Portland Embraces the Free Sharing Economy

Companies such as Lyft, Airbnb, and TaskRabbit have revolutionized the service economy by connecting individuals to one another to share resources that may have otherwise been underutilized and thus undervalued. Arun Sundararajan, a marketing professor at NYU and author of the 2016 book “The Sharing Economy”, describes this new economic model as “crowd-based capitalism.”  In this model, economic activity occurs peer-to-peer, as opposed to being mediated by corporate systems.  Crowd-based capitalism allows an individual or community to optimize its resources by renting them out to others when they are not in use.  In Portland, the sharing-economy now includes free resources. That’s right, free!  All across Portland, local groups are leveraging the principles of the sharing economy to provide people with anything from power tools to board games and beyond.

Photo courtesy of Northeast Portland Tool Library

Photo courtesy of Northeast Portland Tool Library

Local resources and Lending Libraries

The ReBuilding Center in Portland has also embraced the free sharing economy through events it hosts like Fix-It-Fairs where folks can come and get their small appliances, bikes, garments and other items fixed for free. They also lists some of Portland's local “Lending Libraries” on their website

Lending Libraries are small community hubs across Portland that have a variety of tools and project materials available for rent, free of charge.  Think construction, auto repair, home improvement, and gardening.  Some Lending Libraries are standalone buildings, while others are located inside churches or community centers. Most of them rent to individuals, while some, such as Portland Community Tool Bank, specialize in renting to not-for-profit organizations.  Lending Libraries are predominately run by volunteers and sustained through individual and corporate donations as well as grants. 

Hillsboro Public Library's "Library of Things"

Libraries have embraced the free sharing economy for centuries, and it is only fitting that a local library would become a hub for free sharing of all sorts of goods.  The “Library of Things” is a project run by the Hillsboro Public Library that offers an eclectic array of items for rent to anyone with a library card.  The collection began with a donation of cake pans and has since grown to include rarely used, but occasionally coveted, items such as a cotton candy machine or telescope.  The Library of Things includes board games, musical instruments, and a variety of home and event equipment.  You can borrow from the Library of Things with a Washington County library card (which you can apply for with a Multnomah County card).  You can also contribute to the Library of Things by simply donating new or gently used items that other people could enjoy using. The collection provides the physical tools patrons need to explore new interests and learn new skills and are essentially “checking out an experience.” It’s so popular that it doesn’t even require much space for storage, because so many items are on loan at any given time.

Photo courtesy of Portland Community Tool Bank

Photo courtesy of Portland Community Tool Bank

Sharing is Caring

By using local Lending Libraries you can embody the ReBuilding Center’s mission to build community through reuse.  By sharing tools and materials within a community we are creating sustainable and accessible resources that empower individuals and organizations to repair homes, construct community gardens, and simply get work done affordably. 

Most of us are so used to having our own everything, we don’t yet see anything peculiar about having drawers and cupboards and closets full of items that rarely see the light of day. These Lending Libraries allow patrons to practice the first “R” of conservation—reducing—by making it easy to borrow. Like the ReBuilding Center, they are community resources that help people increase their skills while lowering their environmental footprint.

Find Your Nearest Tool Library

Name a tool that you need for home repairs and gardening, and you will find it at one of the local tool libraries near your home. For example, check out the Southeast Portland Tool Library at 1137 SE 20th Avenue.  Check out their website to see an array of hand tools—just like what you would find at a retail seller like Home Depot except they are free to use!  They all appear new and/or well taken care of.

Another location farther south on the east side is the Green Lents Community Tool Library and is a great resource for those who speak Spanish.  It has an excellent website and is located at 9215 SE Ramona Street. 

In the northeast sector of the city, we find the Northeast Portland Tool Library located in the Leaven Community Center/Salt and Light Lutheran Church.  It prefers residents that live in the northeast or west of 82ndIts goal is to offer "residents of all income levels access to tools to empower them to build and maintain a sustainable, thriving community."

And, those people living in the Kenton area can go to the Old Kenton Firehouse basement at 2209 N Schofield Street where they will find the North Portland Tool Library

One of these tool library services may be just right for you. To see a list of Lending Libraries in Portland, check out the ReBuilding Center’s resource page or consult the list below! We wish you good building!

Green Lents Community Tool Library
9215 SE Ramona Street, Portland 97266

Kitchen Share
2800 SE Harrison & 5431 NE 20th Ave

North East Portland Tool Library
5431 NE 20th Ave.

North Portland Tool Library
Old Kenton Firehouse (Basement)
2209 N. Schofield St.

Portland Community Tool Bank
6424 NE 59th Place

South East Portland Tool Library
2800 SE Harrison St.

Swap & Play - St Johns
7535 N Chicago St.

Swap & Play - Woodlawn
704 NE Dekum St.

Swap Positive
Multiple Locations

Yard Sharing
Multiple Locations

Students Continue to Bring Practical Solutions to Urban Village Issues

Something Rebuilding Center readers should be aware of is the brilliant student-led work being done to help provide creative solutions to our housing crisis. The group have earned national recognition by qualifying for robotics competitions, such as the FIRST (For Inspiration & Recognition of Science & Technology) Robotics Competition.  It is these students who came up with the idea of the JuiceBox that we've reported on in previous blog articles.  This group of innovators are composed of upper grade students, led by educators and leaders with a strong interest in applied technology.  This project has allowed the students to address a variety of social problems faced by the tiny house villages for the houseless communities scattered throughout the city.

After conceptualizing and creating the JuiceBox idea (a solar powered energy box that brings energy and light to the houseless), they identified personal hygiene as another important need. Without access to hot water and washing facilities, residents of the tiny houses cannot keep themselves and their clothes clean. Two solutions have been built by the "Flaming Chickens" (Caitlin Gabel's team name):

The WashPod

Plumbing pipes for the WashPod.

Plumbing pipes for the WashPod.

There is currently a WashPod, complete with a clothes washer and dryer installed at Right to Dream Too (R2D2).  The WashPod is completely off the grid, meaning it is not on the electrical power system of the city. The “gray water,” or wastewater discharged from showers and bathtubs, sinks and, laundry machines, feeds into a custom built filtration system creating purified waste water that feeds an on-site hydroponics garden, providing sustainably sourced food to the WashPod's community.



The ShowerPod

A ShowerPod ready to be delivered.

A ShowerPod ready to be delivered.

The ShowerPod is a hybrid shower system engineered to pump, filter, and heat water while running an exhaust fan and lights on the interior of the ShowerPod.  (The solar panels are purchased from Grape Solar in Eugene, Oregon and use high-efficiency instant propane water heaters “to help ShowerPods function reliably and efficiently.”)

