$615,000 of in-kind labor and materials donated to build and renovate area homeless shelters

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - The Home Builders Foundation completed seven projects in 2013, including these newly renovated residential units in the Boys and Girls Aid transitional living facility in Beaverton.The past year was a record-setting one for the Portland area Home Builders Foundation as it completed seven construction projects in 2013 to help provide shelter and transitional housing for the homeless.

The seven projects were valued at $1.76 million, with approximately $615,000 of this value donated in the form of in-kind or heavily discounted labor and materials from members of the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland and others in the local home building industry.

“We set out to double the number of projects we completed the previous year,” says Ken Cowdery, Home Builders Foundation executive director. “I’m pleased to say that we went well beyond that goal.”

Projects included:

• A major renovation of the Goose Hollow Family Shelter operated by Portland Homeless Family Solutions.

• The creation of a transitional housing facility in Beaverton for homeless youth — a facility that was developed in partnership with the city of Beaverton and is operated by Boys and Girls Aid.

• A major expansion of The Harbor, an addiction recovery center for homeless men operated by the Portland Rescue Mission.

Additional projects included shelter kitchen remodels, interior and exterior painting and projects designed to enhance the appearance and comfort of shelters.

Since 2005, the foundation has built and renovated more than 40,000 square feet of shelter space valued at nearly $4 million. These projects accommodate more than 500 homeless men, women, youth, families with children and domestic violence survivors each year.

“We could not do what we do without the generosity of HBA members and others in the home building industry.” Cowdery says. “Their in-kind donations of time, talent and materials make these projects affordable for shelter providers. In some cases these projects never would have happened without their assistance.”

For now, the foundation has three major projects planned for this year, including: a transitional housing facility for young people who are leaving Oregon’s foster care system and are at risk of homelessness; a major renovation of a domestic violence shelter in Clackamas County; and an energy retrofit of a homeless youth facility.

“By doing energy retrofits or upgrades we hope to reduce the energy costs of a shelter by 40 percent, with the understanding that savings will be reinvested in more shelter beds or supportive services like job training,” Cowdery says.

The foundation is also interested in recruiting commercial builders as their projects get larger, and partnering with job training organizations through its scholarship program to meet the workforce needs of the home building industry.

The Home Builders Foundation, established in 1997, is the charity of choice for the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland. Its mission is to build transitional shelter for families and individuals experiencing homelessness and to provide construction-related educational opportunities for individuals interesting in pursuing a career in the home building industry. Visit for more information.

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