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.”

In 2015, 700 tons of material was recycled or reused, thanks to Better Futures’ deconstruction services. More at:

Habitat for Humanity, which operates a store in New Brighton, on Thursday opens a “ReStore” at 27th and Minnehaha that features new and used building materials, appliances, cabinets, furniture, flooring, lighting, plumbing and hardware. It is donated by individuals, builders, wholesalers and manufacturers. Donated items are resold at up to 70 percent off retail prices.

Sales at the 23,000 square-foot store will go toward increasing the number of modest-income families who help build and buy new and refurbished Habitat houses. The ReStore in New Brighton last year earned $300,000 on sales of more than $900,000, enough to be the primary financial partner on six homes. Donations are tax deductible. Habitat, one of the biggest housing suppliers in the Twin Cities, has partnered with low-income homeowners, volunteers and funders to build or renovate more than 3,000 homes over 30 years. More information at: