Community

Green

By: Alex Rhodes (ReBuilding Center Salvage Specialist)

“Green”—a word I have been grappling with and redefining for years, it seems. Most commonly thought of as a color…the color of so many beautiful plants and landscapes, but especially known in our society as the color of money. What I’ve found is that “green” is a catch-all buzzword for the movement for changing consciousness towards the environment, particularly where it relates to the economy. It is purposefully vague and has caught on in many types of industries such as small businesses, construction, technology, education, energy, and even agriculture. If you’re a company or nonprofit in one of these industries, there are a variety of incentives to market yourself as “Green.”

But what does it mean for a job to be Green? Well, let’s take for example our organization, the ReBuilding Center. We are striving to give our staff living wages, strong benefits, and a socially progressive culture in our workplace. We are strongly tied to the construction industry while being leaders in environmentally conscious practices with our deconstructions services as well as our store, both which promote the idea of Reuse. In other words, we bring social, economic, and environmental justice into our way of operating. All of this makes us the textbook example of an organization that is Green. 

The Green Workforce Collaborative (GWC) seeks to guide the most historically marginalized young adults in Black and Native communities of the Portland area into stable, decent-paying jobs. Currently, these good jobs are overwhelmingly Green jobs. As you may be aware, Black and Native people have been oppressed for way too long and we need to reverse the trend. There are traumas, lack of a positive network, and scarcity of intergenerational wealth that disproportionately follows all of us whether we like it or not.

How the GWC plans to do this is by raising environmental awareness, a skill many employers say potential employees lack. During a five-week long program that utilizes the nationally-accredited Roots of Success Curriculum (piloted in 2018), the “Green Workforce Academy” provides a down-to-earth understanding of the environmental issues that affect us all.  To bring the subject closer to home, we spend half of the program going out and meeting with potential employers to engage in hands-on events. The job doesn’t end there.  We serve as mentors as graduates transition into their new careers and provide them with references and guidance.  

L1006988.jpg

As a young adult from a diverse, low-income background who has taken the unbeaten path of studying the issues around the environment, working at a Green job such as with the ReBuilding Center, I have never been so certain of the direction I’m headed. Understanding the bigger picture of how the environment affects us has played a central role in changing my life. I can already see it starting to change my peers participating in the Green Workforce Academy program. Participating in this project has been deeply fulfilling, and I foresee the Green Workforce Collaborative having the potential to be a model in job creation moving forward as the Green wave rolling over our country brings about an economy that reflects the realities of our environment.

Community Opportunities

There is never a lack of activities and opportunities happening in our community. Below are just a few we recommend checking out!

Upcoming Repair Fairs

Reuse your old things by getting them repaired by volunteers! There will be people that can help with small appliances, electronic toys, clothing, and jewelry!

Repair Fair @ PlanetCon - Quatama Elementry (Hillsboro) | January 12th

Repair Fair @ Lake Oswego United Methodist Church | January 12th

Repair Fair @ Cedar Mill Library | February 2nd

NECN Community Grants

Northeast Coalition of Neighbhorhoods and the office of Civic and Community Life partner to provide grants to neighborhood and community organizations working to make NE Portland a stronger, more inclusive community. The deadline to apply is January 15th. Learn more, here.

Portland YouthBuilders

Portland YouthBuilders provides job training in construction or technology and assistance in finishing high school for those ages 17-24. Learn more about PYB and their Construction Bridge Program, here.

GLEAN Art Program

GLEAN is a five-month long program that invites artists to push the boundaries of material exploration. GLEAN is sponsored by Recology, Metro, and crackedpots. The deadline to apply is January 31st - learn more, here.

Youth Environmental Job Fair

Organized by the Youth Mentoring Collaborative, the Youth Environmental Fair will have hundreds of jobs for ages 14-25. Prep your resumes and learn more, here!

DeConstruction Highlight: Living Cully

A couple years ago, the Sugar Shack strip club closed, and the property at the corner of Northeast Cully Boulevard and North Killingsworth Street went up for sale. It was purchased by a group of community organizations who did not have a plan, but knew they wanted to transform the crime-ridden property into a space to cultivate community. Over time, the site was named Living Cully Plaza, and a plan was created through a collaboration spearheaded by Hacienda Community Development Corp. to build affordable apartments. During the time of planning, the property was immediately transformed into a community space used to organize the Cully community.

Living Cully.jpg

The ReBuilding Center is one of many organizations who are involved in the Living Cully Plaza project. Our DeConstruction team was on site for a lumber skim, and the reclaimed lumber was brought to our store. Additional deconstruction took place by other organizations, with many materials going back into the Cully community for reuse.  

In early December, members of the Cully neighborhood and the Living Cully Community gathered to celebrate the Sugar Shack demolition. Many stories were told about the community’s ability to rally together and create change in the neighborhood. This project has been many years in the making, with an incredible amount of people and organizations dedicated to make a positive difference with the property.

To follow along with Living Cully progress, check out the Living Cully website.

The Impact of a Door

The ReBuilding Center welcomes requests for donations of used building and remodeling materials from grassroots projects and organizations that are inclusive and directly benefit the local community. One of these organizations, Community of Hope, located in North Portland, serves homeless, single-parent families. They provide shelter, classes, mentoring, and community life for 4-6 months while families heal from past trauma, build skills, and find stable jobs and homes. We recently caught up with Linda Jo, Community of Hope’s Program Director, to find out how a small donation has made a material difference at Community of Hope.

Community of Hope used wood facing and hinges we donated to help repair and stabilize bedroom doors. These small materials make a huge difference at their facility. Many of the families they serve come from living in an unconventional space, so having private space with a locking door is very significant. It helps to provide the families a sense of safety and gives them a secure space in which to leave their belongings.

Linda Jo explained Community of Hope’s awareness of the impact they have on the environment:

We want to make as small a carbon footprint as we can, and we want to get the materials we use as inexpensively as possible. Reusing materials is both cost effective and keeps things out of our landfill. We feel good to be part of the community who makes our world a better place in terms of environment as well as the people who live in it.

Check out these photos provided by Community of Hope. They have repaired the wood facing and hinges; paint is the next step. A huge thanks to Linda Jo and Community of Hope for sharing their story!

Bay Area Salvage

 By: Chris Larsen (ReBuilding Center Process Improvement Coordinator) 

During the recent Thanksgiving break I had the opportunity to tour some of the Bay Area’s largest salvaged and reused building materials stores.  The reuse store landscape in the Bay Area is an eclectic mix of for profit and nonprofit organizations of a wide range of scales and with varied specialties. All the organizations I visited are united through the sale of used building materials and all have operated for over twenty years.  Here is a small snapshot of the Bay Area’s salvage landscape, which serves as information and inspiration for the ReBuilding Center’s operations in Portland:


This and That Building Materials

  • For Profit

  • Founded: 1997

  • San Pablo

Mission: “We are committed to preserving reusable building materials and offering them to our customers at a fraction of retail prices. Reduce Reuse and Recycle”

This and That Building Materials is an unpretentious, no frills, salvaged goods retailer. The organization has a huge stock of almost every building material imaginable. The stock is generally relatively common goods, with occasional high-end and antique materials. The organization is unique in having a dedicated employee and the accompanying machinery to produce new custom door jambs for used and new doors. Although for profit, the store had a decided community feeling with folks chatting and catching up while others were shopping around for the next deal.

This and That.png

Urban Ore

  • For Profit 

  • Founded: 1980

  • Berkeley 

Mission- “To end the age of waste”       

If you're not for Zero Waste, how much waste are you for?”

Urban Ore is a Berkeley institution. The organization is beloved by Bay Area residence and is one of the largest salvage organizations I visited. Urban Ore runs a diverse business, selling reused building materials as well as antiques, home goods ranging from clothing to kitchenware, and arts and media ranging from books to creative reuse arts materials. The organization has a dedicated receiving department for sorting items before they reach the public, a metals recycling facility as well as a partnership with the local transfer station to allow gleaning of materials prior to disposal.

Urban Ore.png

Ohmega Salvage

  • For Profit

  • Founded: 1974

  • Berkeley

Mission- “Ohmega Salvage builds community through commerce by being a model of reuse, recycling and social exchange. We preserve old-quality items and resources for our customers.”

Ohmega Salvage is another such Berkeley Institution, perhaps even more so being founded in 1974. The organization appears in such famous counter cultural books as Lloyd Kahn’s alternative architectural work “Shelter”. Today the organization primarily deals in genuine antique and vintage architectural salvage, ranging from mantles and stained glass windows to door hardware and clawfoot tubs. They also do extensive rewiring of quality light fixtures.

Ohmega.png

Building Resources

  • Non-profit

  • Founded: 1994

  • San Francisco

Mission- “Building Resources is a not for profit organization dedicated to providing our community with low cost high quality materials, in a friendly, clean and organized setting.”

Building Resources is San Francisco’s only non-profit salvage store, and may be the singular affordable option for salvage in the City. Building Resources runs a small yard of diverse building salvage as well as an alternative glass recycling program making tumbled art glass, as well as housing an art gallery. In San Francisco’s increasingly dense, high-priced and fast-paced market, Building Resources stands as a beacon of equality, affordability, environmentalism, and creativity within the city.

Building Resources.png

The ReUse People

  • Non-profit

  • Founded: 1993

  • Oakland

Mission- “The ReUse People reduces the solid waste stream and changes the way the built environment is renewed by salvaging building materials and distributing them for reuse”

The ReUse people is a national organization doing deconstruction and sales of used building materials. It is also the cliffhanger in my visit to the Bay Area, as I did not manage through a combination of traffic and altered holiday hours to get into the store! So more to look forward to seeing soon.

The Reuse People.png

Welcome to the Neighborhood!

By: Andrey Bodnar

OnPoint (1).jpg

It all started off with the train being in the way. It was a Saturday and I was excited get to work for a special assignment, so I left my car at New Seasons and looked for Alison in front of OnPoint Community Credit Union’s new location.

Our mission was to pick up a donation check from OnPoint Community Credit Union, because they selected the ReBuilding Center to honor us as part of their Grand Opening celebration on Fremont and North Williams.

We talked with the OnPoint Community Credit Union team members and they told us about their work, and about how proud they are to work there because of all they do for the community. We shared about our work at the ReBuilding Center and what we do, from helping with houseless villages to Girls Build to our Day of Service. We also talked about all the building materials that flow through the ReBuilding Center and get diverted from the waste stream.  

There was even a face painter there… Alison and I talked about it and decided: “Sure, let’s do it.” So, we got our faces painted!  

After that, we went inside, and they presented us with the $1,000 check and took our pictures. We talked about the possibility of their staff coming here to volunteer, and I shared the idea that maybe some of our people to get a behind-the-scenes look at the banking world!  

Afterward, Alison and I walked back to the ReBuilding Center to put the check in the office for safe keeping until Monday.

Engaging with different businesses in the neighborhood is important, because the more connections we make, the better. Sure, this kind of outreach helps with fundraising, but more importantly it brings us together. The more we all know about each other’s organizations, the more we can accomplish together.

They were an amazing team, who clearly loved working there and it felt good being around. For the rest of the day I walked around with a dragon on my face!

 

Creating Meaning with Materials

By: Alexandra Ferrara

In an effort to realize our mission of making a material difference, the ReBuilding Center donates reclaimed building materials to like-minded local organizations and projects. You can learn more about that here. One of these projects includes Agape Village, a village for the houseless in Southeast Portland.

-

On a dreary afternoon, I hop into our newly wrapped box truck with Alberto at the wheel. We spot Jon in the big truck just up the road on North Mississippi Avenue, ready to lead the way. In our trucks we are carrying wooden and metal cabinets, reclaimed lath and lumber, and about half a dozen TriMet bus stop roofs.

As we inch slowly east on I-84 with rain splashing on the windshield, I cannot help but feel incredibly grateful for my job and the opportunities to witness the ways in which materials can have such a large impact in our community. Our store on North Mississippi Avenue is a magical place to be, but I find it just as special to follow the materials from the store to their new homes away from the ReBuilding Center.

Agape Village was born through the efforts of Central Church of the Nazarene and their houseless neighbors. The village resides along a hillside adjacent to the church. As Alberto turns the corner of the parking lot, we make our way up the hill to a breathtaking view of the autumn trees over I-205. As our eyes shift up the hillside to the village, we marvel in its innovation. There are all different types of homes, made from all sorts of materials. Alberto “wows” at a semi truck trailer converted into a tiny home—it is clear that creativity and resourcefulness found their place at this village.

In true Portland fashion, the rain does not put a damper on anyone’s spirits or motivation to get a job done. We meet up with an Agape Village volunteer and resident in the newest cluster of homes currently being built. They start unloading materials with the help of Jon and Alberto, while I have the easy task of snapping some photos.

As I look back at these photos, I see the power in our community’s ability to create meaning with materials. I hope you see the same. To learn more about Agape Village and how you can get involved in the community project, click here.  

Upcoming Community Events

There is never a lack of activities happening in our community. Below are just a few we recommend checking out!

Priced Out: Gentrification in Portland, Oregon Documentary Screening

  • Date: October 8th

  • Time: 6:30PM - 8:30PM

  • Location: Q Center Auditorium

The Q Center is hosting a screening of the documentary, “Priced Out”, with a discussion to follow the film. “Priced Out” is an investigative and personal look at how skyrocketing housing prices are displacing Portland's black community and reshaping the entire city.

BIG October Planting Party

  • Date: October 13th and 14th

  • Time: 10:00AM - 2:00PM

  • Location: Boise Eliot Nature Grove

The Boise Eliot Nature Grove is has over 500 plants to put in the ground and needs your help! Check out their website to sign-up to volunteer.

Alberta Abbey Neighborhood Party

  • Date: October 13th

  • Time: 10:00AM - 10:00PM

  • Location: 126 NE Alberta Street

Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives is hosting an Alberta Abbey Block Party featuring food, art, performances and vendors from NE Portland’s King and Humboldt neighborhoods. All are welcome!

North Portland Tool Library

  • Date: October 16th

  • Time: 6:00PM - 8:00PM

  • Location: Historic Kenton Firehouse

Repair PDX is partnering with the North Portland Tool Library to be on hand to repair your broken small appliances, bikes, garments, and other textiles.

Oregon Archives Crawl

  • Date: October 20th

  • Time: 11:00AM - 3:00PM

  • Location: Start at Oregon Historical Society, Multnomah County Library, or City of Portland Archives and Records Center

The Oregon Archives Crawl is back! Portland-Area Archives is partnering with over 30 locations to showcase how communities, beliefs, practices, and preferences have changed over the years.

Lost City, Living Memory: Vanport Oral History Screening + Exhibit

  • Date: October 21st

  • Time: 3:30PM - 5:00PM

  • Location: PSU Smith Memorial Student Union

Join the The Vanport Mosaic for a screening of “Lost City, Living Memories: Vanport Through the Voices of Its Residents” with special guests including former Vanport residents.

Family Photos and Community Memory

  • Date: October 28th

  • Time: 2:00PM - 4:00PM

  • Location: North Portland Library

The Black Life Experiential Research Group presents Family Photos and Community Memory to share photos, stories and conversation around the beauty and importance of family photography and community memories. For more information, send an email to blacklifeERG@gmail.com.

Where Does Your Donation Go?

By: Ian Hayes

What happens after you donate something to the ReBuilding Center? Well, sometimes, we donate it right back to someone else! The ReBuilding Center welcomes requests for donations of used building and remodeling materials from grassroots projects and organizations that are inclusive and directly benefit the local community. So far, we have donated materials to over a dozen of these projects in 2018 alone! We were able to catch up with a few of these groups to find out what they’ve been up to and how they’ve been making a material difference, hoping to inspire you with fresh ideas for your next visit.

Passion Impact, Inc.

Passion Impact, Inc. was founded in 2014 by Stefan Peierls and Brad Burns. Their mission is to provide low-income and minority high school and college students the opportunity to develop leadership skills through community service.

Stefan told us they used the wood we donated to build a large shelf that holds almost all of their office supplies, leaving more room for student meetings, trainings, and presentations. “By reusing the resources in our community,” Stefan said, “we show students that no matter how old someone or something may look, there is still tremendous value in their existence and service to the community.” We love to see so many people getting so much reuse and sharing resources with each other!

Passion Impact.PNG

You can learn more about Passion Impact’s volunteer opportunities here.

Sharon Seventh-Day Adventist Church

The Sharon Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Northeast Portland has paid host to several large families who have immigrated from Rwanda, and their teacher felt they would feel much more connected and comfortable if they could sit around a large family-style table. Jann Stowe was able to find the perfect table at the ReBuilding Center within a week of requesting the donation. It needed some refinishing, but that’s part of its story.

Jann said, “That is why I love the ReBuilding Center, it helps individuals and organizations take an idea or concept and see it through to fruition with the use of used or donated goods at a fraction of what it would cost retail. There is also something very special and tactile when you look at a finished project and see a bit of Portland history.”

We know what it’s like to have strong feelings for this city, and its welcoming community, which is why we look for opportunities to give back wherever we can. You can learn more about Sharon SDA Church on their website.


Nutz N Boltz Theater Company

Nutz N Boltz.PNG

Nutz-n-Boltz was founded in 2004 by three individuals who were frustrated by the lack of quality community theater and took it upon themselves to raise the bar with a theater they built from scratch. Their name comes from the idea of building something from the ground up and creating theater as art for art’s sake. For thirteen years, they’ve been performing plays without sponsors and with minimal donations.

“We have made it on ticket sales alone and some of our own money, which is unheard of in the theatrical world,” said Justin Lazenby, co-founder and co-owner of Nutz-n-Boltz. He explained, “We’ve done this by reusing everything we can possibly reuse.”

Every year, Nutz-n-Boltz puts on about four to five performances, and each one requires a set to be custom-built for the production. Over the course of a year, the same space may pay host to a Netherlands country home, a Victorian sitting room, a farm house kitchen, or even an entire set made out of candy.

“The ReBuilding Center has helped significantly in our effort to ‘age’ our sets. Old, single-pane windows, ratchety screen-doors, and tarnished door hardware all contribute to the time and the setting of the show.” If the ReBuilding Center didn’t make these items available and affordable, Justin says, “they would probably be in a landfill or deteriorating in the weather in someone’s backyard.”

The name “Nutz N Boltz” comes from the idea of building a show from scratch, and their theater company is dedicated to “the dying art of hand-built stagecraft.” We can’t wait to see what they have to build next. If you’d like to see a show, find their season schedule here.

-

If your organization needs materials for a project in the Portland Metro region, we offer donations of used building and remodeling materials to local community-oriented organizations and projects. Find more information and fill out a donation request form here.

ReCap: Community Events

Annual Day of Service

ReBuilding Center staff and volunteers spent Saturday, August 11th, tackling a wide range of minor repair projects for eight North and inner Northeast neighborhood homeowners. As highlighted in August’s newsletter, the ReBuilding Center partners every year with the African American Alliance for Homeownership for our Annual Day of Service.

We had a very enjoyable day working with tools, meeting people in our neighborhood, and building friendships. The ReBuilding Center would like to thank everyone involved in fostering another successful Day of Service!

Dropbox Derby

This Labor Day, staff and volunteers from the ReBuilding Center participated in the second annual Dropbox Derby - a design/build challenge using salvaged materials to raise money for a good cause. Along with 26 other teams full of innovative and unique talent, Valerie Carey, Andy Grummon, Diana Nelson, and Sam Serling-Sutton, had four hours to create a salvaged masterpiece that fit with the theme, “A Seat at the Table.”

