Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

January 10, 2014

Habitat site gets facelift

TAHLEQUAH — Sometimes, to better serve others, you have to help yourself.

Tahlequah Area Habitat for Humanity, the nonprofit organization known for providing affordable homes for people in the community, is rehabilitating a building that houses several nonprofit agencies.

Habitat for Humanity staff and volunteers have claimed the corner at College Avenue and First Street for new purposes.

After opening an office and sharing the building with Kid Connections for four years, Habitat added a 4,000-square-foot Surplus Store in the back. This past September, the organization purchased the building and began renovating the administration area.

Work on the 8,500-square-foot space is nearing completion, and includes a new office space that is for rent. The nonprofits Kid Connections and Cherokee County Legal Services rent space there.

“It started with donations,” said Linda Cheatham, executive director of TAHFH, as she proudly showed visitors around the new and improved office space. “People called us all the time to donate used appliances and building materials and we didn’t have room for storage for those items.”

Many Habitat affiliates have ReStores, a Habitat trademark, Cheatham said.

“Our affiliate felt strongly that we could turn these donations into revenue to help build more Habitat houses in Cherokee County,” she said.

The Surplus Store carries everything - furniture, décor and other household items - including the kitchen sinks.

Habitat is applying for the ReStore trademark, and hopes to gain approval this year.

The purchase of the building came when it was realized that, for not much more than they were paying for rent, they could negotiate a purchase price with the previous owner and turn a rental fee into a mortgage payment.

“After purchasing the building, we implemented a plan to renovate and make better use of the space generating private offices for our current occupants, as well as Habitat,” Cheatham said. “We also have generated an additional private office that is available for rent Feb. 1.”

The space isn’t just                        for nonprofits

With a private entrance, windows and use of a conference room and kitchen, the office rents for $900, with utilities paid. It is available to any business seeking space, and not exclusive to nonprofits.

“It’s important to Habitat to have a safe and compliant building, so Fire Chief Ray Hammons has been invited numerous times to inspect our building,” she said. “And we’ve recently received out safety certificate, stating all systems are up to code.”

Decades-old HVAC systems were replaced, she said, and lighting was upgraded by Talking Leaves Job Corps students, working under the license of a local contractor. Now the bathrooms are being upgraded to allow wheelchair access.

“We used a lot of items from the Surplus Store; we pay for the items we use,” she said.

Other growth has been with staff.

“Experience Works has provided two workers, one as a cashier and one as an administrative assistant,” Cheatham said. “We hope to get a third to do maintenance and to repair donations. We’re trying to divert items that may be going to the landfill to be usable.”

The organization recycles what it can’t sell.

“We have to be careful what we sell in the store to be sure all the items meet federal guidelines. We’ve been lucky to be under Habitat International, our parent company, because they keep us up to date on federal regulations, which effect surplus stores and mortgage companies.”

Experience Works is a federal agency, formerly called Green Thumb, that puts senior citizens to work in nonprofit agencies.

As renovations are wrapping up, plans for House No. 21 are being made. Over spring break, 25 college students will be volunteering, and in June, 100 volunteers from the Maplesville, Ill., United Methodist Church will come to work on the house.

Text Only
Local News
  • ts-marching-MAIN.jpg Marching in step

    Tahlequah High School Orange Express Marching Band kicks off 2014 season with summer drills.

    The Tahlequah High School Orange Express Marching Band has added 30-35 freshmen to its roster this year, and drills began for the newest members last Thursday.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • studie-roberta.jpg Woman accused of stealing cash, taking it to casino

    A 35-year-old Tahlequah woman is free on bond after she allegedly took $1,200 from a man who had been jailed for old warrants.
    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies said they spoke with Jason Jones last week after Jones was arrested by park rangers for the outstanding warrants. Jones said he came to Oklahoma to see family, and when he was arrested, he left his wallet and cash with one of his daughters.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-Hepatitis.jpg Hepatitis vaccinations important today

    The phrase “back to school” may be disdained by kids for many reasons, including a trip to the doctor’s office to update immunizations.
    But hepatitis cases in Oklahoma provide a good example of why these vaccinations are important.
    “There was a time when Hepatitis A was just crazy in Oklahoma. The state was actually known for it,” said Becky Coffman, an epidemiologist with the Oklahoma Health Department’s Acute Disease Service.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • hood-raymond.jpg One man caught, another sought after foot chase

    Two people tried to escape sheriff’s deputies, and one was successful, after a traffic stop on U.S. Highway 62 last weekend.
    Deputy Bryan Qualls was on the highway when he noticed a red Chevrolet Avalanche matching the description of a truck that had been spotted at the scene of a recent burglary.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Detectives investigate deaths of two elderly residents

    Incident may be murder-suicide

    Tahlequah police detectives believe the deaths of two elderly Cherokee County residents are part of a murder-suicide that took place July 24-25.

    July 29, 2014

  • ts-Tax-free-main.jpg Shopper's delight

    Tax-free weekend coming up Aug. 1-3, just in time for back-to-school savings

    Attention, shoppers: Oklahoma’s Tax-Free Weekend is coming up, beginning at 12:01 a.m., Friday, Aug. 1.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • ballard-amanda.jpg Woman pleads no contest to molestation

    A Tahlequah woman accused of having more than 20 sexual encounters with a 13-year-old boy has pleaded no contest in exchange for a 15-year prison sentence, though 10 years have been suspended.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-arch-society.jpg Archaeologist: Spiro Mounds may have been ancient music haven

    People gathered from across the country at the “center of the universe,” bringing with them different styles of music and instruments, each thought to have its own power and importance.
    This could be the description of a modern music festival, but to Jim Rees, it is a picture of the Spiro Mounds 1,000 years before Columbus came to the Americas.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Two headed for trial for conspiracy to kill judge and others

    Two of the four people accused of conspiring to kill a Cherokee County judge and several other targets were bound over for trial Friday following a preliminary hearing in Tahlequah.

    July 28, 2014

  • Woman accused in embezzlement sought for arrest

    Court officials have issued a bench warrant for a woman who previously pleaded to embezzling more than $40,000 while she worked for Tahlequah attorney Park Medearis.

    July 28, 2014


Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating