House vs. Home: HomeAid/Shelter development update

By Mel Tashima Duncan, Foundation Director

I bet many of you use the words house and home interchangeably. I know I do. But for the 4,000 homeless individuals in Portland each night, there is a huge difference.

A house is a structure. Where you sleep, store your stuff, park your car. But a home is where you feel safe, warm and protected. Home is where you build a life.

For nearly 12 years now, the Foundation and HomeAid Portland have addressed the issue of homelessness. We create a sense of “home” for those who have none. We are an industry uniquely qualified to build shelter- emergency and transitional housing for homeless families in our community.

Unfortunately, there are an increasing number of families that don’t have a place to call home. As an industry, we are actively engaging the problem and lending a helping hand.

In 2008, the Foundation embarked on its loftiest undertaking yet, adopting two renovation projects, the Raphael and Cordero Houses, which will be completed by the end of 2009.  Below, an update on Cordero House...




Cordero House: The last few months have been a waiting game for Cordero House Builder Captains Mike Arnett (Lifestyle Homes) and Jim Feild (Progressive Builders NW). The captains have been waiting for Washington County to complete its reviews of Ken Hodges’ (Civil Engineer) work and his subsequent revisions to their requests for changes.  The county has asked Janus Youth Programs, the care provider for Cordero House, to implement some additional measures pertaining to drainage swales, access approaches, parking accessibility and drive aisles. The two parties are now in negotiations on what can and cannot be accomplished.

Concurrently Builder Captains are re-confirming and securing commitments, donated labor and materials for the exapansion project as permit approval process continues. Landscaping, striping, excavation, and concrete still need to be secured.