Transformations at the ReStore
Since 2013, New Orleans Habitat has partnered with the New Orleans Mission, a local faith-based organization that provides support for people recently released from jail or experiencing homelessness. The Mission has several programs designed to help people gain work experience or skills, including a faith-based Discipleship program. After six months in the program, participants are placed with a local organization as part of a return-to-work initiative, and through this the ReStore was lucky enough to meet Demond McCormick.
Habitat’s work is about transformations. Habitat homebuyers’ lives often change for the better as an affordable home of their own helps them achieve stability and self-reliance, and many volunteers talk of how helping build homes alongside partner families opens their eyes. According to those who knew him, Demond was transformed through the Discipleship program and his time at the ReStore.
“It was amazing to see the growth of someone who came in so young and shy,” said Earl Scioneaux, Director of Divine Staffing at the Mission. “Then he flourished there so well that it was to the point where [the ReStore staff] were specifically asking for him.”
“I liked helping people and liked the people working here,” Demond said. “I thought, ‘I could work here every day.’ Everyday you meet a lot of different people, different moments, different times”
Demond went from the Mission program to being a driver at the ReStore, helping with donation pickups and representing the affiliate throughout the New Orleans area. Donations are sold at the ReStores in order to fund Habitat’s programs, including the new home construction and home repair services.
“I was living a hard life when I found the Mission,” Demond said. “It taught me to have patience. I like to view this opportunity as an open door for me to grow, learn, and develop.”
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