It was a long road, but after eighteen months of permit review, seismic upgrades and a complete exterior makeover, Community of Hope’s “Hope House” shelter in St. John’s looks brand new. Prior to becoming a shelter for single parent households in 2016, HBF renovated the interior of the former 1950s-era block building. After receiving a $95,000 grant from Lowe’s in addition to $10,000 from the HBF in early 2018, the second phase work scope entailed replacing the aging roof, dry-rotten cedar cladding, old metal windows and installing an AC system for the first time in its history.
In the wake of a 2018 City of Portland resolution to enforce mandatory requirements for unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings and receiving a notice her building was on the URM database, shelter director, Linda Jo Devlaeminck decided it would be best to install seismic upgrades to protect the occupants of her eight bed shelter. A building scan from Carlson Testing determined that the building was actually under-reinforced, meaning it had some rebar and grouted sections, but not enough to prevent the building from collapsing in the event of a catastrophic earthquake. HBF then reached out to John Voekel, owner of Framework Engineering, who came up with a quick plan (free of charge) how to reinforce the building without blowing up the budget.
Despite delays in the City’s structural permit review, builder captain Ilya Zagaryuk with UKA Construction, easily handled roof replacement and seismic retrofits during the rainy months of winter by installing a large make-shift tent on the large, flat roof. Other donors stepped up to help with the project such as Cascade Windows, Westside Drywall and Insulation (insulation), Builders FirstSource (lumber), James Hardie (siding), Boise Cascade (plywood), and Behr (Paint). As a result of more than $75,000 of in-kind donations from the building community, Linda Jo was able to squeeze in adding a second bathroom to the upstairs to cap off the huge project.
The formerly drab brown building is now bright blue, adorned with a new mural to replace the old one that faced the garden. Two interior murals were also provided by a generous grant from CBRE during the course of the project. Reflecting on the entirety of the project, Linda Jo says, “It is amazing to me the number of people and companies that helped us to do this. Our relationship with the Home Builders Foundation and all those who support us though their connections has had a profound impact on our program and the families who live here.”