By Shaun Field
The city of Trenton was once known for being a center of production for many different industries. However, as businesses began to move out, poverty began to rise and the city that once went by the slogan “Trenton Makes, The World Takes,” began to see an increase in violence and looting. If you drive around the city or hop on one of the various #600 bus lines you will notice the plethora of abandoned warehouses and apartment buildings lining the Route 1 corridor, many with more than one broken window.
Habitat for Humanity of Trenton is committed to serve the community of Trenton by providing affordable housing for qualifying families. Via an application process, families who qualify financially can partner with Habitat on the construction of a brand new, energy-efficient home with a zero interest mortgage.
A zero percent interest mortgage is very helpful for families with multiple children because they can save money to put towards the cost of groceries and healthcare. However, this is not the only resource Habitat for Humanity of Trenton is providing in Mercer County.
On the White House authorized National Day of Service, which also fell aptly on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Habitat for Humanity of Trenton officially opened the doors to the ReStore located at 106 Ewing Street at the cross of Ogden St. and Southard St.
The ReStore is a self-service warehouse of donated furniture, appliances, cabinetry, flooring, paint and construction supplies, which are sold at a heavily reduced rate from retail stores such as Home Depot and Lowes.
Shoppers are treated to a plethora of new and like new cabinet sets, brand new boxes of tile and carpets, and a show room of antique and modern furniture. At reduced prices, shoppers can walk away with a two piece living room set for less than the price of one piece in a retail establishment.
There is a segment of the population in Trenton that has found comfort in the newly established store. Landlords and construction specialists frequent the store for appliances, doors, windows and flooring. As well, homeowners have found smaller things, such as light fixtures, furniture and dishware to their liking.
As a benefactor of the community, Habitat has been operating a food pantry with fresh vegetables on Fridays and an after-school Learning Lab for children from ages 6-13. The Habitat of Trenton has now, however, expanded its sphere of influence by adding the ReStore.
The ReStore is not only a win for the community. Habitat for Humanity of Trenton also reaps the benefit of income generation that is used for operational costs and is then turned directly towards the construction of new homes.
Tom Caruso, the Executive Director at Habitat said the sale of “these donated new and used items helps Habitat fund our programs for the low income clients we serve. This additional means of raising funds is critical. The economy has decreased donor contributions significantly and the ReStore will help fill the gap.” In other words, the Habitat ReStore provides a cycling of funds that helps all shoppers, patrons, children, and partner families in different ways.
The Habitat for Humanity of Trenton ReStore is one of many affiliate-run ReStores across the country. In New Jersey alone, there are more than 13 Habitat for Humanity affiliates and 6 Restores, allowing for multiply communities to receive the added benefits the ReStore has to offer.
The Habitat for Humanity of Trenton ReStore is located at 106 Ewing Street in Trenton, New Jersey (at the cross of Ogden St. and Southard St.) and the winter hours are Wednesday-Saturday from 9:00a.m. – 4:00p.m.
Check out Habitat for Humanity online at habitatta.org for information on all of Habitat’s programs. You can also follow them on Facebook at ‘Habitat of Trenton’ or Twitter at @habitat_trenton for various deals and promotions at the ReStore!