SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento area chapter of Habitat for Humanity is up and running again with a full staff after securing funding through the Paycheck Protection Program [PPP], a provision of the CARES Act.
The chapter was forced to close when the pandemic closures shuttered it’s ReStore program, a major source of funding.
Jilly Jefferson, 29, had just started working for the non-profit in February. She said it was the job she had always wanted and the opportunity of a lifetime.
In an experience that is now all too common, that dream seemingly evaporated overnight when the pandemic struck.
“It was definitely a huge blow to our momentum,” Jefferson said. “And it was heartbreaking and very emotional. And I think we were all feeling the heaviness of that.”
Lea Miller, President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity for Greater Sacramento, said everything had to shut down.
“When the shelter-in-place order happened, we had to close our ReStore, which is a retail outlet open to the public that sells furniture, used furniture, appliances, building supplies, goods like that.”
The closure shut down a major source of funding for the nonprofit, which was close to $120,000 a month.
“Those are those funds that we use to cover payroll for our staff, overhead costs,” explained Miller. “Those funds also help build and repair homes in our community. So when that happened and the pandemic hit and we had to shelter in place, we ended up losing quite a bit of revenue coming in, and as a result, we had to furlough 90% of our staff and press pause on all of our build sites.”
Now, the nonprofit’s fortunes have shifted, thanks to funding from a PPP loan.
“This week we’re really, really excited because we were successfully able to secure PPP funding through the help of our banking partner, River City Bank, and we were able to bring all of our staff back.”
Jefferson is now back on the job, doing what she loves to do most.
“It is just such a joyful occasion,” said Jefferson. “I’m beyond thrilled, and I know our entire team is too. As a whole, we are coming back with more momentum than ever. And we’re ready to get back building, and we’re ready to get back to our mission, which is spreading hope and empowerment to those in the community who need it the most and especially right now.”
Miller echoed Jefferson’s sentiments.
“We are confident and we are determined to build back, and get back to the work of building and repairing the affordable housing our community so desperately needs,” said Miller.
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