Mon, Feb

Arizona Public Service donates office to Habitat for Humanity


Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity is known for two things: Helping low-income families achieve home ownership and reselling items in its ReStore.

When Arizona Public Service offered a 3,600-square-foot modular building to Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity this spring, the nonprofit’s Executive Director Tania Simms saw the parallel between her organization’s mission and APS’ act of charity.

“This brings significant meaning to that recycling model we hold dear,” Simms said, adding that the building — composed of five sections and currently stored on property owned by the city of Cottonwood — will become Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity’s new office facility.

“It’s going to be a little difficult for me to share our excitement,” Simms said at the official announcement and acceptance of the donation Oct. 11 at Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity’s offices and ReStore, 737 S. Main St., Cottonwood. “This space opens up many possibilities we can’t even begin to describe.”

But for a large maintenance structure in back, the organization’s current property houses all of Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity’s operations and ReStore. A former automotive sales building, the structure was purchased by Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity three years ago. By anyone’s standard, the 50-year-old building is in need of renovation and does not provide much room for operations and retail.

At the very least, APS’ donation will provide office and consultation space, staff and volunteer areas, meeting rooms and a community room.

Simms did not announce a date for construction, but said the facility will be placed on the organization’s current property, adjacent to the current facility, which will be turned into dedicated retail space.

According to Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors Chairman Lou Rangle, the 12-year-old building, housed in Prescott, used to be APS’ Northern Arizona center of operations.

Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity’s major expenditure to acquire the facility was shipping it from one location to the other. Rangle chalked the windfall to relationships, saying that if he and others in Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity had not invested in building good communication channels, acting as suportive partners to other organizations, APS might not have thought of them.

“For us, relationships are very important,” Rangle said.

Simms agreed, praising APS for contributing to the well-being of families in the Verde Valley. As a nonprofit for 23 years, Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity has become expert advocates of low-income families. According to her, a third of families in the Verde Valley live on less than $35,000 a year.

APS Chief Executive officer Don Brandt  said that having a roof over one’s head and receiving quality education are irreplaceable. With the donation of a structure that “still has a lot of life in it,” Brandt believes the mission of providing permanent homes will become a little easier.

“The needs of people are unlimited,” Brandt said, praising Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity’s efforts on behalf of the Verde Valley communities. You should be so proud of what you’re doing.

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