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Giving shelter at the mission

A Hillsboro contractor recently took on the Home Builders Foundation’s largest project to date without realizing just how significant the $1.2 million building renovation would be.

Nathan Young, owner of Nathan D. Young Construction, Inc., in Hillsboro, led the project, which started in 2012. Once Young understood the magnitude of the job, he convinced many subcontractors to donate their time to the effort.

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

In June, the Portland Rescue Mission’s Harbor Facility, in northeast Portland, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate its opening.

“We had dinner after the ribbon-cutting and saw how happy the guys who were going to be using the facility were about it,” said Young, who described the Harbor as nicer than most hotels in Portland. “We often don’t see what we build being used, so that was really unique for me and my men.”

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

The $1.2 million renovation of the Harbor included adding 15,000 square feet to the facility as well as putting on new roofing, painting, flooring, landscaping and assorted equipment. It was a joint effort that included Young’s construction company along with the Portland Home Builders Foundation and U.S. Bank.

“They’re our best client,” Young said of the Portland Rescue Mission. “They gave us the freedom to do what we do best, which is build.”

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 its founding in 1997, the Home Builders Foundation has built facilities that have provided 125 new beds for the homeless. Those beds help shelter 600 homeless people a year.

“It’s most rewarding knowing that what we did will change lives for years to come,” said Young.

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 provide educational courses at a learning center at the Harbor.

“Seeing the lives of men who have been addicted and at the lowest points of their lives 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.”

The Burnside shelter will focus services to increase emergency care, meals and shelter for homeless men, women and children.

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

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.

“This project has given us a lot more recognition within the industry,” said Young. “People know who we are.”




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  • 26 Nov 2014

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