Milton has a new Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity ReStore in the works.
The grand opening is slated for late next month, according to ReStore director Jonathan Goldhammer. The new nonprofit will bring three full-time positions with it: a manager, cashier and customer service representative, he added.
“We felt Milton is a little bit underserved as a community,” he said. “We felt that it needed more retail establishments, something to tie in to the rest of the community.”
The new store, GM Habitat’s second location in Chittenden County, is located just off Route 7 in the former Sears building. It features approximately 7,200 square feet of space and is already stocked with a mix of electronics, furniture and decor.
According to Goldhammer, selecting the Milton site was the end of an 18-month search throughout the county.
“We loved that it was right on the road,” he said. “It’s a great spot to serve the community.”
He added the space is more affordable than GM’s first ReStore, located in Williston.
Though the nonprofit can’t afford to hire more than three staff members, the store needs and relies upon the work of volunteers.
“At our Williston store, we have about 45 regular volunteers,” Goldhammer said. “They volunteer their time, and that’s what makes the store work.”
The Milton ReStore is seeking volunteers Tuesdays and Thursdays through September 22 to help set up for the store’s opening, volunteer coordinator Allison DeVoe said. After opening, volunteers will be needed during store hours to aid with accepting donations at the back door, stocking the store, cleaning, pricing, environmental services and cashier positions.
Volunteer labor, donations and proceeds from the ReStore help fund GM Habitat’s home-building projects, advancement director Catherine Stevens said. The organization aims to build five houses a year in Chittenden County and has already built 76.
In Milton, the organization has built two homes on Railroad Street, five on Trayah Drive and hopes to build another next spring on the .3-acre lot it just purchased at 24 Railroad St., she said.
“People think we’re given the land,” Stevens said. “Nope, and land’s expensive in Chittenden County.”
“The local support both financially and with volunteer hours is what makes these homes possible for low-income families,” she added.
GM Habitat’s houses are sold to low-income families at 0 percent interest on the mortgage. However, families must demonstrate ability to repay their mortgage and must also put sweat equity into the construction of their home.
“It can be emotional,” Stevens said. “An affordable home is really, really life-changing for families.”
According to DeVoe, volunteers can help throughout all phases of construction with no experience necessary. Habitat supplies instruction, materials and tools at all of its projects. She added many volunteers come to learn skills – like installing flooring or cabinets – they later apply to their own home renovations.
The ReStore in Milton will operate Wednesdays through Fridays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“We’re super excited to be here,” Goldhammer said. “It’s going to be an amazing store.”
Anyone interested in volunteering with GM Habitat may email email@example.com or call 318-7533. Donations are accepted via the GM Habitat website or by check.
Families interested in applying for a home may also find information on the organization’s website.