Walking through the door at Community Warehouse, you could mistake it for a national chain home improvement store. You see the same name-brand supplies (Kohler, Martha Stewart, American Standard), but at 75% of the price. Discounted prices are just part of the mission for this faith-based, non-profit home improvement store.
Community Warehouse was started over a decade ago by a group of businessmen looking to make a real difference in our city. The concept? Build a retail store that could do two things: sell deeply discounted home improvement materials to improve neighborhood buildings and employ background challenged individuals from those same neighborhoods to run the warehouse. They worked hard to get top-of-the-line products donated from nationally recognized companies.
Products are available to Milwaukee neighborhoods that could use a little help. "The property must be in the Community Block Grant District," says volunteer Sarah Nielsen. "Residents become members for a very low price, kind of like a Sam's Club." Neilsen says, yearly membership fees are under $30, a savings that is usually made back during the first purchase.
Check out the second part of this Community Warehouse story to hear how their employment program is empowering people to turn their lives around.