The Fuller Center for Housing of Northwest Louisiana in Shreveport has opened a Surplus Store in the city where The Fuller Center built its very first home in 2005. It becomes the fourth such Surplus or ReUse store in the Fuller Center ranks, joining similar operations in Hammond, La., Silver Valley, Idaho, and Darke County, Ohio.
“Being in this business, we get a lot of stuff donated,” said manager Rodney Longstratt, whose Surplus Store opened this past weekend and will be open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. “However, a lot of the stuff that gets donated, you can’t use on the house that you’re building at the time. For people that are looking to do a repair project, maybe smaller than a Greater Blessing like we do, to be able to get materials at a discounted price is something that a lot of people are looking forward to.”
The store accepts in-kind donations of new and gently used building materials, lighting fixtures, sinks, cabinets and other items. The public can buy the items at a fraction of the retail price, and proceeds are used to help the local covenant partner continue to build homes and change communities.
Longstratt said the Surplus Store had a good opening weekend.
“We’re trying to build up stock,” he said. “We didn’t have a great amount of stock, but we had enough to get started and get the word out. People came out, and I don’t think we did bad for the first weekend. We had a good flow of traffic and got a great idea of what people are looking for. We’ve got lessons to learn every day.”
Director of U.S. Field Operations Kirk Lyman-Barner had an opportunity to visit the operation last week just before its official store opening.
“The new Surplus Store is an example of an entrepreneurial solution for a society that has too much stuff, and these kinds of stores tend to thrive during tough economic times,” Lyman-Barner said. “As contractors and do-it-yourselfers have good quality used building materials and manufacturers and suppliers find themselves overstocked, the Fuller Center Surplus store is a one-stop solution that will recycle the items, offering them to other builders and renovators at a modest price. The donors get a tax receipt for their donations, and the customers have the satisfaction of knowing that their purchase will advance the housing ministry of The Fuller Center for Housing of Northwest Louisiana.”
The Fuller Center for Housing of Northwest Louisiana’s Surplus Store is located at 4221 Linwood Ave., Shreveport, LA 71133. You can reach them by phone at 318-865-1237, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at www.fullercenternwla.org.
Watch this video about the success story of the Allendale community of Shreveport: