

31:00 Are there ReStores all over the country?

31:40 Is donating tax deductible?

33:05 Is it first come first served?

34:33 What motivates Ted to volunteer?

37:00 What are the team-building events like?

43:00 Does Habitat ever build multiple homes in 1 neighborhood?

44:50 How long is the waiting list?

46:30 How old do volunteers have to be?

47:00 Make sure to send donations directly to Habitat Saint Louis if you want it to stay in the community

48:00 Go to Habitat STL’s trivia night in September

49:00 Habitat is the most worthy volunteer opportunity Ted knows of



Welcome welcome everybody to the St. Louis REALTOR Podcast I’m your host Adam Kruse here with my co-host Shannon St. Pierre extraordinaire. Say hi Shannon. Hi! We are super excited today we’re still at home doing the COVID thing but today’s podcast is all about Habitat for Humanity and mainly the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and so it’s doing a podcast like this that allows us the opportunity to meet amazing people like Harper who I’ll introduce in just a second if that’s okay perfect and we have a fourth person here with us today his name is Ted Herman he’s a restore volunteer if I’m saying that right it sounds like you’ve done a lot with Habitat for Humanity too but the reason why I asked Ted Herman to be on here today is Ted other than him being a restore volunteer is that Ted is a guy who has had a major impact on me and my life and I am for some reason I’m like choking up like I’m gonna cry or something like that but Ted was I guess we called a coach for our Odyssey of the mind team back in fifth grade his son is a friend of mine and we were on the same Odyssey of the mind team through that we learned how to be creative and we had to build projects and use tools and stuff like that and so I think that you mr. Herman had a major impact on me in many ways in my life but one of which was you teaching me that I can get my hands dirty and do creative and interesting things like when we use the old record players to make them turn and spin things and and play songs with weird things you’d find around your house so we did all sorts of interesting stuff together but I want to do here today mr. Herman thanks for being here thank you and so Harper if you don’t mind I know that your title is the director of resource development for the restore and Habitat for Humanity is that correct so I’m the director of development for Habitat for Humanity and the restore is kind of just our retail operation so I’m not completely over the restores but I talk for a living and promote Habitat for a living so that’s why today okay first of all we just kind of like to start out with a few questions for Habitat for Humanity it wasn’t gonna act like these are questions for our listeners who don’t know but in this case I actually I actually have a lot to learn about Habitat for Humanity so do you mind just kind of giving us a general overview of yeah where you are what’s the mission all that kind of stuff of course so this is our our like 10,000 feet looking down on habitat so I work for Habitat for Humanity st. Louis and that’s an important distinction because we serve st. Louis City and st. Louis County we operate kind of like a franchise under Habitat for Humanity internationals umbrella so they kind of set the guidelines and the rules and then we do the actual work in our communities and one of the reasons that I really point that out is a fundraising reason so money does not rain down from our international organization we raise about 97% of the funds that we need to use to do our mission in our community so if you want to make an investment with Habitat for Humanity st. Louis you give locally to Habitat for Humanity Sanders we have lots of affiliates across the country that do great work in different communities but we’re just st. Louis City and st. Louis County we have around for about 34 years in this community and we celebrated our 400th home marker actually last year which is a really large milestone for Habitat affiliates and not only to get to 400 homes but even the bulk of those homes have actually been built in the last 10 years so we’ve grown exponentially even the past 10 years and we build somewhere between 15 and 25 homes every year that makes us a big kid in habitat world most Habitat affiliates build somewhere between like one and three homes a year and are usually run by incredible grassroots volunteers while we have paid staff who are able to to work with us every single day and while that’s fantastic it shows the need in our community so we get about 5,000 phone calls every year about people calling about access to affordable housing and we we do a little pre-screen over the phone to talk to our applicants to decide if they’re a match for our program and Ted and I were actually talking a little bit about the program and before we got started I have what makes habitat the most unique are our homebuyers and they are homebuyers so the people in our program qualify for our homes they go through an application process it’s based on income it’s based on need and it’s based on willingness to partner willingness to partner is my favorite part it means that if you come out and volunteer in a habitat work site you do so along with the homebuyer so they’re putting in 350 sweat equity hours to build on their home and the homes of other