Recycled building materials retailer Odom RE-USE gives back to Well House April 29-May 2

After joining the Grand Rapids market last summer, the reusable building material provider Odom RE-USE is leveraging its own resources to bring much needed resources to others, announcing a three-day fundraising promotion in partnership with the nonprofit organization Well House.  

From April 29-May 2, Odom RE-USE will donate 20 percent of its profits to Well House, which has used recycled building materials from Odom RE-USE to renovate downtown homes that offer those facing homelessness and addiction an immediate, affordable housing solution. 

"I have a lot of admiration for the mission and the style (Well House) goes about doing it. I really respect it a lot," says Bruce Odom, owner of the sustainably minded home improvement retailer at 1029 4 Mile Rd. NW. "They approach homelessness and even addiction problems in a dignified manner." 

His business, which salvages old building materials for resale to both commercial and residential clients, expanded into Grand Rapids from Traverse City last summer and he says the fundraiser is just one of three he has planned for this year – a product of his emphasis on connecting with community and approaching both natural and human resources with respect.  

"I think what we do in our businesses at Odom is have a lot of respect for natural resources and (Well House) has a lot of respect for human resources, so those two pools of resources come together here," he says. "They're also a local organization – the executive director lives across the street from me. It's really important to be connected to community and to participate in your community."

Odom RE-USE has also supplied reusable building materials to other local businesses in Grand Rapids, such as the upcoming Alger Heights restaurant The Old Goat, which built many of its dining tables from recycled wood salvaged by Odom RE-USE. 

Well House Executive Director Tami VandenBerg says the fundraiser will help with renovation of affordable downtown homes for an underserved population. With six finished homes currently occupied and two nearing completing, she says Well House has secured grant funding to purchase 3-5 more homes in 2015 and will "keep moving forward" from there. 

"We can't take on too many that are vacant, but the demand is very, very high," says VandenBerg, whose organization has moved 67 people into low-rent housing since January 2013, with nearly 90 percent leaving homelessness behind them permanently.  

VandenBerg says Well House initially discovered Odom RE-USE while looking for flooring to use in the home renovations, settling on greenish salvaged wood gymnasium flooring from one of the area schools. 

"We were looking all over for flooring for a house and finally found that Odom had this green gym floor that was wood and was just perfect – it's sleek and modern and there's still old paint from where it used to be a basketball court, so it looks really, really cool in the houses," she says, adding that the shared focus on re-use and responsible development has created a very positive dynamic between her organization and Odom Re-Use. 

"I think there's some really good synergy between us," she says. "We started using them because we needed flooring and really wanted to put in something that would last. We're really conscious of the materials we use, to the extent that we can be, so anytime we can use something that's more environmentally friendly or sustainable, we do."

Visit Odom RE-USE and Well House online or find them on Facebook for more information. 

Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of Odom RE-USE

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