Better Futures Minnesota and Habitat for Humanity are opening used building-materials, appliance and fixtures stores within a block of each other on a mile of Minnehaha Avenue S. between 26th and 38th streets that feature retailers peddling used and recycled goods.

Better Futures opened at 26th and Minnehaha and also launched an online e-commerce site for reclaimed building materials. Better Futures, which employs 72 people, most of whom are re-entering the workforce from prison, also provides “deconstruction services” that a Hennepin County official said are cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternatives to demolition. Eighty-five percent of a building is recycled.


“We look at how to minimize construction and demolition waste going to the landfill,” said Paul Kroening, a supervising environmentalist at Hennepin County. “Better Futures is the only one providing deconstruction services, and it works well with employment training and improving lives.”