homebuyers in addition to going to financial literacy classes home maintenance classes their kids get access to tutoring and at the end of the program they purchase their home they don’t get a home they work really really hard for an opportunity to purchase a home at an affordable rate and that’s why I love habitat I’ve been with three Habitat affiliates this is my third mine for almost ten years total and I’ve been able to see it work in big little and small markets and the model works because you’re doing it alongside homebuyers who really just want access to an opportunity well is it all building homes or do you guys do some like sort of remodels and updating them homes so we do a little bit of both it kind of depends on what we’re able to get access to so if you think about f4 2008 when the market crashed there was more housing already established housing out there so we were able to do more rehab work in the past like five to ten years than we normally do in st. Louis City we have some decent access to land so we’re able to do some mostly new homes at the moment but we do some rehabs depending on you know if we’re able to get into a certain neighborhood and the house can still be affordable you know we can’t we can’t take on a big McMansion and continue to make it affordable the utilities aren’t affordable the taxes aren’t horrible so within reason we can do some of those things and and one of the things that I really love about our construction department is we go above and beyond so our houses are affordable but they’re also sustainable so we don’t have home buyers going into a brand new house and having utilities leak out the windows so we build to very high energy standards we’re actually doing Net Zero which is above leap right now so the homes are sustainable they can stay in them for generations you know they don’t have to worry about those things that they used to have to worry about in terrible rentals we want to make sure that everything is is sustainable from that point that they’re in the home and so do you do other kind of housing you said affordable housing so beyond like rehabbing or building do you also have an entity that tries to full find affordable rentals and we we don’t so we are we’re only affordable home ownership okay come on a ship model mm-hmm okay I love that I didn’t realize they had to put in so much time at the hour it’s like I knew that they had to do it alongside I knew that they were purchasing the home you were not giving them the home and I yeah there they were some financial literacy that kind of went all into that as well but I didn’t really say have to put in so many hours that’s amazing well at investment we want to make sure they’re invested in their home and we also want to take time to transition people from a rental attitude to a homeownership attitude because you know if you don’t know how your home works you know if your toilet is running and you don’t know what to do you don’t have a landlord to call you you are responsible we want to make sure from day one that responsibility and that preparedness exists for our homebuyers yeah they say it must help them gain the not only the knowledge but the you know the the encouragement to be able to handle a home on their own and fix little things like a running toilet or write you know leaky faucets or the random things that happen around the home so I think that that’s really awesome I mean I think we’re here on a Habitat for Humanity home and building it is also a really cool way for just the general population to gain knowledge about home homes and how they’re built and how they work we agree oh sorry Ted please there’s an interesting commitment that you see when you work with a family that’s committed to building a house because what you have is generally a mom maybe a couple of kids and then all of a sudden cousins and second cousins and uncles show up to help that family establish that house and when you see them all working together they force each other to work they put in more equity more sweat equity than you would ever expect and it’s really a lot of fun because they get closer as a family you get closer to them working with them and watching them grow and you know well while I was working on house I knew that the persons in that house were going to be totally committed to the house down to the littlest kid who’s neat in his room white and coming out with speckles it’s just it’s just a delightful thing to see and the people who come to volunteer generally generally walk away with a very positive attitude about it that’s amazing okay so Harper and then I mean I think that we could probably do a whole podcast on that I we kind of jump back and forth because I do have a lot of questions about that but we also want to learn about the restore and when did having to win and wide and habitat decide to open these restores love the restore it really is one of my favorite stores family but you know like never mind a clothing store but I really love that place you find one serious gems in there yes yes so our restore started not with us but with another affiliates probably almost 25 years ago and we’ve had ours in place since 2013 and we now have two locations but what we started to see as habitat is that neighbors would come up to us as we’re building homes and be like you know I do the work I want to replace my cabinets or