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Builders' donations improve life-changing facility

by: COURTESY OF PORTLAND RESCUE MISSION - Several Portland-area construction companies donated time and material to a $1.2 million renovation and expansion of the Portland Rescue Mission's Harbor facility on Northeast Wygant Street. The facility was opened Thursday, June 13, as one of the biggest projects by the Home Builders Foundation.The Home Builders Foundation helped open its largest project Thursday evening when the ribbon was cut on a $1.2 million renovation of the Portland Rescue Mission’s Harbor Facility in Northeast Portland.

With 27 new beds, the Portland Rescue Mission will provide a place for homeless men. The renovation expanded the facility from 15 to 42 beds at 10336 N.E. Wygant St.

Like other Rescue Mission programs, The Harbor will provide help for addiction and teach life skills to men trying to turn their lives around, said Eric Bauer, Portland Rescue Mission’s executive director.

“The Harbor is a place for men to deal with those core issues in a safe environment, while also learning the life skills necessary to venture back into society and succeed,” Bauer said.

“Seeing the lives of men who have been addicted and at the lowest points of their life change it around and go to college is astounding,” said Alexa Mason, Portland Rescue Mission spokeswoman. “A safe environment for these changes to happen is exciting.”

At The Harbor facility, men will learn resume-writing skills, go through interview preparation, work toward their general education development degrees, be tutored and “gain legitimate experience,” she said.

Expanded services

The $1.2 million renovation of The Harbor, which was opened Thursday, June 13, included new roofing, painting, flooring, landscaping and equipment. It was a joint effort that included Nathan D. Young Construction Inc. of Hillsboro, the Portland Home Builders Foundation and U.S. Bank.

Builder Nathan Young led the project, which began in 2012, by convincing many subcontractors to donate much of their time to the effort.

“Nathan made this happen,” said Ken Cowdery, Home Builders Foundation executive director. “He’s been a real hero.”

by: COURTESY OF PORTLAND RESCUE MISSION - The renovated and expanded Harbor Facility on Northeast Wygant Street will have 42 beds for Portland-area homeless men.The Harbor allows Portland Rescue Mission to expand capacity at the Mission’s Burnside Shelter. The mission will host counseling sessions, promote community involvement and education courses at a learning center at The Harbor facility. The Burnside shelter will focus services to increase emergency care, meals and shelter for homeless men, women and children.

The Mission’s Sheppard’s Door shelter will also benefit from The Harbor, said Mason, providing contact with a large segment of the region’s homeless population.

“I clearly understand the need that’s out there,” said Cowdery. “It’s freeing up space downtown.”

Renovations were possible due to a $700,000 grant from U.S. Bank and $325,000 donated in labor and materials from the Home Builders Foundation.

Since it was founded in 1997, the Home Builders Foundation has built facilities providing 125 new beds for homeless. Those beds are used to shelter 600 homeless people a year.

The foundation is the charity of choice for the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland.