Habitat Restore brings community full circle

by Robin Gee


Brian Lynn, manager of the new Habitat for Humanity Restore in Bellevue sits among the many couches for sale.

The new Habitat for Humanity Restore location opened in mid-November on 6th Street in Bellevue. It’s the largest of five such stores in the Greater Cincinnati region and offers gently used furniture and a host of building supplies, hardware, appliances and other items.

Habitat stores are open to anyone to shop and take donations from individuals, contractors and businesses such as hotels and corporate offices.

“If you’re taking something out of a house or building, you can bring it here instead of throwing it in the dumpster. Someone might be able to reuse it. We’re pretty open to anything — furniture, doors, cabinets, sinks, really anything you can think of to add to a house project,” says Brian Lynn, manager of the Bellevue store.

The other side of the Habitat for Humanity organization is its mission to build homes for needy families. All profits from the store go toward building homes in our region including Kentucky counties of Boone, Campbell and Kenton. Last year, the organization built 33 homes in the Greater Cincinnati area.

Offering a hand up

People can make an application for a home on the Habitat for Humanity website. It’s a careful process that involves interviews and screening. Potential homeowners must commit to helping where they can on building their home.

Lynn has been with Habitat for Humanity for about three-and-one-half years and says it’s the philosophy of offering a hand up, not a hand out that he likes most about the organization.

“We want people to really take a sense ownership of their own home. We help them build it, but we want them to really jump in and take part. We don’t give away houses, but we help people who might not otherwise have a chance to own a home of their own.”

Including the kitchen sink

Shoppers, especially those looking to remodel, build or furnish a home, will notice that prices are kept well below retail. In addition to couches, credenzas, dining sets and other furniture, the store has mirrors, inside and outside doors, windows, shutters, granite countertops, appliances, bathtubs, hardware, tile, a seemingly endless supply of plywood and, yes, even the kitchen sink.

“We offer purchased product such as some of our hardware and area rugs as well as donated items. We’re always shooting for half of retail on new items and even less on used items,” Lynn explained.

In a tour of the store, he pointed out a large hotel donation of vanities that retail for $1,500 that sell for $650, as well entire bathroom sets. An individual donated electric reclining chairs from a home theater. One of the most unusual donations he’s had, says Lynn, was a hot-air balloon.

Welcoming the community

Visit the store or check out some of the larger finds from all five area stores on the Habitat for Humanity Greater Cincinnati Facebook page. To donate, call the store at 859-261-0456 or stop by. The store also provides free pick up for larger items.

The Habitat for Humanity focus is on building homes and building community, said Lynn. “The community has been just wonderful so far. People stop in and tell us they’re glad we’re here. That means a lot. I’m glad we’re here, too.”


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