CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Karen True got a jump on the holiday season Thursday, heading to the newly reopened Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
"Oh yes, I collect," said True, owner of a Habitat home. "It looks like a Christmas explosion in my house. You can never have too much Christmas."
True was among a big crowd of shoppers who came to the ReStore for its grand reopening. Habitat added 8,000 square feet to the existing store on Grove Avenue, said Barry Boettner, president of the board of directors.
Habitat will repeat the grand opening in mid-November at a second location on North Lee Highway near Bradley Square Mall.
From televisions to rugs, kitchen items to books, shoppers Thursday had plenty to look through.
"Kitchen items, pots and pans," explained Angela Paymon as she explored the shelves.
When the North Lee location opens, both stores will accept donations and offer items for sale, said Paulette Smart, Habitat ReStore director.
The North Lee store will be at one of the busiest intersections in Bradley County, she said.
"That store may grow faster than this one," Smart said.
Boettner said every $50,000 in ReStore profits means funding for a new home, but there are other funding sources, too, with grants and donations.
Mayor Tom Rowland was joined by Boettner and Smart and other community leaders to cut the ribbon at the Grove Avenue store.
"If you visited the store before, this is like a brand-new one," Rowland said. "And it doesn't take long to raise that $50,000 if everybody spends."
Habitat is completing its 100th home now in Century Village in south Cleveland. With space nearly filled in that subdivision, Habitat is establishing two more.
Victory Cove, a five-acre development on Victory Lane off South Lee Highway, will have about 27 homes, Boettner said. In the future, Southgate Hills will expand from the three homes now there to about 35 homes, he said.
Habitat homeowners must meet the organization's income guidelines, do volunteer work to build their own or someone else's home and attend a class on home budgeting.
Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...