The ReBuilding Center team put their creative minds together to construct a table that transforms into a bench. The table/bench was sold during the silent auction to benefit Oregon Tradeswomen and will also be displayed, along with other selected Dropbox Derby pieces, at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

Mississippi Avenue Ice Cream Social

Mississippi Avenue was as sweet as it could be this past Tuesday during the 15th Annual Ice Cream Social. Over 24 Mississippi Avenue businesses participated in handing out free ice cream to celebrate our neighborhood and community. The ReBuilding Center kept it classic this year, scooping vanilla bean ice cream for those who stopped by our table under the Community Trees.

A huge thanks to the Historic Mississippi Business Association and everyone who worked hard to make this event happen. We had a blast and hope the Mississippi Avenue community did, too!

Goodbye Letter

DSC_0631.png

Tom Patzkowski is the Operations Director at the ReBuilding Center. After being with the ReBuilding Center for over 19 years, his time working here will come to a close this month. The ReBuilding Center community will dearly miss Tom and his infectious laugh and we wish him the best of luck in his East Coast endeavors.

--

By: Tom Patzkowski

As my son and I drove a large box truck jammed full of possessions accumulated over decades in Portland across the country toward an unknown future, we noticed faces. Faces in the formations and rocks, in the trees and plants, the waters, and in the sky. Imagining the past lives of the people and animals that are recorded solidly and transitionally in the landscape, we became certain that the marks of all existences swirl in our surroundings. Throughout the local community and well beyond, the reverberations of the innovations, rediscoveries, collaborations, and spirit of the ReBuilding Center boldly exhibit, in a lasting way, that possibilities can become reality when people join together - with effort and compassion - to overcome obstacles and misperceptions.

My personal existence, the growth of my family and me, has been interwoven with the flourishing of the ReBuilding Center. In a world where disagreement is highlighted, it has been fortunate and foundational to enact change, celebrate differences, find commonalities, and build relationships at work – a rare opportunity. I have learned that there is beauty and value and challenge in all interactions and all things. There is earnestness, desire, and dedication needed to bring about a stronger and healthier society grounded in equity and respect for nature.

I think of the astronauts who come back humbled environmentalists from the vastness of space. After distantly gazing at the only observable planet which can support our lives, it is recognized that we are related to and dependent on each other for survival, our time here demands that we preserve and protect each other, and we are part of a wonderfully spinning larger organism: the earth. We are also gifted with individual talents known and to be discovered. I encourage you to engage and explore those gifts to support and serve your co-workers and all people, to take a moment to look around and notice the good you are doing, and to make your mark!

A ReBuilding Center Collaboration with Ann Hamilton: habitus

Currently, a cluster of suspended cloth flows in the wind under the riverfront pavilion at Centennial Mills. This cloth is an element of Ann Hamilton’s habitus – an art installation presented by Converge 45. While movements of the riverfront air set the curtains into motion, they can also be manipulated by rope and pulley. A model of Portland from the 1970’s accompanies the suspended curtains in the center of the installation, while the far end is bound by two long tables displaying commonplace pages, related to home and shelter. All of these habitus pieces can be reflected upon on wooden benches that line the edge of the installation.

The ReBuilding Center was commissioned by Ann Hamilton to build fourteen nine foot benches and two fifty foot display tables for habitus. The goal of this project was to not only use salvaged materials, but to also serve as a training opportunity. Under the guidance and direction of Education staffers Aaron Green and Sam Serling-Sutton, interns and volunteers applied their carpentry skills in the production of the benches and tables. Aaron recapped his experience with the habitus project:

 “Our Girls Build interns Ella, Cheyenne, and Haylee, and our Portland Youth Builders interns Noah and Jeff went the extra mile by working many long and full shifts filled with cutting, milling, assembling, sanding, and transporting. In the end, our staff couldn't have felt more proud to see our interns taking initiative and responsibility for the project, even to the point of being directed by some of them! Great work, team!”

Ann Hamilton’s habitus can be viewed and experienced Friday through Sunday, between 3 and 7PM at the Centennial Mills Pavilion (1362 NW Naito Parkway at NW 9th Avenue). The show is free and open to the public through September 16th.  All commonplace page donations support our programs at the ReBuilding Center.

 

Images by the ReBuilding Center

June 2017 Volunteer Opportunities

Join the ReBuilding Center in the second annual Day of Service, meet other Portlanders and enjoy a discounted happy hour during our Building Community Through Reuse social night, help build a ReBuilding Center theme park for the Alberta Last Thursday, or prep for ReFind Adult Education classes! 