I want to do a little work in my bathrooms but I can’t afford to go to a upscale store or purchase those materials at a normal price I wish I could do something and we had started to hear from people that they had you know done a rehab at home and had a perfectly good working toilet or didn’t like their countertop color and we had these materials and maybe we could put him in a habitat home and they were just going to landfills and as you start working with habitat you realized we have a very green mission as well and it was driving everybody crazy so affiliate came up with the idea of like why don’t we have a retail operation so that’s how it started so the Habitat ReStore x’ and it’s its store dependent but our stores in st. Louis City and st. Louis County we take new and used building supplies and home goods so almost anything and we have you know we have some standards but things that go into your house things that are used for construction new and used supplies go to our stores you can buy them as the general public you can donate to them as the general public we also do deconstruction so if somebody you know is tearing an entire house out and once habitat to have the materials will come take it out oh really oh we will you’re just coming in to have us grab a toilet we’re not gonna do that but but I knew a lot of rehabbers go in and pull out an entire kitchen the cabinets just don’t work for the the rehab but they were going out an entire kitchen you’re like horrible we will come and take it so we had our volunteer crew that just does that for us Wow we’ll come in and do that and so we’ve we’ve saved about 60,000 tons of materials from landfills adam i saw you like that number your your eyebrows went really high 60,000 tons out of the landfills and that goes back to people’s homes people are able to make small repairs and do rehabs in their homes you know they might not be able to purchase those materials or outright and and we have a lot of people who have rental you know rentals and if you live in South City and you have that gorgeous pink tile and you can’t find that stuff anymore you might be able to find it at one of our habitat restores my network I like it it’s like you can find the materials I live in the city so one of the my favorite things is anytime I’ve needed an odd sized or odd size for today’s scene there it’s not odd size for the older doors when I go through and just pick through and often find the door at three stores it’s and they’re solid wood I mean they’re amazing and they’re doing them at the big big box stores right yeah well I I worked at restore in West County and visited the restore on on Grand but I originally started with the restore on Forest Park Boulevard okay time opens they got the building it was horrible they really met and they took all the volunteers who were working houses and said hey we need to get after this here now we I had never seen so much dirt in a ventilation system in my life as what we saw when we started taking that building apart but we got it all broken down and got all the stuff say straightened out and the construction guys the guys who know what stuff is all about organized the building okay since then the restore has moved to grand yeah yeah yeah that’s that’s the center now and the new location out behind Sam’s in West County at Manchester in 270 that’s the place where I did some work and I will tell you the people who bring things generally well West County first of all is fairly wealthy and because of that people rehab their kitchen for example by pulling out everything throwing it in the truck and getting ready to get rid of it when I joined the service at the restore the guy who was giving me my indoctrination by the way they said what do you know about habitat and I started talking about the years yeah I have a habitat work shirt nice it’s a Wednesday crew shirt how did Wednesday crew stuff serious okay so the guy says to me we do three things I said what are they he said we keep stuff out of landfills number two we make stuff less expensive for people who want to do the work on their house that’s two and number three is a lot of the money that we bring in goes to support the administration of habitat and those three things alone sell me because I firmly believe in habitat and its function so working there we would have guys in pickup trucks or two guys in pickup trucks who had just emptied their kitchen of all the cabinetry brought it to us and we’d have four or five guys unload it and we could set up in well I can tell you right now if you went to the west the West County store you could walk in there and get a cold kitchens worth of cabinetry yeah and you could get the plumbing and you could get the ceiling fans and you could get the rugs and you could it just doesn’t stop there are so many good things there and the old tile that came out of somebody’s house in the city so all of that stuff is there and one of the fun things about me being there is I knew where all that stuff went but somebody be walking through the store looking at things I had one lady pick up something that goes that was the controller for a ceiling fan and she’s looking at it and I said do you understand what you’re looking at you said though I said well this has to go there you have somebody who can do this you said you want to come over NASA no I’m gonna come over there