Palouse Habitat Surplus Store provides affordable home improvement materials

The store hopes to provide classes in basic repair work in the future

Surplus+store+allows+people+to+grab+furniture+and+more+if+they+need+it.

DEX ALTAVILLA

Surplus store allows people to grab furniture and more if they need it.

SAYDEE PHOTHIVONGSA, Evergreen reporter

What once started out as two shipping containers in a vacant lot in 2012 has grown into a fully-owned building with all the home improvement supplies you can think of. Palouse Habitat Surplus Store provides the community with an affordable option for home improvement and decor. 

“There’s not a lot of stores that are basically a thrift store version of Home Depot so we’ve got a unique niche,” Jennifer Wallace, Palouse Habitat for Humanity executive director, said.

Completely run by volunteers in the beginning, the store now operates with a mixture of five staff members and volunteers from the community, she said. 

You can find just about anything in the store from sinks and carpet to fridges and furniture, store manager Eldon Hodges said. 

Hodges recently organized all of the materials in the store which has made it easier to shop and increased sales, he said. 

The store also has a delivery truck that can be used to pick up donations and make deliveries around Whitman and Latah counties, Wallace said. 

It is important to have a resource like the delivery truck so that donating and shopping at the store are as accessible and easy as possible for people who do not have a way of transporting those items, she said. 

Palouse Habitat Surplus Store recently launched a voucher program that allows those who need emergency support to get the materials they need at an even greater discount, Wallace said. 

Vouchers have gone to places like Family Promise of the Palouse, Alternatives to Violence on the Palouse and those who were affected by the Malden fires, she said. 

In addition to selling home improvement supplies, Palouse Habitat Surplus Store also serves as a donation center for these types of items which helps keep viable materials out of landfills, Wallace said. 

“Eight hundred twenty-five tons of material since we launched the store have been repurposed and kept out of the landfill,” she said. “That’s another community service that we’ve been able to provide so I’m really proud of that.” 

Future plans for the store include having a space where people can take classes in things like basic carpentry and appliance repair, Wallace said. 

“We will probably charge a nominal fee for some of those classes so it’ll be another revenue stream for us, but more importantly, it’s going to be another area of service to the community,” she said. 

Palouse Habitat is in the final stages of fundraising for a building renovation which will allow for the aforementioned space, Wallace said. 

Palouse Habitat Surplus Store is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Information on how to volunteer and what kinds of items are unacceptable for donations can be found on the website