Day of Service

SATURDAY, JUNE 10TH

Every year the ReBuilding Center joins with the African American Alliance for Homeownership to bring the community an annual Day of Service, offering minor repairs to neighborhood homeowners. These services are provided to our neighbors who are at risk of being displaced from their homes due to their need for repairs. In 2016, volunteers proudly completed 10 projects on 5 different properties, tackling a wide range of issues:

  • Removal and repair of rotting stairs
  • Demo and re-pouring of concrete stairs
  • Cleaning up overgrown yards
  • Installation of handrails
  • Mending fence boards
  • Sink installation
  • Door hanging
  • Painting houses

This year the ReBuilding Center plans to take on similar projects with double the number of homes! This is an excellent opportunity for volunteers who would like to learn DIY skills or those with prior building experience who would like to apply their expertise to a greater cause. If you are interested in joining our team to build a healthier more vibrant community please pre-register now to be placed on our list to receive further information, pick preferred projects as they become available, and be considered for a position as one of our Crew Leaders.

To sign up, fill out this form >


LEND A HAND AT OUR MONTHLY DE-NAILING PARTY AND RECEIVE 25% OFF AT STORMBREAKER BREWING

SECOND THURSDAY of every month
6PM - 8PM

The ReBuilding Center invites you to join us for an evening of socializing and de-nailing on the second Thursday of each month from 6pm to 8pm. No need to be registered as one of our existing volunteers, this monthly event is open to the public. Get some rewarding hands-on experience while keeping usable building materials from making their way into landfills and waste streams. Meet and socialize with like-minded individuals! If you are looking for a great way to expand your friend base here in the Portland community then this monthly mixer is for you! After the de-nailing has concluded, regroup with your fellow volunteers accross the street at Stormbreaker Brewing and enjoy an additional 25% off for your contribution. 

To sign up, please RSVP with David Lowe, our Volunteer Services Manager:
dave@rebuildingcenter.org


BUILD A THEME PARK WITH THE REBUILDING CENTER FOR LAST THURSDAYS ON ALBERTA

MONDAYS, TUESDAYS, WEDNESDAYS, AND FRIDAYS
10AM TO 4PM
JUNE 5TH - JUNE 26TH

Work with us to build “ReBuilding Center Road,” a 90’ x 10’ attraction that will highlight salvaged building materials in fun and creative ways during the Alberta Street Last Thursday (June-August). Help repair our trade show booths and help make them mobile/transportable, plus brainstorm building projects that will enhance the Last-Thursday-goers' experience.

We need volunteers to help create structures, games, and other interactive activities with used building materials. Some carpentry know-how is helpful, but not required. We will supply all needed tools, materials, safety equipment, and guidance.

If you would like to get your hands on this incredible opportunity, email ashley@rebuildingcenter.org with the subject line "ReBuilding Center Road." Please tell a little about your building, repair and design experience, as well as why you are interested in joining our team. 


HELP US PREPARE FOR YOUTH AND ADULT CLASSES IN OUR REFIND EDUCATION SHOP

EVERY MONDAY & FRIDAY AT 12:00pm

The ReBuilding Center is looking for help in our Refind Education shop getting tools and material ready in preparation for upcoming youth and adult classes. 

To sign up, email the ReFind Education Coordinator, Aaron Green at:  aaron@rebuildingcenter.org


For more information on any of the volunteer opportunities listed above or to check out other ways you can help build community through reuse follow these links:

EXISTING VOLUNTEERS

NEW VOLUNTEERS

Education & Inspiration at the 25th Annual WOMEN IN TRADES CAREER FAIR

building-a-planter-box

On Friday, May 19th, over 1,000 middle- and high-school-aged girls from around Oregon and Washington participated in Oregon Tradeswomen's 25th annual Women in Trades Career Fair - School Day. By 7:30am that morning, the place was already buzzing with excitement and the students hadn't even arrived yet. The fair brought together professional tradeswomen from every trade you could think of.  There were fire engines and ladder trucks to climb, giant logs to chainsaw, bucket trucks to ride in, tiny houses to build, water mains to repair, lights to wire and so many more awesome activities to engage this gigantic curious group. 

two-girls-with-drill

This year, the ReBuilding Center presented a workshop led by the ReBuilding Center’s own head cashier, Ella Rose, Salvage Specialist, Mayela, and DeConstructionist, Becca. Tables full of brave, bright, and inquisitive girls were led though the construction of mini-planter boxes which they were able to take home. Students learned all about what the ReBuilding Center does, and of course what it means to be a "DeConstructionist". The most incredible moments came when the girls' faces lit up with the confidence of a newly gained skill, and the proud smile that comes with the completion of a project.

Girls working together, encouraging one another, and having a blast using power tools was so much fun, even a couple of teachers jumped into the mix and used these tools for the first time as well. All in all, the day was a total success. There were hardly any supplies left over after a nearly-constant stream of girls walked away with their newly built planter boxes. It was an incredible display of women empowering other women and girls. Watch for this event again next year. 

May/June 2017 Volunteer Opportunities

Join the ReBuilding Center in the second annual Day of Service, meet other Portlanders and enjoy a discounted happy hour during our Building Community Through Reuse social night, help build a ReBuilding Center theme park for the Alberta Last Thursday, or prep for ReFind Adult Education classes! 


