SAULT STE. MARIE -- The Sault's Habitat for Humanity Restore says its future is looking brighter, after some early struggles into the COVID-19 pandemic.

Staff say that sales have been on the rise since reopening in June. But officials credit one crucial decision back in April, as to why it's stayed afloat.

"Making the decision to go to an online only store was absolutely instrumental for us," said Katie Blunt, executive director for the Habitat for Humanity in Sault Ste. Marie "Without it, I'm not entirely sure where we would be today."

One of the toughest decisions was to make layoffs to the majority of its staff. Volunteers were also axed off, due to COVID-19 concerns.

"Thankfully, all of that was just temporary," Blunt said. "The online store really helped us get through what was an incredibly difficult time."

A loss in revenue also resulted in other projects getting delayed. One of those was the Sault's 12th Habitat for Humanity build, which officially broke ground Friday.

"For a while, there was thinking that it's not happening and I understand with COVID and that's what I was kind of worried about," said Tracy Poliquin, home recipient. "It's nice to see it start getting in motion, it's definitely something that we are looking forward to."

The ground breaking was delayed by nearly two months, after Poliquin and her family were chosen as recipients back in June. But she says she's just excited to see construction finally get underway.

"It's really nice that it is this big and that this many people showed up to be part of it," Poliquin said.

Despite delays, Blunt said construction is still on track to be completed by the end of the year.