married anyway there are so many things that the public does not know are available at the restore it’s almost scary I think that that’s really interesting too because you’re talking about West County versus the city I mean I always go to the city because I live at the city but I’ve never thought about going out to the restore do you have totally different merchandise at each store some different some is different so is the same I have rehabbed houses from 19 to 22 and when you rehab houses from 1922 you’re not going to find stuff in West County that you’re gonna find in the city that can replace stuff you need so it depends on where you’re doing what you’re doing but for the most part it’s it’s pretty updated yeah yeah and I’ll say that inventory at the resource changes hourly and people laugh I’m not joking we we might add yeah we might have a tractor-trailer pull up that we weren’t expecting we’ve had companies like Restoration Hardware pull up and say we changed the packaging on this item there’s nothing wrong with it we just can’t have it on the floor anymore so we’ll have brand new cages and restore has its own Facebook page as well as Habitat for Humanity but I’ll tell you Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore has way more followers for that very reason and we will as much as we can we’re we’re a little shifted right now because we just reopened after months of shutdown we shut down that second week we lost heartburn for horror COVID so we’re just reopening right now we’re a little limited in our time so we’re only Wednesday to Sunday right now 10:00 to 6:00 those hours or what they’ve been but um so Facebook is not being updated as often just because we’re kind of getting back in but we you know we’re used to going and doing pickups because you can schedule a pickup with us if there’s something that doesn’t fit in your car we will come and get it you just have to schedule pickup with us so we’re behind on pickups so inventory is a little low if you have items that you you know we’ve all been home and you get a little anxious and clean out your basement you’ve got the great stuff that you’ve been hanging on to give us a call at habitat you can go through habitatSTL.org you can schedule it there you can find all of our phone numbers we want that stuff and if you can literally put it in your car and bring it to us not only do you you know then you have to go to shop at the restore but you get a donation receipt this can go on your taxes and you can claim that you’re supporting the habitat mission and if I get you in the store I guarantee you’ll leave with something that you may have needed but you may not have needed and that’s the joy of shopping in general so um they’re they’re incredible places like we we have policies in place for for employees about what we’re allowed to go shop and when we’re allowed to go shop but I have I have quite a few things from the restore when I was just going to talk to somebody and all of a sudden I needed to have something I’m no longer allowed to bring home furniture because I’m out of space because of the habitat store I mean we know cabinets we know like oh like they take furniture but what else um so you can actually see there’s a nice break down on our website but so appliances kitchen countertops doors lumber and trim flooring bath vanities and fixtures plumbing supplies hardware tools windows roofing HVAC furniture lighting and electrical I mean you guys got to work and plumbing those and we won’t always have certain things in stock because you know it’s donation-based so if it’s not coming in you know we’re not gonna have Mon furniture and most likely in the winter but that could be because a company wipes out a warehouse and brings it in so I could be completely wrong but it changes all the time you really just have to kind of go in and shop and talk to people you can also call our lines and say hey do you have any doors you know I’m looking for this may can give you pretty pretty good idea I’m sorry that’s funny do you have any doors yes oh my goodness oh my goodness yes I just don’t say that that’s awesome that you guys are that organized because there’s there’s like stores that I’ve been to before where I’m like do you guys have any you know blue sheets and I don’t know go look by walking to restore and Ted’s there he’s gonna bake let me take you right to it well because most of the time our employees are the ones who are organizing and putting it out on the shelves so they usually give you a pretty good idea I mean I can’t say for certain they’ve got you know four inch screws or whatever but like we can tell you where to go in general general ideas there are some non-standard stuff that also appears that the restore that I had not anticipated until it showed up for example you know that there are lumber companies that cut meat and they cut the edges off the wood so they can make the boards but the edges of the wood are actually quite beautiful if you treat them properly you may have seen this on a on a rehab show on TV where somebody will buy the cut edge of a piece of lumber okay a tree if you take that and you build it into the mantelpiece on your fireplace you’ve got the most unique never repeatable piece of wood that the home will look at and say wow that is something else and it’s and it’s like that in many different ways you can you can you