One ShowerPod is currently located at Hazelnut Grove, a village of houseless individuals in North Portland.  Some of the residents are partnering with the students to refine, and build more ShowerPods!

We contacted Solomon Oshin, a student knowledgeable in every aspect of these exciting projects.  He kindly answered the following questions, further clarifying some of the exciting details:

Do the WashPod and ShowerPod need to be hooked up to a water source on site?

WashPods  get water from a variety of places. It has the ability to get water from a hose spigot, rainwater collection barrels, or even a rooftop rain collection system that is still in development.


Will more WashPods/ShowerPods be constructed?

Yes! The WashPod being installed soon at Right 2 Dream Too is a prototype designed by the Catlin Gabel School’s Community Engineering Team, part of the high school’s Team 1540 Robotics program. 

WashPod will become a Shine Project when the first prototype is completed, and more will be constructed by Shine in the near future!

Where have you located the WashPods/ShowerPods?

Transporting a WashPod.

Transporting a WashPod.

The first prototype is being installed soon at Right 2 Dream Too (R2D2). Our proof of concept, the smaller, less powerful, less feature-packed ShowerPod is currently installed at Hazelnut Grove. 

Do you have any feedback from any people using the WashPods/ShowerPods?

People love having the ability to feel clean! Our ShowerPod users have been giving us feedback on how we can improve the design of our showers (for example: WashPod #1 has a shower nearly double the size of ShowerPod’s). We are also working closely with R2D2 to make sure that we meet their needs with our prototype. 


Are there showers in the WashPod, or just washers and dryers?

Controls for propane water heater.

Controls for propane water heater.

We are equipping the first WashPod with a washing machine, commercial dryer, sink, and extra wide shower with a separate dressing/changing room. This will allow up to four people to use the WashPod’s services simultaneously. 

Thank you Solomon for answering our questions and to the group of Catlin Gabel students that continue to look for innovative solutions to create a more equitable Portland.

For more details, check out the following link:

From Seoul to Portland: a RBC Intern's Experience Abroad


By Jieun Lim

It was the first day of the year and my first day in Portland. Even with snow on the ground, my first impression of chilly Portland was more than I had expected. I would like to tell you about my experience in this fantastic city in Oregon that has turned out to be more than I could have ever dreamed of!


On that first day, I said to myself, "I've started my new life on the first day of 2017 in Portland!"

I wanted to travel to Portland from my home in Seoul, South Korea to study English and I also really wanted to know more about the awesome, eccentric Portlanders that I had heard of. "What's cool in Portland?" "How different is Portland from South Korea?"

The more I learned about Portland, the more I became fascinated with the city. From trying all the amazing food and coffee; to just wandering in the cool rain; to getting a beer at sunset; all these things were so pleasant to me! I'm also inspired by the unrestrained talents of local artists who provide valuable motivation for me as I pursue my dream to become an accomplished art educator. 


My work at the ReBuilding Center in North Portland has been one of my favorite experiences!

My work at the ReBuilding Center in North Portland has been one of my favorite experiences! I've been volunteering at the ReBuilding Center since October. I've been helping Ashley, a wonderful manager in marketing department, help publish several newsletters for the organization. In addition, I've been working in the ReFind Education Shop, building with salvaged lumber. My experience volunteering here has inspired me to explore more interesting and creative ways to educate children on art and how to make the world better place at the same time!

Recently, the ReBuilding Center received their copy of a Korean magazine, OH BOY!, a publication that focuses on a range of different topics, such as environmentalism, animal rights, fashion, and culture. In a special once-a-year issue, the Korean magazine focuses on one international city and this year their focus happened to be on Portland! From Seoul to Mississippi Avenue, the crew came and interviewed Ashley Howe, the Marketing & Communications Manager, about the ReBuilding Center. I've been asked to translate the article and I'm happy to do so! Here is a loose translation from the article published in 2017:


"더 나은 사회를 위한 재활용 자재의 천국"

“Paradise of Recycling ResourcesFor Better Place”

The Rebuilding Center, located in Mississippi Avenue, is a “treasure house” for people in Portland who need lots of different kinds of materials to reconstruct their houses or repair things. When walking into the center, you might be impressed with its diverse building and recycled materials placed along a long path, and you may feel like you are in a material amusement park. The Rebuilding Center is a non-profit organization and offers deconstruction for the local community. The center provides local residents with a platform to buy and donate their used materials. The profits made by the people who make purchases in the store are used to support the community. In other words, the community benefits from the reuse economy by donating their materials. This operation works more efficiently than other non-profit organization because it is different from other traditional operations, mainly relying on donation than subsidy. By gathering 8 tons of materials every day, the Rebuilding Center is operated by over 2,000 volunteers yearly and is able to utilize those materials to build shelters for homeless people. Since last year, the center has supported a community network called the Village Coalition. Furthermore, the Rebuilding Center has collaborated with Portland State University students, so the center and PSU students can work together to build more shelters for homeless people. It also offers hands-on educational programming for youth on how to work with used building materials in an intensive workshop for 3 days. This program can be considered as one part of STEAM, an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics (STEAM). 

"In My Backyard," a Film Project on the Kenton Women's Tiny House Village

It’s been almost a year since the Kenton neighborhood residents voted more than two-to-one in favor of the Kenton Women’s Village, the first city-ordained homeless encampment in Oregon. Fourteen formerly houseless women, ranging in age from their 20s to 60s, now each live in a 8'x12' sleeping pod. The pods were designed and built as part of the POD (Partners on Dwelling) Initiative, a citywide coalition of architects, housing advocates, and houseless individuals, with many of the materials supplied by the ReBuilding Center. The village has felt more and more like home with the addition of a fully operational kitchen and shower facilities, and a community garden where residents and neighbors can gather and collaborate.

Photo credit: Portland State University

Photo credit: Portland State University

Photo credit: Zach Putnam

Photo credit: Zach Putnam

One of the neighbors drawn to this historic project was filmmaker Zach Putnam. He has documented the impact of the village in two short videos: one a profile of a resident (who has since moved into her own apartment); the other an overview of the origins of the project. You can view both of them below. He also included writing, still photos, and a 360-degree virtual tour of the village in his multimedia project, entitled In My Backyard. We asked Zach about his inspiration for getting involved in Kenton Women’s Village. 

What drew you to filmmaking as an art form originally?

My grandfather gave me my first video camera in middle school, a Sony Hi-8 Handycam. Soon I started talking my teachers into letting me make videos instead of writing papers and I've basically been working that scam ever since. I fell in love with nonfiction storytelling, and the art and adventure of documentary filmmaking. Now I primarily produce short documentary-style videos to help nonprofit organizations tell their best stories (and raise more funds).

What was your first thought when you heard about the Kenton Women’s Village?

My first thought was, "That sounds interesting, but how would it work?" I saw my neighbors on social media asking similar questions, in various ways, so I set out to try to answer them for myself and for my neighbors.

How did you get involved?

I follow the Kenton Neighborhood Association online and the village site is right down the street from my house, so I tracked developments closely on social media from the beginning. I actually was working as a graduate teaching fellow at the University of Oregon in Eugene over the winter/spring, so I missed all of the neighborhood meetings about the proposal and the vote. When I was back in Portland for the summer, I needed a storytelling project to complete my master's program at the school of journalism, so I decided to document the story of the women's village as it was built.

What was your favorite moment during the shooting of the videos?

Being invited in by the amazing Jewell Ramirez to spend time with her in her house in the village and hear her incredible story was a humbling honor. I could make a full-length film just about Jewell. Her story is surprising and heartbreaking, and I think it's so important to give houseless folks an opportunity to tell their stories. It can remind us all that these are our human neighbors we are talking about when we debate these issues. 

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Do you have any observations about the collaborative effort that was central to this project?

I was astonished at how complex the collaboration was. Between the neighborhood association, the city, the county, PSU, the Village Coalition, Catholic Charities, the ReBuilding Center, architecture firms, and so many other organizations and activists involved, it's a bona fide miracle that everything came together as smoothly as it did. That's a big part of why I thought it was so important to document this project, to show other communities, "Look, we figured out how to work together on this problem." It gives me hope for humans as a collaborative species.

ReBuilding Center staff hard at work moving the tiny houses, sometimes late into the night, from our temp site (where they were stored before moving) to the Kenton site.

What was your experience with the ReBuilding Center?

When the tiny houses were being transported from a storage lot to the Kenton location, I wanted to capture the move on video. I was hoping to set up a time-lapse camera to capture the pods arriving, but I was having trouble finding out exactly when the move would actually happen. Then I met Tom Patzkowksi, the ace driver and forklift operator in charge of the big move for the RBC. Tom became my man on the inside, and he provided me with up-to-the-minute info so I could be ready to roll when the time was right. I soon learned that Tom works some long and crazy days and my camera batteries couldn't last as long as he did, but I got some great shots of him helping to transform that empty gravel lot into a homey village.

Do you have any personal experience with houselessness?

I'm very privileged in that I have never experienced houselessness myself, which is all the more reason I feel like I need to give back and help people who are living through that. I think being unable to provide housing to all those who need it is shameful for a country that is as prosperous as ours. I've volunteered at shelters in the past, and I've produced many videos for homeless service organizations including the Clackamas Service Center and Portland Homeless Family Solutions, so I am familiar with many of the issues and some members of my local houseless community.

Are you still involved directly with Kenton Women’s Village or any of the residents?

I walk or drive past the village almost every day, but I'm not working there directly right now. I've since been hired by Catholic Charities to produce some videos about the village and some of their other housing programs, so I might be visiting again soon. 

Do you see any advantages to an encampment like the village over traditional shelters?

In the first short video, I think Jewell Ramirez and Desiree Rose do a better job answering that question then I ever could.

Since this project was approved as a one-year pilot, do you know what will happen to the camp and the pods when that ends?

I don't know what the latest is on the status of the pilot project or the lot in Kenton, but I know that the village was always designed to be movable. Everything from the tiny houses to the custom kitchen and bathrooms could be put on a truck and moved to a new location. My understanding is that if the Kenton lot is no longer available and the village is to continue operating, the city will find another lot to move everything to. I'm sure there will be some wrinkles in the execution of that simple-sounding plan, but that is the idea.

Ideally, what happens next with your videos of the project?

I wanted to document this project to help my neighbors understand what happened here, and also to help other neighborhoods understand how something like this might work in their communities. Income inequality and the many societal symptoms of that are going to get worse before they get better, so we all need to be thinking about innovative solutions to housing, hunger, mental health and more. My hope is that this story will be shared widely and help other neighborhoods think about trying out and hopefully improving on this village idea.

Check out Zach Putnam's full project, "In My Backyard," on his website here >

ReBuilding Center Gift Guide

Are you looking for gift ideas? Is someone you know interested in building, DIY, or have a passion for sustainability or community building? This holiday season, get your special someone a gift that will keep giving, something that promotes reuse and self-sufficiency. Instead of buying new things that take more energy and resources to create, help divert materials from the waste stream with gift certificates to the ReBuilding Center Store and ReFind Education Program, or use reclaimed materials to create a handmade gift!



The ReBuilding Center offers gift certificates for all your building, crafting, and creative needs. Whether your special person needs old-growth lumber, hardware, a vintage door, or seating salvaged from an old Portland Theater, RBC has a large and ever-changing stock of Pacific Northwest history. Available for any amount $5+. Stop in the store on N. Mississippi Avenue today to get yours!

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ReFind Classes Gift Certificate

The ReBuilding Center offers classes like "Intro to Carpentry for Women: Tables & Benches," "Intro to Electrical for Homeowners," and "Tablesaw Bootcamp," providing hands-on building skills on how to safely and creatively work with used building materials. Certificates range from $30-$100 depending on the class. For a full list of available classes check out our website.

Or get crafty and make your own presents this year

Here are some creative reuse ideas utilizing salvaged building materials you can find at the ReBuilding Center:

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Door Tree Hall Bench

Photo credit: LG Custom Woodworking


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Reclaimed Wood Boxshelf

Photo credit: ReclaimedTrends

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Shutter Bookshelf

Photo credit: SweetiesAttic 

"I Work To Feel That I Belong," Words of a Day Laborer

For many, “work” is simply a place to go and spend one’s time in exchange for their livelihood (read: money to pay the rent). We go, we put in some effort, and we receive payment. And that is completely fine. But for others, including many here at the ReBuilding Center, I am certain that “work” carries a deeper value.

And we’re certainly not alone. Recently, a worker-led organization in Portland, “Voz," partnered with local artist, Thea Gahr, to paint a mural on one of the Rebuilding Center’s street-facing walls. Maybe you’ve seen, walking by our front donation area, a beautiful black and white mural of a man working and the words: “I work to feel that I belong.”

