Habitat for Humanity of Faulkner County (HFHFC) is branching into home recycling, and the move has sparked new enthusiasm among donors and volunteers.

Work on its first "recycled" home will begin with a ceremony at 8 a.m. Saturday at 1315 Harrison St. The public is invited to attend. 

In 2009, Habitat opened a small ReStore in downtown Conway and began its quest to sell items at a fair price while saving usable goods from the local landfills. New and used donations to the ReStore are sold to the general public to help fund Habitat’s administration and future construction.  

After that first green step and the community’s excitement over repurposing usable objects, the local non-profit begin to ‘Get Greener’ by partnering with Conway Corp. and won the distinction of having built the first Energy Star Rated Habitat house in the Arkansas with house #19.

"The Habitat board committed to taking positive steps in our progression to Green awareness," said executive director Patricia Hoskins.

"So a few months ago when we were able to purchase a distressed property at a reasonable price, we made the decision not to tear the property down but to breathe new life into it. 

"The house was built in 1936 and although it had seen better days, it had the right amount of space to fit the needs of our next family," Hoskins said.

"Recycling homes was not feasible for the organization until recently, but our volunteers are excited to face this challenge.

"It’s a tremendous task and the board admits we have a great deal to learn regarding remodeling versus new construction," Hoskins said.

Shayne Hobbs, a general contractor and Billy Vaughn, building superintendent, both  members of the Habitat board, will orchestrate the building process.

Conway Corp. has again partnered to work with Habitat to achieve Energy Star rating.

"Energy conservation is crucial to the world’s future," says Hoskins.  "David Avra of Conway Corp. has provided us with comparisons of Habitat houses showing us the fiscal benefit our family living in the Energy Smart house enjoys. We want to work hard to provide the same level of building and financial savings that we experienced in house #19 to all our future builds.

"With Shayne’s and Billy’s guidance we’re confident we can do it. I believe Conway/Faulkner County has the best there is to offer. We can aim high because we’re setting the bar for an even better community," Hoskins said.  

The family that will occupy House #20 are Lakesia Clemons and her three sons who currently share a two-bedroom apartment.

They are looking forward to the space and privacy their new home will provide, Hoskins said.

"Lakesia begin working on her sweat equity hours during the construction of house #19. She will complete her remaining sweat equity hours with the remodeling of her Harrison Street home. She also has fulfilled her required Homebuyer Education class and will soon go through Faulkner County Habitat’s newest requirement for Homeowners: "Care, Maintenance and Beautification."

Anyone interested in volunteering with Habitat should send an email with contact information to: habitat@conwaycorp.net with "Volunteer" in the subject line or call 501-513-3244.