can go crazy with tile you can go great they have more electrical fixtures then anybody in the world needs yeah you will find the one that will work and you’ll find the fan or the blades when we get fans in we sometimes take the blades off get rid of the motor because it’s an old motor but the blades are great so you don’t get rid of those and for the most part that happens with a lot of things there are a lot of electronic stuff that has to go you know nice donation sorry we can’t put it to use it’s 1972 computer what are you kidding not going to happen so there are guys there who are able to discern that which is valuable that which is not and those who are able to say that is a good piece of tile that is a lousy piece of tile get rid of that you don’t want that and there are companies that will make available things like the adhesive for the tiles and you’ll walk in you’ll see up a palette full of adhesive and you know and if you did the same thing at one of the hardware stores you would take a financial beating as opposed to what they what the restore does and I’m not putting those other ones down they’re fun but I go to the restore first we we all have a place to exist I was gonna ask that do you go to we pretty much always go to the restore first or should I is it to kind of depend on what I need well here’s yes you go to the resource first always but on what you need and what I would say is go to the resource and and walk around and just kind of get a feel for what’s really there and that can give you a you know a good answer to that and there are some things that we can’t like keep as soon as they hit the floor they’re sold like roofing tiles those go like crazy Window Blinds anytime people donate those because you usually need like one blind to replace you can’t buy one blind so those things sell but you’ll you as you go in and shop you get a feel for what’s there and what’s not what’s there on the weekends what’s there during you know the weekdays I would just encourage people to go in and look around and and see what what we have that would meet your needs so that’s a good time to ask can you do you want to where do we go to find out the addresses is that what’s your way so you can go to habitat STL org and we have a little like restore button and it tells you our hours it tells you what we accept and what we don’t accept it has the pickup information you can actually schedule a pickup online with us have a little patience with that right now we’re a little behind but that has the store addresses it also has the store phone numbers so you can call them directly but you can get all that information at habitatSTL.org has there been any like weird stories where someone like donate something and then they come back and I I know we’ve had that happen somebody donated a couch and grandma had put money in the couch we were able to give them their couch back you know they’re just always I live in the city – my house is 108 years old so something breaks usually it has to be custom made if you can’t find a replacement and we worked with Washington University they tore down a building recently to build a new building and we went in and pulled out these gorgeous built-in bookcases and there’s heavy as they can possibly be but I was able to have one of those in my home I mean you can’t you can’t I first off can’t build one of those they don’t make craftsmanship like that anymore in stores like you would have to go to an individual to have that made and these are the kinds of things that we have sometimes you will get you know weird things like I talked about Restoration Hardware changes their packaging so they send us a bunch of things or what we’ll hear from is like Realtors or people who own title agencies like Bill store stuff in a warehouse and you know new management takes over and they’re like I have all of this Home Staging stuff do you guys want it yes is the answer like I’m just stunned on a daily basis first off with the generosity of st. Louis but just that people don’t want these things to go to landfills if you make just a little bit of an effort to bring it to a Habitat for Humanity ReStore it can it can find a new home with someone who’s going to love it and it doesn’t have to be trashed when there’s nothing wrong with it and I just I love seeing those things seeing hundred-year-old Mantle’s you know go to a new house there’s just some really cool things that you can find there additionally the lumber from the past is way better than today’s number actually by for right yeah real two-by-fours right are you know a lot of markets across the United States are resource just in a select few cities I will tell you so like I said we’re lucky enough I guess lucky enough to be a big kid at world hmm even the smallest habitats most of them have free stores because they’re donation based so they’re instantly profitable they can go back to supporting the mission people have stuff like I grew up just stop it here in Festus, Missouri and they have a very small habitat they only build about one home a year but they have a Habitat ReStore okay is that tax-deductible to you absolutely we will give you a donation form you have to assess the value yourself but we’ll itemize what it is so yeah you can claim it on your taxes that’s awesome even better than instead of throwing it away then I and give it away and save money