A simple statement to some, perhaps but a brief moment standing before the mural is all you need to realize its artful message of belief, determination, and grit. 

The mural was created in collaboration with Voz Workers' Rights Education Project and MLK Workers Center, an organization that empowers diverse day laborers and immigrants to improve their working conditions. One of those day laborers is Jose Gonzalez. He is the man in the mural and the quotation above him is his own. 

Patricia Vasquez, who organized this project, explained to us that Voz connects hundreds of workers each month with local employers, and that it’s “critical to the day labor movement in Oregon [because it] offers a safe space for workers to build community, participate in trainings that increase employability, and organize themselves towards ending exploitation, discrimination and wage theft.”

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Many of the workers at the Voz MLK Workers Center, like Jose, take pride in their abilities to paint. Therefore, as Patricia explained, it made sense to paint murals to depict the lives and realities of real day-laborers.

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Patricia and the team felt it was appropriate to partner with the ReBuilding Center on this mural because many who come to purchase materials are contractors and many contractors rely on the skill and experience of day laborers. She felt that the ReBuilding Center and Voz were two organizations with related missions and that this project would be a great collaboration. We couldn’t agree more.

On the right-hand side of the mural of Jose is a short biography about his life. It shares about the skills he’s attained while working as a day laborer in Oregon over the past fifteen years. Beneath that it talks about why painting as an art form is so important to him. Without putting words in his mouth, I wonder if for Jose, “work” here could refer to his paintings as much as it could his day-laboring. If so, then “I work to feel that I belong” carries a whole new meaning. Work becomes about contributing to something bigger, about skill, mastery, and passion, and about one’s own community. 

Volunteers needed for Inventory Shifts & Pizza Party!

Sign up to help out with ReBuilding Center's 2nd Annual INVENTORY!

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Rummage through 53,000 square feet of Portland history while we treat you to coffee, donuts, and the best of Mo-Town. Pizza will be brought in for lunch—be sure to let us know of any dietary needs so we can be sure to feed you right!


There are morning, afternoon, and all-day shifts available!

If you would like to volunteer to help us with inventory you can sign up by:

  1. Signing in through your volunteer portal to get on the roster. >
  2. Or emailing Dave Lowe, Volunteer Services Manager, at volunteer@rebuildingcenter.org. >

Shifts available: 

January 1st, 2018
Prep Shift:

Team up with our management staff to tag all the areas of the store, put some chalk markings on the floor, prepare clipboards, and all the fun things. We know it's a holiday, which is why the pizza will be extra tasty for this shift.

January 2nd, 2018   
10am-2pm; 2-6pm; OR 10am-6pm
Counter Shift:

Exactly what it sounds like. Count the things, write down a number, and voila!

January 2nd, 2018
9:30am - 1:30pm; 1:30pm - 5:30pm
Area lead Shift:

You'll be assigned to an area of the ReBuilding Center to make sure everyone has enough inventory sheets, helpers, good vibes, etc. You'll also help with getting the food for the day from our local vendors. You'll make sure that any completed inventory sheets make their way to "Inventory HQ"!

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All shifts take place at the ReBuilding Center at 3625 N Mississippi Ave.

Meet the ReBuilding Center's New Interim Executive Director, Alison Dennis

The ReBuilding Center is excited to announce Alison Dennis as our new interim Executive Director. Alison has worked to help numerous organizations, teams, and individuals realize their missions and achieve their goals. She has done this serving as an interim executive director, consultant, or as a teacher at colleges and universities. Her focus on strategy, leadership, and collective action makes her a wonderful fit for this position. She is a graduate of Bennington College and holds an MBA from Portland State University.


So what was the ReBuilding Center looking for in their new executive director? Kelly Stevens, the Administrative Services Manager at the ReBuilding Center, says some of the characteristics were "a demonstrated passion for our mission, a deep commitment to transparency, a collaborative leader with a record of success in nonprofit and business sectors, a willingness to learn from everyone, the ability to connect and communicate with a broad and diverse spectrum of people, and someone who can be very focused on our work but not be afraid to have a ton of fun with the team while doing it!” She also remarked, “Alison brings a wealth of care, nonprofit experience, and business savvy to the interim ED position, with a passion for work that has a social and environmental impact.” 

Alison herself has stated “I’ll be, in as many ways as I can, helping everyone who is a part of the ReBuilding Center ask and answer questions in a collective and collaborative way.” Her mission is clear and she is very optimistic, “everyone within this community has been so warm and welcoming. Not only that but they are also a community of doers, people who not only talk about change but also roll up their sleeves and get things done and I’m excited be working alongside new colleagues that are doers."

A little fun stuff about Alison: In 2004, she and her husband eloped and took a year off to travel, visiting 27 countries across six continents in 365 days. (Her engagement ring was an onion ring.) Alison ran and finished her 12th Portland Marathon this past October, and loves how it feels when thousands of people all run in the same direction together at the same time. She also loves visiting her parents in Ashland, Oregon, where she likes watching horror movies with her dad and seeing as many plays as she can each season at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Alison has lived in North Portland’s Arbor Lodge neighborhood since 1995.

Students Expand Juice Box Project to Bring Even More Light & Power to the Houseless


We reported back in March on the "Juice Box Project,” a student-led effort from Catlin Gabel School to provide light and power to the interiors of the tiny houses that have recently been created to help accommodate Portland’s houseless population.  New tiny house clusters are being developed as alternatives to the tent camp model exemplified by the R2D2 (Right to Dream Too), formerly located off Burnside at the entrance to Chinatown. Tiny houses afford the residents more agency and the Juice Box Project aims to help them claim even more self-sufficiency.

What do Juice boxes do?

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The ReBuilding Center has played host to work parties as well as materials to build the Juice Boxes which are rectangular, gray metal unit containing two large LED lights, a USB plug, and a charging outlet. They are powered by heavy-duty batteries that get charged by solar panels on the outside of the houses. When fully charged, the battery can run up to four hours per night for seven nights straight!  Andy Olshin, a long-time advocate for houseless and tiny house communities, told us the communities could be net energy producers in the summer! With the sun setting at 4:30 p.m. here in Portland in the winter, the boxes provide light to read by, juice for cell phone to be able to make important phone calls, and electrical charge for small appliances for self-care.

