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Local shelter gets restful gift

Sealy replaces every bed at Good Neighbor Center


by: TIMES PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Lynn Vancil, left, and many volunteers helped bring in new mattresses to the Good Neighbor Center in Tigard. Local Sealy stores donated the mattresses to organizations across the region. Jack Schwab last week got the best gift he could dream of: The gift of a good night's sleep.

To be more specific, the good night's sleep is for the residents of the Good Neighbor Center homeless shelter on Southwest Greenburg Road in Tigard.

Sealy, the North Carolina-based mattress manufacturer that for years has operated a manufacturing plant in Northeast Portland, donated hundreds of new mattresses to local homeless shelters in the Portland area.

On May 1, Sealy crews donated 28 twin-sized mattresses and eight full-sized mattresses and box springs, enough to replace every bed in the Good Neighbor Center’s nine bedrooms.

“They were brand new — still in the plastic wrap,” Schwab said.

Portland shelters Community Warehouse, Human Solutions and The Salvation Army also received mattresses from Sealy.

As the largest homeless shelter in Washington County, Good Neighbor Center’s beds go through a lot of wear and tear, Schwab said.

“These old mattresses have been in here for years,” Schwab said. “Some are really in bad shape.”

The shelter housed 250 people from 73 families in 2012, Schwab said. “At any given time we have two or three bedwetters in the place,” Schwab added. “The best mattress covers in the world can only hold that at bay for so long.”

In total, the mattress manufacturer donated 360 new mattresses, according to Shailesh Patel, the company’s west region vice president of operations.

“These organizations provide life-changing support to families, children, veterans and others in need every day,” Patel said in a statement. “We hope our donation can provide a more comfortable night's rest for countless individuals who turn to these organizations for support."

Sealy teamed up with local United Steelworkers, Teamsters 162 and Teamsters 206 unions, to fund the mattresses for the Tigard shelter, Schwab said.

“We are so grateful,” Schwab said. “This is thousands of dollars worth of mattresses,” said Schwab. “Every night of the month, we have 25 or 26 beds occupied.

In an operation like the Good Neighbor Center, Schwab said, mattresses get worn out faster than everyday mattresses in people’s homes.

“We get the full spectrum of human behavior,” Schwab said. “Some people are very respectful of the property, others not so much.”

Sealy even took the shelter’s old mattresses away, Scwab said.

“Bless their hearts, it would have cost us about $400 to remove them,” Schwab said.

For more information about the Good Neighbor Center, visit goodneighborcenter.org




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