Sharen Smith wants to re-establish Habitat For Humanity (H4H) in our city.
The legalities of closing the old chapter down are still underway and she is already calling on like-minded people to form up the next version.
There are two reasons for her interest. One of them is purely practical and the other is purely philanthropic. She wants the building supplies thrift store that H4H ran, called ReStore, and she wants families in need to get a good-quality home to live in and base a progressive life. Secure housing is the most important part of uplifting anyone to higher stations in life, she said.
"I am an enthusiast. I do some renovations, but what I'd call myself is someone who does home rehab," she said.
"When I just need a small part, or one hinge for the kitchen cabinets, or a small cut of lumber, I don't want to have to go to the expense of buying a whole set down at the hardware store," she said.
"ReStore was such a wonderful place to go looking for things like that, and you knew you were helping people when you bought things. And I would donate things to them as well. It's nice to have a place like that."
She also sees the community benefits in identifying motivated families who would work for themselves on a new home donated, piece by piece and hour by hour, from the public. That is how H4H operates.
The national H4H body took steps this month to pull the affiliation charter from the local group operating on behalf of the nationwide charity (there are 65 other chapters in Canada). Exact details were not provided, but those involved explained in general terms that it was due to local noncompliance with national protocols for financial record keeping and operational transparency.
It was too early to open dialogue with a new interest-group, said H4H vice-president of marketing and communications Antonietta Mirabelli.
"We would entertain requests from any interest group looking to serve families in need in any Canadian community, including in the community of Prince George," she said.
However, at present "we are focused on the steps connected to closing down the current operations as the agreement with the current board of directors has been cancelled.
"Should we look at having a new presence in Prince George down the road, there will be a call for support for a local committee. We do not have a timeline for this as our priority must be to deal with the present matters."
Smith said she was so keen to see H4H building homes again in Prince George, and running the ReStore outlet, that she would be willing to summon local interest in preparation for the national body's timelines.
Mirabelli said any new group "would be starting from scratch to build funds and resources from ground zero," not stepping into past assets. There were legalities that prevented that from happening, she said.
Smith said anyone interested in one day joining her in a movement to open a new chapter could contact her at 250-561-0506.