Photo of students building Juicebox at the ReBuilding Center - photo credit: Hollywood Star

Photo of students building Juicebox at the ReBuilding Center - photo credit: Hollywood Star

Big Moves Are being Made by High School Students

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To date, expanded efforts from Benson High School and Catlin Gabel School students have brought 70 Juice Boxes to the following houseless encampments: Hazelnut Grove, Dignity Village, Kenton Women’s Village, Bishop Simm’s Houseless Village, and Right 2 Dream Too.  These machines have been fabricated with funding from the Lexus EcoChallenge, Lloyd EcoDistrict, eBay, the ReBuilding Center, and many other supporters and private sponsors. 

Next Steps

The students are aiming to complete 100 Juice Boxes by the end of 2017.  Each Juice Box costs around $350 to build.  To underwrite the cost, the students from the Caitlin School are asking for donations.  Hopefully they will meet their goal and help light up every houseless group. If you would like to help support this project or learn more click the link below:

Decon+Reuse'17: And the Award Goes to...


This year, to the delight of deconstruction and reuse enthusiasts, the Chicago-based nonprofit, Building Materials Reuse Association (BRMA), hosted their annual conference in Portland, Oregon—the first city in the nation to pass a deconstruction ordinance. People from around the globe gathered at the Smith Memorial at Portland State University for the two-day conference with "several presentations [...] relat[ing] to the recent development of a Portland city ordinance requiring deconstruction and salvage of materials during [the] removal of pre-1917 homes" discussing, "the development of the ordinance, the economics of deconstruction in Portland, growth of new deconstruction operations and reuse stores, and BMRA training of contractors and deconstruction workers."

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The ReBuilding Center played host to the opening reception where attendees got to sample our special release Lumber Lager from Stormbreaker Brewing. 


There were eight awards presented at the DeCon+Reuse’17 closing reception at EcoTrust and the ReBuilding Center was proud to receive two of those honors! Read how the BMRA recognizes our team for innovation and equity in the field:

Award for Excellence in Innovation in the Fields of Deconstruction and Building Material Reuse

Doug has led the ReBuilding Center’s Deconstruction Services for the last 9 years.  What is really remarkable is that Doug has done it all essentially by himself. He started at the ReBuilding Center as the Great Recession hit - and as a result, he has been manager, assistant manager, sales manager, and chief  bottle washer almost since the day he was hired. He has built extraordinary relationships across the City and has helped to ease the pathway forward for deconstruction amongst developers who hold Doug in such high regard.  

Award for Advancing Equity in the Field of Deconstruction and Building Materials Reuse

Stephen Reichard and the ReBuilding Center are being recognized for their organizations multi-faceted commitment to creating equity.  Since their beginning nearly 20 years ago, the ReBuilding Center has always been about building community in North and Northeast Portland.  Stephens background in social justice helped the organization double down its commitment to equity and building community

This takes many forms, including:

  • From stuff like making free building materials available to hundreds of community projects each year
  • Recruiting staff and board members that increase the diversity of the ReBuilding Center
  • Providing Organizational support to other grassroots groups:  Such as the Black Williams project and The North/Northeast STEAM Coalition which both benefit African American communities in Portland’s North/Northeast Corridor.   And The Village Coalition which represents Portland’s houseless community, helping them organize to be able to better advocate for safe camps.
  • A short workforce development story:  Stephen saw a need to provide stipends for the deconstruction workforce skills training participants. It was asking a lot for many of the students to take part in a two and a half week class with no paycheck coming in.  Stephen successfully lobbied Metro and Portland PBS to chip in to provide stipends to the students to help out with child care, transportation, and living expenses.  That helped students stay focused on the class and be more successful.

2017 BMRA Awards

2017 BMRA Award for Excellence in Innovation in the Fields of Deconstruction and Building Material Reuse
Der Lovett, Lovett Deconstruction

2017 BMRA Award for Excellence in Innovation in the Fields of Deconstruction and Building Material Reuse
Douglas Lichter, ReBuilding Center 

2017 BMRA Award for Excellence in Building Material Reuse Industry Promotion and Service
Jim Schulman, Alliance for Regional Cooperation

2017 BMRA Award for Excellence in Building Material Reuse Industry Promotion and Service
Shawn Wood, City of Portland, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

2017 BMRA Award for Exceptional Educational, Academic or Training Activities Related to Deconstruction and Building Materials Reuse
Sara Badiali, Reclamation Administration

2017 BMRA Award for Exceptional Educational, Academic or Training Activities Related to Deconstruction and Building Materials Reuse
Dave Bennink, Reuse Consulting

2017 BMRA Award for Advancing Equity in the Field of Deconstruction and Building Materials Reuse
Alisa Kane, City of Portland, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

2017 BMRA Award for Advancing Equity in the Field of Deconstruction and Building Materials Reuse
Stephen Reichard, ReBuilding Center

Finally, an appreciation for Anne Nicklin's 10 years of service to the BMRA was offered as she steps down in the next couple of months from the Executive Director position.

The Dropbox Derby: Overnight Sensation

Move over World Naked Bike Ride; back of the line Pickathon and Bridge Pedal; take a backseat Sunday Parkways. There’s a new sheriff in town. Or at least a new, instant classic Portland street event.

The first – of what must absolutely be – annual DropBox Derby took place on Saturday, September 30 at Lovett Deconstruction. Fourteen teams, four hours, a supply of identical salvage materials to each team, and a vague concept – Bridge House. Throw in a little beer and a little cider and we have the start of what will soon be a Portland event institution.

The brainchild of deconstruction entrepreneur Der Lovett, and former ReBuilding Center employee, Dropox Derby is a one-day design and build competition using salvage materials. Participatants included Team Curry from Owen Gabbert, Siteworks Design-Build, Splintered Fingers from Clarkbuilt, Inc, Team RBC from The ReBuilding Center, Revive Upholstery & Design, Festering Splinters from Salvage Works, Team Silver Fern, Red Rooster Remodeling, Metalwood Salvage, Plan B Salvation, If you build it they will come from deform, Team Compound, Mightier Miter from CarpentryPDX, and Team Decon from Lovett Deconstruction.

The event took place during the Portland ReUse for Societal Transformation: A Week of Neighborhood ReUse.

The Rebuilding Center Team. Photo Source

The Rebuilding Center Team. Photo Source

Sponsors included Heiberg Garbage & Recycling, Voodoo Donuts, and Umpqua Bank. Cider Riot served up pints and Aybla served up authentic and delicious Mediterranean cuisine, while the Ukaladies and a Mariachi Band performed. Even though we didn’t take home the win this year, we are thrilled to be part of this event, and excited to try again next year. The first prize went to Team Silver Fern for their inspiring interpretation of a Bridge House, second prize went to Clarkbuilt Splintered Fingers and third to Siteworks.

We spoke with Der at Lovett Deconstruction to see how they felt after the event and where they saw it going in the future:

Whose idea was it to have the derby?   

I had this idea some years back then last year I pitched it to the Lovett Deconstruction team and we decided to make it happen this year. And so we did.

What was your vision for the event?  

My vision was to have a fun event where crafts people got to make cool stuff with reclaimed materials. I kept imagining tons of tiny structures like architectural models, built from beautiful wood that normally gets thrown away.

What was your impression of the day?

I loved the idea and our team loved the idea but we weren't totally sure how people would respond. As it turned out it was quite clear that all participants and spectators loved it just as much as we did.

What were some of the things you felt made the event such a success?

The vibe! The energy! I lost count of the number of times people told me they couldn't believe this event didn't exist already. And of course everyone said “This is so Portland!” The builders, the makers, the carpenters all said they had been looking for something like this. One carpenter said “chefs get to compete all the time and show their creativity. Now at long last we carpenters get an opportunity!

What are your plans for the future?

This is just the beginning. The plan is to host this event each year and for it to become not just an ever present on the Portland Events Calendar but one of the most anticipated events of the year. We learned so much this time round. We are already starting to plan for next year. I think every entrant on Saturday said "sign us up for next year" as did many visitors. We're hoping to see it grow, and for us to build community around it as well as raise money for some well deserving organizations. We raised $2300 on Saturday for Sisters of the Road Cafe.

So it looks like we can expect the Dropbox Derby to be an annual event during PDX Rust's Portland ReUse for Societal Transformation: A Week of Neighborhood ReUse Events. Further information on the events during that week can be found here. For more information on Sisters of the Road Café or how to donate to their cause visit their website.





Treasure Hunting with Nathan Fasold, Owner of Black Book Guitars

If you are looking for renovation inspiration, head on over to our awesome neighbors at Black Book Guitars. The five-year-old music shop specializes in vintage and rare guitars and is now expanding into Chloe Eudaly’s old shop, the Reading Frenzy, in order to house more gems for music lovers. You can often find the curly-haired treasure-hunter at the ReBuilding Center, rifling through the lumberyard finding materials to help house his renovated instruments.

Finding the beauty and value in reclaimed materials must come naturally to the Black Book Guitars owner, Nathan Fasold. I got a tour of the renovation project from Nathan and along the way learned a great deal about craftsmanship. This isn't just any music shop; with a walk around the store, you might see guitars from Modest Mouse, Elliot Smith, Kurt Cobain, R.E.M., and memorabilia from Willie Nelson. Nathan's father was a treasure-hunter in Key West before the family moved to Oregon, and perhaps Nathan was destined to be a source of recovering and reinventing works of art. 


“The wear marks of its former owner that show how they played the instrument, it reveals the habits and preferences of the musician, the type of wood, the smell.”

Nathan loves to go exploring across the street at ReBuilding Center and has an impressive collection of repurposed materials in his store. An extra tall former kitchen dish cabinet is now a display holder for his vintage amps. A bar counter from an old brewery is a workbench for their amp technician. Old PDX airport signs will become part of the display in the new space. A shelf for holding guitar cases utilizes old doors to make levels. 



I got to hold some of these vintage guitars, hear about their stories, travels, and feel the colorful lives that have moved through these instruments. Much like the folks at Black Book Guitars, at the ReBuilding Center, we believe in reuse as a way of life and in supporting sustainability, creativity, and of course community. Congratulations to Black Book Guitars on their amazing new space! Its opening this week, so go and check it out.

ReBuilding Center bids Farewell to Stephen Reichard

Stephen Reichard.jpg

It is with a mix of sadness and appreciation that the Board of Directors announces Stephen Reichard’s departure as Executive Director of the ReBuilding Center, as of October 3, 2017. Since 2015, Stephen has played a critical role in the development and success of the organization, and while we will miss him and his enthusiasm for the organization and our community, we wish him the best of luck in his new endeavors.

After 20 successful years, the Rebuilding Center has many exciting opportunities for growth and development. The board wants to take a measured approach to evaluating these opportunities and to work in collaboration with staff, our community, and other external stakeholders to decide in which initiatives we should invest. This collaborative and consultative process will take time, but we believe strongly that it is important to develop a robust, shared vision for the organization’s next 20 years.

matt_wiater_2010 013.jpg

Over the next few months, the board will collaborate with staff to identify the best leadership structure for the ReBuilding Center, while still maintaining a stable and effective organization. The board and staff are committed to the ReBuilding Center’s customers, partners and supporters. We look forward to charting a future path for our organization that meets our goals of creating community that is connected, inclusive, and sustainable.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Board Chair Cary Stacey at cary.stacey@gmail.com or 503.200.4945.

Volunteers from Around the World Discover the Power of Reuse 


The ReBuilding Center was happy to welcome the Student Leaders Program (SLP) as a part of the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) at Portland State University (PSU). The Middle East Partnership Initiative consists of international students visiting from the Middle East and North Africa to participate in a five to seven-week Civic Engagement and Community Leadership Program.


For three days in July, the international student group spent time helping out as volunteers and learning all about the mission of the ReBuilding Center. Students were given a tour and then jumped in and assisted with projects and even visited a deconstruction site at Grant High School. They were able to put their hands to work as they learned about conservation, sustainability, and reuse. The student group had a fantastic experience volunteering and sent this lovely note of gratitude to
David Lowe, Volunteer Services and Education Manager. 

"The students from the Middle East Partnership Initiative really
enjoyed their time with you all at the ReBuilding Center last week.
The entire experience was very meaningful, and really helped frame their time in the U.S. and for talking about conditions in their own communities. The visit to the deconstruction of Grant High School was also very special, and I really appreciate you accommodating this. I wanted to give a sincere THANK YOU for all your work in arranging this experience."
-Laura Lyons, Program Assistant, Student Leaders Program, PSU

Thank you Laura and all the amazing SLP group for your good work and help building community through reuse!

Cute Cat Story Alert: Family Builds New Kitty Tower Out of Grant High School Materials


Did you know that #catdrawer is a thing online? It goes to show that cats love snuggling into confined spaces! Sara Eddie and her family were getting a new kitten and decided to get ahead of the game. Sara’s husband, Bill, built a cat tree out of drawers from the Grant High School science lab and some lumber from the ReBuilding Center.

