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Sisters Habitat buys iconic drugstore spot for thrift store


Sisters Habitat for Humanity announced Friday its recent purchase of the former Sisters Drug & Gift building at 211 East Cascade, with plans to move the Habitat Thrift Store to the new location in early 2019.

Tim and Deanna Muir owned the iconic building since 1985 and ran Sisters Drug & Gift until the business was sold in 2008. The building came up for sale this year. The purchase price was not disclosed, but the organization said in its announcement, “Sisters Habitat is deeply grateful to the Muirs for their generous efforts to make this transaction possible.

“We are excited about this project,” Habitat Board of Directors President Roger Fairfield said. “It will provide more opportunities for community members to donate and volunteer. Without these individuals, we wouldn’t be building affordable homes with Sisters families. It’s great to see a spirit of cooperation and support for Sisters Habitat, our stores and families/”

The new Thrift Store space is planned to be complete some time after the new year. Sisters Habitat’s Construction Manager, Darleene Snider, and construction volunteers will update the interior to include a greatly expanded sales floor, a sorting room and a receiving area for donations with added workspace for volunteers.

While the building of three Habitat homes will continue on pace, their progress slows down in the winter months, which fits nicely with the remodel needed for the store. At the new site, Thrift Store donations will be accepted behind the building in the alley between the store and Melvin’s by Newport Avenue Market.

The original Sisters Habitat for Humanity Thrift Store was opened in 1993 by Sisters Habitat volunteers. It was located in a small house on Main Street, where the Thrift Store is today. Within no time, the store was packed full with donations so the volunteers decided to tear the building down and build a larger store.

The current store opened in 1997 when Sisters city population was 827. Now, more than 20 years later, the volume of donations from generous and supportive citizens far exceeds the space available, and the donation drop off area is less than ideal.

With the new Sisters Habitat Thrift Store location, it will be possible to display and sell donations, more clothing, housewares and other popular items to adapt to the growth of the surrounding Sisters Country. Donating will be much easier, and volunteers will enjoy the extra room for sorting, cleaning and pricing.

Revenue from The Sisters Habitat for Humanity Thrift Store and the Habitat ReStore provides more than $250,000 each year for its home building program. These homes are sold at no-profit to partner families and financed with affordable mortgages that are issued for 30 years.

To date, 65 families have purchased homes from Sisters Habitat for Humanity. Sisters Habitat also relies on grants, homeowner mortgage payments and cash donations from individuals and businesses to support all their work.

With the expansion of the Thrift Store, it is projected that sales will grow exponentially. This translates to more affordable homes built each year, while still allowing low-income families and bargain hunters an affordable place to shop for high quality used merchandise and clothing.

The Sisters Habitat ReStore, selling furniture, lamps, appliances, tools and more, will stay at its current location on 254 W. Adams in Sisters. Given the Habitat ReStore location is also at its capacity, a decision will be made by the Sisters Habitat board of directors in 2019 for the future location of the Habitat ReStore.

Sisters Habitat for Humanity is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. Those interested in homeownership, home repair or volunteering with Sisters Habitat can visit the website or call the Habitat office at 541-549-1193.

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