it’s the biggest win for everybody did you mention anything about the building supplies for the outside for example bricks and bricks and you know what we don’t keep a lot of bricks in stock just because it doesn’t usually sit for very long and we’re picky about what we will take I’ll be honest because broken bricks will sit in a warehouse so bricks intact like bundles of siding if we get it I guarantee within that day it will be sold but we do have that stuff that comes in we will also take it if it’s in good shape and we can always help you assess that to over the phone we have someone who manages those donations and can tell you you can if we can take it like we take open paint anymore but if you have a company or you have you know somebody who does that for a living and they have unopened pallets of paint we could work with them on that so you know if you have a question just call us if it’s not you know broken out on our website just give us a call first-come first-serve or like if I wanted for example one of those Mantle’s that ted was talking about can I put my name on a list or something it’s usually first-come first-serve like we’ll put certain things up on the website or honor I’m sorry on our Facebook page and we’ll communicate with you on those things but it really is first-come first-serve and we have a little hold section so if you need to you know you come in one day and you your eyes are bigger than what your car can carry home with you you could let it hang out for truck back that happens very often you come in for window blinds and you leave with the entire set of kitchen cabinets we will happily hold that for just a little bit we don’t do deliveries but we can hang on to it for a second so we just need that to our Saturday routine stop for breakfast shopping stop at the restore absolutely there you go yes okay and from a workers point of view from from a workers point of view having been there on the sales floor or near the sales floor it’s fun to talk to people who are looking for a way to do something but they don’t know how to do generally the guys who work there have a fairly decent background in what you need or what you don’t need where you can get it and things like that so in that regard the guys who are volunteering they are on the floor are pretty knowledgeable and having to have a pretty good time at it so let me ask that mr. Herman like what is you know your motivation for volunteering in to restore what was your motivation for helping with the builds and all that stuff what’s what’s kind of the motivation for a volunteer you seriously want to know what my motivation was one my wife said get out of the house too I firmly believe that everybody ought to have a shot at reasonably decent housing and the best habitats commitment well in three if you know what you’re doing and you don’t take advantage of that and share it with somebody you ought to be shot I was a teacher my whole life I’m a giver I don’t know I don’t know what else well I was I was just thinking you know when I used to go to the gym in quite some time but I would use in the gym all the time and all these people just like lifting weights over and over again you know and I was I would always think to myself what if that was like a bag of dirt that someone needed to get from their truck to their garden or a two by fours that they needed to get volunteering stuff is kind of like for you or whoever else is like it’s almost like exercise too right you’re helping you’re you’re like you’re basically working out while you’re volunteering and doing all these other amazing things is that promoting cabinets unloading cabinets is heavy yes weight lifting yes yes yes I I would also offer up shoveling rock out of a basement the people who are going to the gym every day they could in theory Oh sometimes going and volunteering to help someone whether it’s through habitat or not hopefully it is but help them with projects that they need and know and they’ll get that exercise the same way absolutely you can come out on Habitat for Humanity work sites you can also volunteer on our resource and we teach on-site so nobody needs to come with any skill set and if you come with a skill set we would be happy to reteach you to have it that way and you will probably wake up sore in the next day so um we can provide all of that and you can find more information about that on Habitatstl.org as well cool and yeah Harper I think that there’s there’s a lot of companies that like to do that kind of thing is sort of like a corporate event right thank you driving go cards or whatever go build a house yes and can you tell us a little bit about how that works yes so we do team building and building that’s yeah yeah and it’s it’s a lot of fun that’s actually something that I manage and essentially we pair philanthropic giving so there’s a donation with volunteer benefits so it’s based on your group size and I can walk you through all of that and all of that allows us to keep our mortgages affordable because it costs X to build and our homeowners can only afford Y so we have to make up that difference with donations but we we craft experiences for businesses large and small individuals if you want to be out with habitat I will find a way to make that happen we’re currently looking at what that looks like postcode so we’re still kind of putting all of that in place but don’t hesitate to reach out to me I’m Harper at habitat STL org I’m also on the website but if you want to be active with us in any way shape or form if you don’t physically want to go out there but you want to figure out a way to do something with us I will find a place for you I love it well it’s just gonna be a preamble people bringing their own masks you know this should be bros anyway probably yeah we’re gonna be doing that as well as the hobby some social distancing some extra levels of disinfectant and but for the most part honestly through our safety procedures because we like to keep group small on a worksite because it doesn’t make sense to have 25 people building in one bathroom we’re kind of already set up to do this we’re just we’re just adjusting a little bit right now so it does haven’t that have like competitors you guys have competitors competitors but no I mean we get 5,000 phone calls every year I would love to say we’re putting ourselves out of business but we’re not we’re not quite there yet so there are other organizations that do homeownership we’re probably the probably the largest home builder of affordable housing home ownership there are other organizations that do rental do rental assistance serve individuals who are primarily homeless most of our homebuyers are just in situations that are not sustainable for them it’s either unsafe or they’re paying way too much in in rent or overcrowding or things like that so there are other organizations in the area that definitely do similar work but I think we’re the only we’re probably one of the largest affordable homeownership programs and as far as I know you’re the only kind of like restore type of thing yeah there are some other smaller organizations out there that do that but most of them are not connected to Mission in the same way that we are so they might be at nonprofit ministry who are who are doing that to support some other things but we are probably the largest in the area on that one as well like goodwill goodwill is technically a nonprofit organization so they’re they’re doing their services by supported through the their retail operations as well would it be okay if I called the restore sort of like the goodwill of like housing related things I mean maybe not usually but the same sort of concept right like it’s yeah it’s a nonprofit organization with a retail supporter so yeah well just like someone might want to go stroll around goodwill and see if there’s any fun clothes they can stroll around a restore and we do those box stores names we say Lowe’s and Home Depot their supporters at habitat so if you you know can’t afford Lowe’s or Home Depot or need to shop a little bit more vintage like Shane and I need to do you can find that in the habitat resource well I’m assuming that places like that probably make donations to you guys also you know right there frustration hardware is not the only ones that have new in the box stuff that they need to get rid of some random and they both Lowe’s and Home Depot have how do I say this procedures in place for how they just those of their product and as far as I know those are not affiliated with habitats right now well should be do all the hell you need to do they have some other causes they support veterans affairs especially I’m thinking about Home Depot but I think they I’m not exactly how sure how those pieces of merchandise get disposed to but yeah donate habitat absolutely cool I just want to sit here and ask you guys and for like just super interesting stories that you’ve come across but you know I don’t know my best stories are habits have family stories their their families their their parents who are working parents they work two jobs at minimum wage and at that rate they cannot afford most often a traditional bank loan but they can come to habits hat if they need to clean up their credit they can clean up their credit and they can find a home for their family their family can then call that home for generations and that’s what we’ve started to see is generations will grow up in these homes they’re they’re used to having holidays at Grandma’s house because she has a home and they have a call you know center and the heart of the family and I it makes it worth it every single day to see them working on their homes and have a safe place to call them I think there’s another custom there’s a consideration the one of the ways that habitat has been developing in st. Louis is to do a whole neighborhood and when you do a whole neighborhood you get a whole lot of people doing a whole lot of work you keep your equipment all close together and a bunch of volunteers find out that there are other volunteers doing the same kind of thing and ultimately you get a neighborhood that is built by Habitat for Humanity and they all support each other and it develops into a very nice neighborhood you’ve been here yes sir Peter Lewis one say st. Louis st. Louis Avenue is one they’re just little little pockets of well-developed nice little housing and all the people involved know the other people involved are doing the same kind of thing so they’re all committed pretty much to the same style of developing the neighborhood and they become supportive and and that’s an excellent point Ted and and we do have little pocket neighborhoods like that it’s actually a model that we’ve moved a little bit away