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The inspiration came after Sara dropped off the adoption paperwork with the kitten's foster family and while perusing the ReBuilding Center, spotted a chair that looked very familiar. Their now college-aged daughter, who graduated from Grant, did many singing performances in the high school's auditorium and Sara and Bill had sat in those same chairs. This lead to some creative thinking about all the items salvaged from the Grant High School deconstruction project and the cat drawer tree idea was born.
How lucky is this new kitten to benefit from the loving inspiration of its new family and the resources at the ReBuilding Center.

Rose City to Host National Conference on Deconstruction & Reuse


Portland has been chosen as the host city for this year’s Decon+Reuse’17 Conference, "a one of a kind meeting of deconstruction and reuse practitioners from around the world." The Chicago based non-profit, Building Materials Reuse Association (BRMA) is holding their annual conference in the Smith Memorial Union at Portland State University September 25th-27th. There are a number of interesting topics being covered over this three day stretch including talks from keynote speakers, Adam Minter on "Waste Doesn't Slide Downhill: Travels in a New World of Recycling and Re-Use,"and Jim Lindberg on "The Atlas of ReUrbanism."

JimKeynote copy.jpg

Other topics covered will range from: the booming, sustainable industry of deconstruction; conservation, preservation, and development of sustainable practices and projects; the art of dumpster diving; to civic activism and reform. There is something for everyone who is interested in learning more about sustainable practices. You can register below:


The ReBuilding Center is honored to be associated with this event and will be hosting the welcoming reception on Sunday, September 24th. This eventis not open the public, so make sure you register if you would like to enjoy the festivities, fine food, and beverages that will be offered, including a specially brewed beer from Stormbreaker Brewing just for us, the "ReLogger," to whet your appetite for the conference to follow.

decon and reuse 17 [print].jpg

Cheer RBC on in Design & Build Competition, "The Dropbox Derby"

The final Saturday of September will see the inaugural Dropbox Derby presented by Lovett Deconstruction and promises to be a fun filled event for all ages! Cheer on ReBuilding Center's team of Salvage Specialists!

Saturday, September 30th
10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
2034 NE Sandy Blvd.

DB derby.jpg

The friendly competition is being held at the Lovett Deconstruction facility on NE Sandy Blvd.  Come watch as ten teams battle it out in the design & build challenge to create the best derby car built entirely from salvaged materials.  There will be no unfair advantages because each team will receive identical batches of materials as well predetermined parameters that each entry must follow.

Fine food and refreshments will be available through many of our delicious local food trucks.  Cider Riot, a local favorite, will be there to provide an elixir to quench thirst for the 21 & over crowd. 

In addition to all the fun and games to be had on September 30th, this event is going on to support a terrific cause.  The derby cars will be auctioned off and all proceeds raised will be donated to the Sisters of the Road Cafe, a nonprofit organization that has been dedicated to serving Portland’s homeless community since 1979. 

If you are interested in helping out Sisters of the Road but cannot make it to the Derby you can show your support by donating here: 

4 DIY Ways to Utilize Reusable Materials in Your Home

Living by the main principles of sustainability and energy efficiency has become, and is still becoming, very important in modern day life. The importance of living green is stronger than ever since our environment suffers when we consume too much energy, create too much waste, and consequently pollute the air, soil, and water. One of the ways we can take care of our environment and contribute towards improving its quality, is trying to live green and making our homes more sustainable. Reduce, reuse and recycle, are the three most important principles (in that order) are the three Rs of sustainability.

When it comes to sustainable and green living, the main goal is to reduce energy consumption and pollution. This can be done in several ways by using repurposed and reusable building materials. Great amounts of energy are inevitably used in the production of new building materials, which emits a lot of pollutants into the air. By reusing materials, we decrease the need to produce new materials and lessen the impact on the environment. Materials we no longer need should be recycled, repurposed, or donated for reuse. Apart from saving invaluable resources and helping create a more sustainable environment, these practices will also save you money since it is cheaper to reuse than to buy something new!

Here are some ideas for projects using reusable material in your home.

Wooden table and chairs, Credited by Culver Center, Flickr

Wooden table and chairs, Credited by Culver Center, Flickr

Homemade Bee Hive, Credited by lehua_mc, Flickr

Homemade Bee Hive, Credited by lehua_mc, Flickr

1. Reclaimed lumber re-contextualized 

When it comes to wood there are many possibilities for reuse to create something new for your home. You can shop at the ReBuilding Center or similar salvaged lumberyard and depending on what you are searching for and what your project is going to be, you can choose your own sizes and dimensions. Re-do your own flooring or use some beautiful old growth in a custom-made furniture project. And remember when redoing your floor, make sure to recycle it if possible because the possibilities for reuse are endless!


2. Get creative with cabinets

If you have some old wooden wardrobes, cabinets, or furniture that you're looking to get rid of, give them new meaning through a creative reuse project. If those pieces of furniture have drawers, for example, you can repurpose them into little tables for your living room, patio, or garden.


3. Give an old window new life

At the ReBuilding Center, you can reusable window frames and shutters and there are many ways you can use them to turn into a DIY project. An interesting addition to your kitchen would be to turn an old window into a hanging rack for your pots and pans. Attach a firm, vintage window to the ceiling and simply add some hooks to it and you will have an innovative pot rack, and it will free up some space in your kitchen.

Old window frames can also be repurposed as photo frames. Put your favorite photos in between the frames and attach it to the wall or display it anywhere in your home.

DIY Garden flower spiral, Credited by Steve, Flickr

DIY Garden flower spiral, Credited by Steve, Flickr


4. What to do with tile by the mile

Old tiles are usually thrown away when being replaced with new ones or when they are broken, but they can definitely be repurposed. Don't throw them away! Broken and scrap tiles can be used to collage on to colorful flower pots or garden walkways for example. You can have some fun creating a mosaic, designing it in way you want, and adding a personal touch to your outdoor space. 

Many, if not the majority of the things we own can be donated to your local reuse store or reused in your own DIY project. By living more sustainably, we help improve our planet and quality of life while saving money, having fun, being creative, and contributing to a reuse economy!

This article was written by Matt, writer and editor for roofing contractors from Georgia.

Last, Last Thursday of the Summer!

This summer, the ReBuilding Center has been participating in the city’s revamped Alberta Last Thursday event with a half-block of programming, entitled “ReBuilding Center Road.” With 20,000 people patrons every month, RBC's "reuse theme park" has engaged hundreds of community members with fun and interactive activities, familiarizing people with our mission to build community through reuse! Every participant receives a “passport,” and as they move through the RBC theme park, they receive a stamp for each activity they've completed. Once someone has received three stamps, they will receive a coupon for a free slice of pizza from Mississippi Pizza.