LATINO HOME FAIR

Saturday June 3rd

ReBuilding Center will be at Madison High School on June 3rd for the Latino Home Fair. Sign up to represent us at this event. Spanish lingo a BIG plusIf you haven’t tabled with us before, get in touch with dave@rebuildingcenter.org to learn a bit more. It’s fun and easy.

Latino Home Fair is Hacienda’s biggest annual event that assembles a team of trustworthy professionals every year to provide useful resources to support future homeowners.

Hacienda CDC's Homeownership Support Program is a HUD-approved housing counseling agency.  They provide group education and one-on-one counseling to first-time homebuyers and homeowners at risk of foreclosure. Hacienda CDC services are available to all Oregon residents. 

The cultural atmosphere makes this annual fair a great family event for all with food, music, raffles and prizes (like a one month rental and down payment assistance.)

You can schedule yourself by visiting you schedule through the Volunteer Portal, or by emailing Dave directly.

Day of Service

SATURDAY, JUNE 10TH

Every year the ReBuilding Center joins with the African American Alliance for Homeownership to bring the community an annual Day of Service, offering minor repairs to neighborhood homeowners. These services are provided to our neighbors who are at risk of being displaced from their homes due to their need for repairs. In 2016, volunteers proudly completed 10 projects on 5 different properties, tackling a wide range of issues:

  • Removal and repair of rotting stairs
  • Demo and re-pouring of concrete stairs
  • Cleaning up overgrown yards
  • Installation of handrails
  • Mending fence boards
  • Sink installation
  • Door hanging
  • Painting houses

This year the ReBuilding Center plans to take on similar projects with double the number of homes! This is an excellent opportunity for volunteers who would like to learn DIY skills or those with prior building experience who would like to apply their expertise to a greater cause. If you are interested in joining our team to build a healthier more vibrant community please pre-register now to be placed on our list to receive further information, pick preferred projects as they become available, and be considered for a position as one of our Crew Leaders.

To sign up, fill out this form >


LEND A HAND AT OUR MONTHLY DE-NAILING PARTY AND RECEIVE 25% OFF AT STORMBREAKER BREWING

SECOND THURSDAY of every month
6PM - 8PM

The ReBuilding Center invites you to join us for an evening of socializing and de-nailing on the second Thursday of each month from 6pm to 8pm. No need to be registered as one of our existing volunteers, this monthly event is open to the public. Get some rewarding hands-on experience while keeping usable building materials from making their way into landfills and waste streams. Meet and socialize with like-minded individuals! If you are looking for a great way to expand your friend base here in the Portland community then this monthly mixer is for you! After the de-nailing has concluded, regroup with your fellow volunteers across the street at Stormbreaker Brewing and enjoy an additional 25% off for your contribution. 

To sign up, please RSVP with David Lowe, our Volunteer Services Manager:
dave@rebuildingcenter.org



HELP US PREPARE FOR YOUTH AND ADULT CLASSES IN OUR REFIND EDUCATION SHOP

EVERY MONDAY & FRIDAY AT 12:00pm

The ReBuilding Center is looking for help in our Refind Education shop getting tools and material ready in preparation for upcoming youth and adult classes. 

To sign up, email the ReFind Education Coordinator, Aaron Green at:  aaron@rebuildingcenter.org


For more information on any of the volunteer opportunities listed above or to check out other ways you can help build community through reuse follow these links:

EXISTING VOLUNTEERS

NEW VOLUNTEERS

How to Give Your Planet a Kiss on Earth Day 2017

As we all dry off from one of the soggiest winters in memory, I suspect we can all agree that Mother Earth, our planet and our home, suffers from neglect. Earth Day comes this weekend. This is your chance to step up and say: We love you Mom!

There are lots of things to do, from celebrating with the great students at PSU on Friday, to helping the Urban League prepare its Urban Garden for spring planting just a block away from your very own ReBuilding Center, to clean-ups by SOLVE all over the State of Oregon. So, jump in; get involved; and give your planet the big wet kiss she deserves.


Portland State University’s 10th Annual Celebration of Earth Day
Friday, April 21
11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
PSU Park Blocks

Join Environmental Club for the 10th Annual Earth Day Festival featuring live music, community and student organizations, student artists and a reuse fair. This event is free and open to the public. A film screening and free dinner will be offered in the evening.


Image: Lyn Topinka

Image: Lyn Topinka

Kelly Point Park Clean Up
Friday, April 21
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Kelly Point Park

Join the Cascade Environmental Club for the Kelly Point Park Clean Up! This will be an all-day event of invasive species removal, planting of native species, trash pick- up, and a metal detector beach walk. The event will feature a live recycled art expo and local music and food! Lunch will provide for volunteers w/costume T-shirts. Contact Dustin.Boomer@pcc.edu for more info.


Urban League Garden Clean Up
Saturday, April 22
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Where: Corner of N. Beech and N. Albina

Help the Urban League get its garden ready for spring cleaning.


