The Paso Robles location opens after having to shut down location in Templeton during the pandemic
PASO ROBLES — Back by popular demand, a Habitat for Humanity ReStore has reopened in North County. After having to close the previous location in Templeton during the COVID pandemic, the Habitat for Humanity San Luis Obispo County affiliate had to start from the ground up to bring back the popular store to North County.
Over 700 people came to welcome the Paso Robles ReStore at its new location’s grand opening on Thursday, Aug. 25. The event marked a collaborative effort towards sustainability, community development, and raising funds for affordable housing. The new location at 844 9th St., is twice the size as the previous Templeton location, offering more inventory of new and gently used appliances, furniture, building materials, tools, and more. By repurposing these items, the ReStore not only reduces waste but also provides affordable alternatives for those looking to furnish their homes or complete DIY projects.
“We have a lot of loyal customers in North County,” said Habitat SLO CEO Nick Rasmussen of the store’s highly anticipated reopening.
Joining Habitat SLO’s board, staff, and volunteers at the ribbon-cutting ceremony were attendees including Clint Weirick, senior district representative for State Senator John Laird; Vicki Janssen, legislative assistant to County Supervisor John Peschong; Blake Fixler, legislative assistant to Supervisor Bruce Gibson; Paso Robles Mayor Pro Tem John Hamon; Paso Robles City Manager Ty Lewis; Paso Robles City Councilmembers Chris Bausch and Fred Strong; Paso Robles Deputy Fire Chief Randy Harris; Paso Robles Battalion Chief Scott Hallett; Paso Robles City Planning Commissioner Mark Koegler; Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce CEO Gina Fitzpatrick; and Atascadero Chamber CEO Josh Cross.
The grand opening was met with a link of eager customers, some of who shared their thoughts on the reopening.
Marcia, a resident of Templeton and a DIY enthusiast, expected a little building and was pleasantly surprised to discover that the ReStore was actually a 10,000-square-feet building,
“I’m so glad you’re here,” she said. “At your last location I bought doors, molding, sinks, and furniture. Prices are good for remodeling projects.”
Willemke shopped at the ReStore in the past as well and has been waiting for opening day.
“I got everything I could at the ReStore,” the shopper said. “Just loved it. I stopped by almost every day to see if there was something new I ‘needed.’ It’s such a friendly staff. I’m so glad it’s open.”
Todd, a long-time donor and supporter enjoys the sustainability side of the ReStore.
“I believe that building materials need to go to Habitat for Humanity,” he said. “It just makes sense. This location is perfect, and the store looks great, inside and outside.”
Jennifer Robinson brought her two boys to the ReStore, and 6-year-old Lake enjoyed the 1938 Ford Pickup, which has been repurposed as a custom flatbed table. Robinson was glad to find a few other items, saying “I used to donate and today I am buying a sink and fertilizer. I am glad you are open again.”
Volunteers are a large part of the Habitat operation. Habitat is always grateful for local businesses and community members who either donate inventory or time to the nonprofit.
“We do rely upon the goodness and kindness of the community donating and business, contractors, and builders who donate,” adds Rasmussen.
Habitat SLO has been busy in North County, not just with the store’s opening, but also with building nine new homes on Vine Street for their Homeownership and Building initiative which broke ground in June. Since 2006, the nonprofit has built 17 homes for families in the community from Cambria to Grover Beach. Each home is built with a minimum 250 hours of sweat equity labor from the benefiting family, and volunteer labor from the community.
“There are no handouts in this,” Rasmussen said, explaining that the process to qualify and own a home through Habitat is a strict one.
Other project initiatives Habitat offers include Home Preservation, which is a popular one for seniors in North County. The Home Preservation program provides home repairs from painting and landscaping and more to local homeowners in need. Another program popular with volunteers is the Playhouse Build, which is often a way for volunteers to dip their toes in the Habitat waters.
With the increasing costs of materials to build homes, the ReStore has become popular with the community, given it offers well priced gently used home items. However, it has also become much more costly for Habitat to build the homes and even purchase the land, this has made volunteers and donations even more valuable to the nonprofit.
“I believe there are so many ways to partner with us and to become involved and we want to create an environment that is open to people investing their time into something that is worthwhile,” said Rasmussen. “Everything we do is focused on what is in the best interest of the community and, especially the families and the individuals we serve, so we try to make sure we are completely transparent on how we serve, how we fund things, what resources are going into what.”
To donate, contact the Paso Robles ReStore at (805) 434-0486 with questions or simply email a photo and description to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration. The Paso Robles ReStore is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Volunteers and support is always welcomed at Habitat,” said Rasmussen,” We know we have a lot of ability to give back and we would love the people to get involved.”
For more information about Habitat SLO programs, volunteer opportunities or to offer financial support, visit habitatslo.org.
Feature Image: The ribbon is about to be cut at the grand opening of the Habitat ReStore in Paso Robles. Contributed Photo