Habitat for Humanity buys Blackburn’s in New Boston

NEW BOSTON – Habitat for Humanity in Scioto County only works through donations, recycling and sometimes a grant. Yet, with many hours of research and work, they plan to offer more in their new location.

With the purchase of the Blackburn building in New Boston, HFH will open its doors this Thursday to continue offering its current services and adding more to the community. Habitat for Humanity is a non-faith, faith-based organization that strives to provide affordable, safe and clean housing for eligible families.

Eligible families take responsibility for working with the HFH by promising to pay off an interest-free mortgage and to devote 350 hours of work (private equity) to make their repayment and meet the requirements made available through HFH . HFH believes that what they offer to qualify families is a helping hand, not a gift.

Based on the need for a responsible revenue stream, the Scioto County Habitat Organization for Humanity (HFH) began to examine how larger and more successful Habitat organizations were in their programs. HFH operated almost entirely through donations from the public and private sectors and low income projects such as recycling and an occasional grant. What the fund was about was that most organizations relied on something called an HFH restoration.

This was a store run by the organization that sold new or slightly used items that had been donated by the public / local community and resold at a markdown price to move what they had to offer and ultimately generated income that they used to be able to continue building houses.

After checking out the requirements to open a restaurant, the local affiliate found a big gap in their chances of qualifying to open one as they needed a full-time paid CEO. It took Scioto County out of sight because the whole organization was totally voluntary. It was at this point that the HFH began to look for other possibilities to qualify.

They found that the HFH branch in Huntington, West Virginia appeared to be one of the most successful in the region. They then contacted the West Virginia affiliate to see if it was possible that Scioto County could somehow merge with the paid CEO they were a part of.

Continually trying to make this all happen, officials found that other small organizations were having similar issues and were also seeking help from the Huntington branch. Finally, there was a merger opportunity for all of these organizations, even though they were in three different states.

The new organization would change its name from The Huntington Habitat for Humanity to Tri-State Habitat for Humanity. The Tri-State HFH is now a combination of Scioto and Lawrence counties in Ohio, Greenup and Boyd counties in Kentucky, and Cabell and Wayne counties in West Virginia.

Paul White and Nancy Donini, members of Habitat for Humanity in County Scioto, said one of the conditions they were asking for was that all money raised in County Scioto would stay in County Scioto . It was of the utmost importance to them. The upside for Scioto County was that they would now be eligible to consider opening a catering business.

This is how the Blackburn Building in New Boston comes into play. The new Tri-State Habitat for Humanity is now in the process of purchasing this building and turning it into a restoration. HFH had yet to take out a loan for the building and, due to its size, will consider leasing part of it, and the Blackburn Pharmacy will still be operating in the building.

In order to get the ball rolling, the HFH will be selling hanging baskets as well as apartments with flowers and vegetables from local greenhouses in Scioto and Greenup County from this Thursday May 6 through Saturday May 8, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The immediate action to start and have this sale is to supply the people who have depended on Blackburn’s with both flowering plants and vegetables. This will also include the hanging baskets and other decorative plants that will serve as the venue for Mother’s Day and Memorial Day purposes.

Habitat for Humanity will be selling hanging baskets as well as flower and vegetable dishes starting this Thursday.

Contact Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928

© 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

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