News and Events

Habitat for Humanity ReStore and Tennessee Rehabilitation Center Partnership

Clarksville, TN (May 23, 2012) – The Tennessee Rehabilitation Center (TRC) and Habitat for Humanity ReStore have teamed up to assist young people with job readiness skills. In early July 2011, Habitat ReStore manager, Kathryn Norbeck-Dayley, contacted Nancy Hawkins, the TRC Employment Counselor, to discuss volunteer opportunities at the Restore. Shortly after that initial conversation, one young man began job skill training at the ReStore. Since then the partnership has grown exponentially. Currently, TRC has nearly 15 young adults volunteering at the ReStore. These volunteer opportunities are providing hands-on training and the ability to observe behaviors and improve skills.

TRC Volunteers and ReStore staff
CMCSS Job Coaches and Habitat ReStore staff work together to provide opportunities to learn job skills for the TRC clients during their time volunteering. / Photo by Shaun Rogers

“This is a fantastic community partnership which benefits both organizations immensely. The young adults from TRC are receiving valuable job readiness skills and the ReStore benefits from the much appreciated contributions these young people provide by volunteering,” remarked Norbeck-Dayley.

Volunteers are essential to supporting the Habitat ReStores mission of increasing Habitats funding to build affordable homes. With donations arriving daily, there is no shortage of work for volunteers. Since 1992, Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County Tennessee has partnered with 78 qualified low-income families and their 190 children to revitalize 15 neighborhoods in Clarksville and Montgomery County through new home construction. The ReStore staff and volunteers are a vital part of that work.

The TRC volunteers are in a program that assists with the transition from school to work; working with high school seniors and recent graduates of the Clarksville Montgomery County School System. CMCSS Job Coach, Angela Bowser says, “our clients are from 5 of the high schools in our district. They attend TRC to receive job readiness skills such as how to perform job searches, filling out applications and resume building. Volunteer work has been the newest addition to weekly activities. At the Habitat ReStore the clients are learning customer service and team work.”

Students are referred to the TRC by the Vocational Rehabilitation counselor through the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System. Many students who attend the TRC have mobility impairments, visual, behavioral, learning, physical, or emotional disabilities, and need assistance with learning, or re-learning, how to live as independently as possible. The TRC is a state-operated comprehensive rehabilitation facility. It is one of only eight such centers in the nation and has offices in 18 cities across the state of Tennessee. The length of programs offered at TRC varies, depending upon the individual clients interest, abilities and needs. TRC is part of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation of the Tennessee Department of Human Services.

The TRC volunteers seem to be enjoying their experience at the ReStore as well. Charles, a recent high school graduate, who is hoping to land a job soon says, “I like volunteering because it helps get me ready for a real job and how people work out in the real way of life.” And, Joseph, another recent graduate remarked, “I really like how nice the people are who I work with. I like how nice the boss is.”

The ReStore has volunteers from all walks of life. The exposure the TRC participants receive from their interactions with such a broad spectrum of people helps them learn to handle themselves, receive instruction, and follow through on tasks. Norbeck-Dayley remarked that” learning how to work with different types of folks can be one of the most challenging aspects of any job and these kids are doing a great job of assimilating. Its nice to see that in addition to building homes, Habitat can have a positive impact in the community in other ways and the work TRC does with these young people has such an enduring, tangible payoff. It feels good to be a part of it.”

The ReStore opened its doors four years ago and sells donated building materials and furniture at reduced prices to the general public. 100% of the profits support Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County. In addition to the numerous homes the ReStore has helped fund since opening in 2008, the ReStore has diverted over 570 tons of material from the landfill as well as initiated and participated in numerous community partnerships.

Assistant Manager, Shaun Rogers says “the TRC volunteers stay very busy. They clean, organize and assist customers as well as helping with several large projects weve tackled in the past few months. One of these projects was the ReStores 3rd annual Green Thumb Festival in early May. I dont know what we would have done without their help to get the store ready for this event. The ReStore is in the best shape its ever been in,” noted Rogers.

http://www.theleafchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012205240305

TIP OF THE HAT to Women Build Committee, Sponsors

For the past two months, the Habitat for Humanity Women Build Committee has been raising funds, organizing events and recruiting volunteers to support a home build starting in June. These 20 women have raised almost 50 percent of their $25,000 goal and continue to use their networks to bring new partners to Habitat for Humanity.

We like to thank Budweiser, Freedom Title Services, Clarksville Home Builders Association, Keller Williams Realty, F&M Bank, Robert Chaney, an anonymous home builder, and recently Fast Train Property Managementfor their $1,000 sponsorship.

Their support reflects their belief that affordable housing is worth the investment! On behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to praise our Women Build Committee and sponsors for supporting our 20th year of service in Montgomery County and by making simple, decent and affordable housing a reality for a partner family. – Jennifer Kready

http://www.theleafchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012304230006

Habitat, Lowes offer Clarksville build clinics for women

CLARKSVILLE, TENN. — Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County has launched Women Build 2012 with a series of free skills building clinics in partnership with Lowe’s at 2150 Lowe’s Drive.

The first two clincs have already been held, but they continue on Saturday, April 28, Saturday, May 5, and Thursday, May 10, according to a news release.

“We hosted 30 women at our April 14 Lowe’s skill building clinic, learning how to use power tools,” Jennifer Kready, Habitat executive director, said in the release.

The other clinics will focus on such things as drywall installation, siding and a refresher on power tools.

The clinics are designed “to ensure our volunteers will be comfortable on the construction site,” she said.

http://www.theleafchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012304220032

Find buried treasure at The ReStore

CLARKSVILLE, TENN. — There are thrifters… and then there are thrifters. Erica Wolfe and her daughter fall into the camp of serious thrifters. They find their treasures — which they transform into creative home decor projects — on the cheap at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore at 408 Madison St.

“I love that place,” said Wolfe. “I think it’s the best thing since peanut butter and jelly.”

The flea-market-like space is filled with thousands of objects, where the odd drawer pull, floor tile or sink is a hidden treasure simply waiting to be found at bargain basement prices.

The store is an arm of Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit Christian housing organization with a goal of eradicating homelessness and substandard housing. Through its sales of donated building materials, fixtures and appliances it funnels funds into Habitat for Humanity projects. By recycling such items, the Restore also saves a tons and tons of building materials from landing in the landfill.

It’s a win-win situation.

http://www.theleafchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012304220014

ReStore Green Thumb Festival celebrates Earth’s bounty

CLARKSVILLE, TENN. — Sustainability has become a major buzzword as the citizens of planet Earth continue to recognize its fragility — evidenced by today’s celebration of Earth Day. So when Habitat for Humanity ReStore began its Green Thumb Festival three years ago, it was an idea whose time had come.

This year the Green Thumb Festival, a free event that promotes everything from gardening to recycling, will take place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 5 at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore at 408 Madison St. Set to the backdrop of music by Curious Bluegrass, the free festival includes area farmers who sell fresh produce, yard art sculpture and more for the garden. Members of the Montgomery County Master Gardeners Association will sell their home grown plants. There will also be a free giveaway of mulch and manure.

http://www.theleafchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012304220011

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