Home Builders Foundation returns to Buckman House

Built in 1906, the 4,600 square foot home operated by Janus Youth has served adjudicated and pre/post incarcerated young men in custody of the Oregon Youth Authority (OYA) and the former Children’s Services Division since 1976.  Nearly 1,300 youth ages 17 to 24 have called Buckman House “home” for 9 to 12 months while completing the final stages of treatment prior to their release from the Oregon Youth Authority system.

In the first phase, Home Builders Foundation (HBF) partnered with Neil Kelly Home Performance to increase the energy efficiency of Buckman House and make it a more comfortable place to live.  Neil Kelly performed an energy audit and it showed that the air leakage rate is almost three times the recommended level. HBF secured donations and discounts from Owens Corning, Suburban Door, BASCO, Platt Electric, Energy Trust of Oregon and Westside Drywall. The energy retrofit included new insulation, air duct sealing, tank-less water heater, lighting upgrades, updated wiring and added energy efficient appliances.

In addition to securing donations and discounts for the project, HBF also awarded a $10,000 grant to Buckman House to support the improvements.

In the second phase, HBF returned in 2017 to assist with more exterior improvements to help preserve the shelter. Milgard Windows & Doors generously donated all of the windows for the house and Rodda Paint donated paint after the old lead paint was removed, as well as new oil paint for the peeling porch.

“For a 17 year old youth who has spent the last 5-9 years of his life in a bleak, closed custody setting, transitioning to a “home” setting that is attractive, welcoming and modern is a powerful motivator to their completing treatment, securing employment or even enrolling in college once they transition back into the community and work to build a successful life, “ says Rosalie Karp, Development Director of Janus Youth.

“It’s so important to help preserve the existing stock of homeless shelters and other facilities, because if one closes, it’s so hard to get it back,” said Ken Cowdery, Executive Director of HBF. “One way we can help preserve them is to make them more efficient and sustainable for the long run.”