Some of those activities include:

  • Run in the "Reuse Relay Race"
  • DeConstruct with larger-than-life Lincoln logs
  • Build your own DIY tile magnet in a mini ReFind class
  • Play giant Jenga with salvaged lumber
  • Play "ReBuilding Toss-Up" with our corn hole set
  • Spin the "Can You Donate It?" Wheel for a treat
  • Take a tour of a tiny house
  • & more!

Please join us Thursday, August 31st, 2017 at Alberta St. & 28th Ave!

2nd Annual Day of Service Stemming Displacement of Long-Term Portland Residents

Teaming up for the second annual “Day of Service” event, the ReBuilding Center (RBC), a nonprofit organization that offers affordable used building materials, with the goal of building community through reuse, and the African American Alliance for Homeownership (AAAH), a nonprofit whose mission is to increase homeownership and economic stability for African Americans and other underserved individuals, came together to provide home repairs in an effort to stem displacement of long-term residents. Last year, the Day of Service teams completed ten projects for five homeowners with the help of 36 volunteers. This year, the Day of Service doubled its efforts, completing 20 projects for 13 homeowners with more than 60 volunteers!

The Day of Service began on a bright and shining Saturday morning. Volunteers met up at the ReBuilding Center over some coffee and pastries generously provided by Grand Central Bakery before setting out on their community-building adventures. Notable groups from around Portland graciously donated their time and money to the event, including Squarespace, who provided 20 volunteers; Global Shapers, a network of young people contributing to their communities, lended an additional five volunteers; prospective and current students and alumni of Oregon Tradeswomen Inc lent helping hands; Portland Youth Builders led crews, and Wells Fargo, who not only sent ten volunteers, but also donated $10,000 to purchase supplies and materials needed for the repairs. Additional financial s upport came from the Portland Housing Bureau, who provided another $10,000 for materials. As they did last year, Rose City Disposal and Recycling provided a 30-yard drop box for debris, and you can bet there was a lot of debris! Special thanks to Mississippi Pizza who donated food, and Sierra Springs for the water, to fuel the hard-working volunteers that gave up their Saturday to help their neighbors!

It’s not just [the developer’s duty] to build responsibly but if you’re going into a neighborhood where people have lived for a long time, you should put something back into that community
— Jan, Day of Service volunteer

Repairs included exterior and interior painting, removal and repair of a rotting staircase (that allowed the resident to access her top floor for the first time in years), overgrown yard debris clean-up, demolition and re-pouring of concrete stairs, bathroom overhauls and repairs, and much more. These repairs were “not major tasks per se,” said Nathan, a volunteer, “but serve a real need for general labor… Everyone has a task list of things that you want to do and things that you can’t do whether that has to do with money, age, or ability.” Nathan went on to explain that him and his wife, Jan, give back whenever they get a chance and said “when I think about hitting that stage, I hope that there’s friends, family, or different organizations to help out.” The good Samaritan couple, who had just spent the previous day painting at their church, love to spend their time giving back to their community despite living off one income (as Jan has taken over full-time care of her mother-in-law with stage three Alzheimer’s). Jan, a long-time shopper/volunteer at the ReBuilding Center and Mississippi Avenue resident for the past 10 years, had some insight into the issue saying that it makes her sad to see the people in the area be pushed out and they are “what makes Mississippi what it is. Portland is made of unique neighborhoods and that’s why everyone wants to move here, but when you price people out, you are taking away that neighborhood-y feel.” She believes that developers and builders should respect the neighborhood that they are moving into, considering the architecture and price of the area. Having worked in property management for 30 years, Jan believes there is a way of going into a neighborhood and maintaining the character, and that it’s “not just [the developer’s duty] to build responsibly but if you’re going into a neighborhood where people have lived for a long time, you should put something back into that community.”

Certain projects, like a broken gutter system or a rotting fence, took no time at all, but made a tremendous impact in the day-to-day lives of the homeowners. Volunteers wielded tools, pulled weeds, applied concrete, and installed screen doors without hesitation. At one site, one of the family members provided musical accompaniment, playing his organ from the living room. The homeowner, Willie Loving, had been living in the house since the 1960’s and reminisced about his favorite memories in the house, watching his children grow up, and then start their own families. He spoke about how he’s seen a lot of his neighbors move away and that they were “the only ones left.” He was proud to have the repairs done during the Day of Service saying that it “makes the house better represented.” One volunteer said, “I could sense the family and workers' connection while building community together. I would definitely do this again without a doubt.”

Many homeowners shared similar experiences, noting that some changes are for the better and some for the worse. Dianne moved into her Northeast home about 25 years ago, and has witnessed the transformation of the area, “when I first moved here, the neighborhood was horrible… but now I see everyone working together… I see a lot of change, it’s getting better.” She also expressed frustration with all the letters she has been receiving weekly asking if she is interested in selling her home. Her children grew up in that home and then graduated and she now lives with her grandchildren; she says she’s not going anywhere.

That’s about my story we’re just trying to maintain.
— Eunice, homeowner

Eunice has been at her home for 34 years. She says there’s good and bad in every neighborhood, but "what I don't like, is that there should be a law, concerning people coming in and putting a high building right next to you. I have a problem with that because I have to change my light bulbs to see how to prepare my food in my kitchen. I open my blinds and I'm looking straight at a wall! This house to the right of me cuts off my view up and down the street." Eunice says the Day of Service makes her feel very good and thankful for the work that is being done in her community. Eunice moved to Portland in 1979 and says she hates to see some people have to move on at a certain age, saying, “I'm thankful for people like you guys that try and help us maintain. As long as I can maintain, I plan on staying here in this neighborhood. I like it. It's close to stuff: the school, the library, and everything, close to the freeway and transit, there's traffic all the time now but at night it gets quieter. I don't see a lot of kids anymore on the street, most of them have probably grown up like my kids. The convenience store is still there, the owners have only changed one time since we moved in. That's about my story we're just trying to maintain.”

And after a day of community building, volunteers met at Stormbreaker Brewery, who poured discounted beer for the intrepid volunteers. With the help of local businesses, organizations, and volunteers, the ReBuilding Center and the African American Alliance for Homeownership were able to help build a more vibrant and just community through the Day of Service by helping stem displacement of long-term residents. We hope to continue this event in the years to come. If you would like to get involved or donate to next year’s Day of Service, every little bit helps, please contact volunteer@rebuildingcenter.org with the subject line “Day of Service” or donate online at www.rebuildingcenter.org/give-a-gift and earmark it for “Day of Service.” Thank you to everyone for your support!