from in the past ten years and and one of the reasons for that is we realized we were asking our homebuyers to make the largest financial decision of their lives and we were telling them where to do it so we should we’ve shifted a little bit from that and that’s not to say we don’t have little pocket habitat neighborhoods but we want our families to not have to move into a neighborhood that’s not that’s completely alien to them and it also doesn’t make sense to move people away from their support resources so you know if grandma was down the street you know we want to keep them closed so kids don’t have new schools you have to worry about transportation and things like that so they have some choice in where they’re living you know they’re not waiting for downtown Clayton but if they want to live in st. Louis County versus st. Louis City they might wait a little bit longer for a development that’s going up so that kind of is a tricky question we we have about I would say 150 to 200 families that were actively working with and we we separate them into tiers so a tier one family is like ready to go there their credits good they have a excellent work history they’ve probably been at their job for a little while you know they they could move into a house in six months if they could tear – they might have some things on their credit history that they need to work on or maybe they have a new employer or you know maybe they have a rental situation that’s that they know is going to be good for a year but after that they have no idea um and then Tier three is that there may be a year to two years out so we will work with them or connect them with financial literacy courses to clean up credit to maybe build credit because a lot of people come in and don’t have any credit and we do we do work with banks and they have to be willing to do some some lending you know we do a lot of a lot of the work on the applications but um so 150 to 200 sometimes it escalates a little bit higher to 300 it really just depends on where we are in the ear and the builds if builds have encountered some red tape because you know it’s construction or you know we have a global pandemic and things slow down but we’re constantly constantly in need of families and constantly working families through the program amazing how old do you have to be to bone here to work on a house so you have to be 16 to come to site 18 to handle power tools and everybody signs a waiver if you’re an individual we ask that you go to a volunteer orientation we don’t have any of those scheduled right now those are coming but if you’re a corporate group we do your training in your like orientation on-site or I can even do it in your office place right yeah well okay I’m gonna kind of wrap it up here we’ve had you for almost an hour but I’d like to give you know each of you the opportunity to say anything or make any certain points that you want you know you told us how to follow you on social media and how to get a hold of you on the website anything you want to make sure that you say um I always say remember if you want to support Habitat for Humanity st. Louis go to Habitat for Humanity or go to Habitat for Humanity STL org we love our parent company but we’re doing the work here in our community and if you mail a check to International and won’t come to us the money stays here then go to use in Habitat for Humanity STL or just HabitatSTL we always say if you want to build local invest locally and that’s the same thing with the restore you know we they’re open to the public we’d love your donation we’d love for you to shop if you believe in our mission support us however you can I just noticed you have a trivia night I want to make sure I go to that I love getting tables and going to church it’s being new to the fall that was so that first week when everything shut down it was that Friday that’s shifting until September we have I think we’ve had ours now for 25 years it’s a very long-standing trivia night and we would love to have you we we usually sell out it’s somewhere around forty five tables Wow that maybe we’d have the honor of having you at our table because I think you probably know all the answers and I promise it’s not just I’m sure there’s a round or two that would be helpful to know the history of habitat cool all right anything you want to say mr. Herman yeah I would say if there is someone out there with a remote question about whether or not it’s worthy it is the most worthy organization I know of that’s the reason I do it I don’t do well I’ll do a little salvation I’ll do a little Red Cross but habitat habitat requires the commitment of the client and therein lies the it’s not a giveaway it’s an urn oh yeah that was perfect yeah I’m honestly embarrassed that we haven’t been involved really at all other than doing some shopping at the restore in the past our company hasn’t done anything with habitat and I’m want to change that for sure I can yeah all I have to do is email Harper and hepatitis C org right come right to me I can’t wait cool okay Shannon anything finally you want to say no this was awesome thank you guys so much for your time the organization and the stores awesome thank you very much and we’ll see you at the restore in the future yeah hey thanks guys take care thank you thank you take care bye bye


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