Habitat Catawba Valley & ReStore Catawba Reopening Update

Shelter and safety go hand in hand. Though our doors have been closed to the public, the team at Habitat Catawba Valley has still been hard at work this entire time building forward. Now, we are excited to announce that we are beginning to resume some of our public operations. Our staged reopening prioritizes the areas of service which are most essential to our mission and in which we can best guarantee the safety of our staff, supporters, and neighbors. We have implemented increased safety and sanitation measures throughout our operations. We look forward to welcoming you back as we reopen our public offerings. Below is an overview of our current measures. We will continue to monitor the local health landscape and respond accordingly, so check back often for updates! As always, we thank you for your continued kindness and cooperation as we work to build safety, strength, and stability for all our Catawba Valley neighbors.

Reopening measures:

  • Habitat Catawba Valley & ReStore Catawba have taken the Open & Safe Commitment.
  • ReStore Catawba is open and welcoming shoppers with expanded hours Wednesday – Saturday, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Contact-free donation drop off times Monday – Saturday, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm, or schedule a pick up by calling 828-327-7467.
  • You can shop the ReStore online at shopcatawbarestore.org.
  • Weekly Shop and Save days will return when the ReStore is able to return to full operation. Follow the ReStore social media accounts for information on special sales and discount days that will happen during our current operating hours.
  • In compliance with the state mandate, masks are required in the ReStore.
  • In an effort to keep you, our volunteers, and our staff safe, you are responsible for unloading your own donations, or you can schedule a contact free pick up by calling the ReStore or providing your information here: habitatcatawbavalley.org/restore/donate. ReStore customers will also be responsible for loading their own purchases.
  • Construction continues across three different work sites and repairs, utilizing staff only for the moment.
  • Homeowners continue to move through the acceptance, construction, and homebuyer education process.
  • The main office is still closed to the public; however, the staff is still hard at work. If you need to connect with a staff member, we recommend using email for the fastest reply. You can find staff contact info here: habitatcatawbavalley.org/about/staff.
  • We are planning a staged reopening for our volunteer program, beginning with small crews of regular volunteers. Check back here for updates on individual and group opportunities as they become available.

Director’s Corner – Being a Hero Begins at Home

Now more than ever, Home is the center of our lives.

Mitzi Gellman

In no other time has our Home been asked to do more. From transforming into a home office, to a school classroom, to a quarantine facility, to a full-time restaurant, our Homes have taken on the jobs that we used to do past our front door.

We are sheltering in place for the good of our community, but we are a country of “doers”. When there is a disaster, we sign up, we volunteer, we hammer, we roll up our sleeves and donate blood, we console our far-flung neighbors, we pray together for healing and hope.

Never have we been asked to help by staying home. And while there may be another person or two to look after – I have an ever-needy golden retriever and an aloof cat – we are isolating in our homes to help ourselves and our brothers and sisters.

Staying at home is hard. It’s not me. I’ve found myself wearing my Presbyterian Disaster Assistance t-shirt as a reminder of a time when I was a “doer” on a post Hurricane Katrina mission trip to New Orleans.

Unlike with a hurricane, there are no walls or roofs to replace with this kind of a disaster. But there will be lives to be rebuilt. Together, we build homes. But more than that, we build strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter. So whether you or your neighbors are sheltering in place, sheltering your family, or sheltering your dreams for the future, Habitat has your back.

And when it’s time, we’ll be back as the nation of “doers” and Habitat will need your help. Until then, thank you for all you are doing to keep our community safe. Heroes really are made home.

In peace and partnership,

Mitzi Gellman

COVID-19 Update 4/1/2020

Dear Neighbors,

These are uncharted times for our community and events are changing quickly. Just 10 days ago, Habitat suspended public operations through March 31st.

Now updated CDC and NCDHHS guidelines for North Carolina mean that Habitat will be on hold longer than originally planned. Despite this set back, I want you to know that Habitat Catawba Valley is still here with you, and we have a blueprint for how to continue serving Catawba County.

Habitat Catawba Valley is hard at work providing affordable housing to our neighbors. Now more than ever, it’s important to build strength and stability. These core values guide our mission, and our readiness to serve.

Even in rocky times, we are working to build solid foundations. Habitat is moving forward with new homes in Ridgeview, while also finalizing closing documents and loans for our newest homebuyers. We’re also tailoring our support to current Habitat families, who by no fault of their own have decreased income. Help comes in the way of identifying jobs, connecting homeowners with community resources, and modifying house payment plans where needed.

Habitat will share these resources with you as well. We know that so many of us are facing the same challenges. We are all in this together.

To you all, I want to say: we are here. We are in this together. And Habitat is working harder than ever to bring strength, stability, and security to Catawba County. If there is any way Habitat can help you, please reach out. In the meantime, my prayer for you and your family is to have good health and find comfort in the days and weeks ahead.

In peace and partnership,

Mitzi Gellman

COVID-19 Update 3/16/2020

More than an organization, Habitat Catawba Valley prides ourselves on being a community of supporters. Therefore, in the interest of keeping our community safe, we have decided to suspend all public operations until March 31st. This is not an easy decision, nor a light one, but we feel that it is a socially responsible one.

The team at Habitat Catawba Valley has been vigilantly monitoring the latest COVID-19 safety guidelines from local, state, and national health authorities. It is under these guidelines that we have decided to close our office building, ReStore, and worksites and to suspend volunteer activities until March 31st. However, we continue to closely follow this changing situation, and will continue to provide necessary updates should any arise.

We are still committed to the work ahead of us; we are monitoring the situation so that we may provide the least amount of disruption to our affordable housing services, while still prioritizing the health of the community first and foremost. To this end, staff will be working remotely to serve clients, maintain donor relations, and move projects along. We are in close communication with each of our partners, and are working together to develop the best plan forward for all of our upcoming projects in the interest of public health.

At Habitat Catawba Valley, we often thank you for working with us to build something better. However, that could not be more true than in moments like these. We appreciate your continued support, flexibility, and commitment to building strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter. Our thoughts are with all our neighbors across the globe who have been impacted by the coronavirus. And we wish you and your family health, safety, and support during this challenging time.

As always, thank you for joining us in the belief that everyone needs a decent place to live, and in the work to make that belief a reality.

In peace and partnership,

Mitzi Gellman

Under Construction

We are building resources to help you and your family navigate these unprecedented times. Check back often, because we will be updating them here as soon as they are available.

How We’re Still Building

Homeowner Services

  • Processing loan documents and house closings so our partner families’ path to homeownership remains uninterrupted
  • Providing homebuyer educations classes in new video formats so that homebuyers in our pipeline remain current with program
  • Increasing homeowner counseling and support to help partner families manage decreased income and possible difficulty making mortgage payments
  • Creating list of resources for distribution to help our homeowners, and others, weather the current crisis

Habitat Builds – New Construction

  • Working on current construction projects, one staff member at a time
  • Implementing a grading plan, finalizing site design, and selecting house plans for The Cottages at Ridgeview
  • Preparing for a new build project in collaboration with the City of Hickory

Habitat Repairs – Critical Repair

  • Processing current repair applications and assisting clients complete necessary paperwork
  • Preparing for our first-ever coordinated neighborhood repair effort in Ridgeview
  • Completing subcontractor work as needed


  • Reaching out to Gift in Kind donors, and local retailers, businesses, and manufacturers
  • Updating technology to improve all ends of the donor and shopper experience
  • Connecting with volunteers to keep them engaged and thank them for their continued service