By MARK MCGEE
Pam Birtcil, executive director of Bedford Builds Habitat for Humanity, and store manager Shontelli Head, have said their tearful goodbye to their thrift store on East Depot Street. But at the same time they are thrilled to have moved into new office space at 201 South Main St.
“I applied for a grant through Habitat International called a Capacity Build Staff Grant,” Birtcil said. “It is for small affiliates, so we qualified for that.
“I applied for Shontelli. She was considered part time with store, so I applied for her to become an administrative person working in the office to improve our staff.”
The grant pays for two years of Shontelli’s salary along with $5,000 to train her for her new position.
“She is going to be our volunteer coordinator and our family services coordinator,” Birtcil said. “That is going to help us tremendously. Everyone loves Shontelli.”
“She will be in the reception area welcoming visitors. I will have her out in the public helping me. What we need is home sponsors which can be businesses, individuals, or churches. We wanted to get into the churches and speak with the women’s groups and men’s groups.”
On Friday, the newest building site on Greenwood Avenue had a blessing ceremony. Birtcil will need volunteers of all sorts as well as financial support. The Shelbyville City Council has approved a one-time $10,000 grant to help with the construction.
The projected budget for the house is $160,000. It will have three bedrooms and two baths. Plans are for the foundation to be laid in September with hopes of finishing it by the end of the year.
“We need gifts in kind,” Birtcil said. “The more gifts in kind for free labor and materials we receive the cost will come down.
“Elite Mechanical’s John Farley has come forward to provide our HVAC system. He will provide free labor. We just need to buy the materials.”
Other sponsors of the house include Peoples Bank, the Allen Pitner Memorial Fund along with several personal donations. Haynes Brothers will provide windows and doors.
Birtcil s noncommittal about whether another thrift store will be opened in the future.
“We may if we have some type of opportunity for a building that wouldn’t have the costs we have right now,” Birtcil said. “As we grow our staff, and our foundation gets bigger and stronger we may have enough to open another store. It is definitely not out of the question.”
But she is hopeful of many houses being built in the future. If you want to help in any way call 931-684-4300.
“We are here to help the community,” Birtcil said. “This is a bright beginning for us.”