Operation Clean Sweep
Saturday, April 22
10:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Check in at NE 18th and Alberta

Alberta Street’s 7th annual Earth Day clean up offers more than just a a feel-good chore. The event welcomes neighbors near and far to clean up Alberta Street then celebrate at the Golden Garbage Awards. After cleaning up garbage and removing graffiti along Alberta from MLK to 33rd Avenue, you’re invited to eat pizza, Salt & Straw Ice Cream, treats from Random Order, and enter to win prizes from local businesses. Don’t forget to bring your own water, gloves and any tools that might help beautify the area. FAQ are answered here and don’t forget to register online ahead of time.


SOLVE Cleanups
Saturday, April 22
Various times & locations

Presented by Portland General Electric, Stop Oregon Litter and Vandalism (SOLVE), is a non-profit organization that has one mission: “Bring Oregonians together to improve our environment and build a legacy of stewardship.” Interested? Good thing there are countless Earth Day clean-ups to choose from this April 22. Transform Barrows Park in Beaverton to a thriving habitat, spruce up the Oregon Human Society Dog Path or join the 2nd Annual Invasive Species Scavenger hunt in Vancouver; those are just a few of the options for volunteer action. Check out the website below to find a volunteer opportunity that works for you and your family.


#EcoSocialJustice
Monday, April 24, 11am in PAC Lobby at Sylvania
Monday, April 24, 2pm in MAHB 104 at Cascade
Wednesday, April 26, 10am in Building 9 Events Center at Rock Creek
Wednesday, April 26, 2pm in the Community Hall at Southeast

In #EcoSocialJustice, Dr. Chatelain explores our recent history and current events in our country as a context to better understand the interconnections of racial, social and environmental justice. Looking at the many issues we face – racism, food insecurity, environmental degradation, widening economic disparities, climate change – how can these movements come together to strategically align for sustainable change? If we are stronger together, how have we failed to collectively mobilize in the past? 

Chatelain initiated the #FergusonSyllabus after the death of Michael Brown. She has been featured prominently on CNN, MSNBC, NPR and on other national platforms.

Rodolfo Serna Mural Takes on New Life at the RBC

The ReBuilding Center is excited to have just adopted a very special work of art by local Native American muralist, Rodolfo Serna.  The 9' by 32' mural, designed and constructed by Rodolfo and the youth from Christie Care and P:ear, once graced the wall of the Por Que No? restaurant on Hawthorne and now takes on new life hanging proudly above the lighting section of the ReBuilding Center.  Rodolfo was happy to do an interview with a member of our newsletter team and share his appreciation along with some more information about his art and role in the community.

DSC_0068.JPG

What is your favorite part about making murals and why did you choose this as your primary artistic focus?

I love the collaboration process and community aspect.  These large scale projects that I do with large groups of kids are very special to me and are greatly tied to my spirituality.  I had done some individual art projects with kids and realized that I wanted to be able to work with lots of kids at same time.  We learn and grow so much through this process, and everyone gets to take ownership of the piece.  We do every step of the work together, and when it's done we all celebrate together. 

How do you design your murals, and create space for everyone to express their ideas? What are the challenges and benefits of working collaboratively like this?

In art school I met other muralists who treated this work as an independent practice.  I found many artists to be very self-focused and this didn't appeal to me.  I was inspired by the way in which Mexican artists had historically used murals to bring community together.  I decided I was going to practice incorporating elements of my Native American philosophy: respect, humility, and compassion.  When you look at the temples in Mexico, these were never created by one individual, but massive amounts of people.  Tears of the pyramids were even created by successive generations.  I brought all those ideas into it.  I let go of a lot of what I was taught in school: to be in full control of the piece.  When you let go of control, you learn to trust your community and kids.  What we have created together is always something far greater than what I could create myself.  They come up with the ideas.  I draw the composition, the blueprint.  When they approve it, we then transfer it using the grid method - so they also learn about how to construct large scale art with this method.  Once it is transposed, we begin the first layer of the painting.  There are many layers of painting that we all do together, and these layers are very important.   
DSC_0055.JPG

 

Who painted the mural now at the ReBuilding Center, and what can you tell us about the symbolism of the imagery?

Two groups of kids worked on this, Christie Care [a residential youth village] and P:ear [a homeless youth mentoring program].  The kids at Christie Care wanted to represent the relationship between us and nature, and P:ear wanted to represent diversity.  I often use images that reference Native tribes, like the Lacota or Aztec, and philosophy of the Native community.  Here I used the imagery of the four directions: there are two lines, a circle, and four colors.  These represent our relationship.  The four colors are the four continents.  The circle is really significant in symbolizing that we are all relatives and all related.  The idea of this medicine wheel is widespread in Native philosophy and it is very important.  The female figures in the mural are strong, and from different cultural backgrounds.  The turtle represents Turtle Island, another name for America.  There are representations of the four elements: wind, fire water, and earth.  The side panels are more about the relationship between us and the earth - a symbiotic relationship represented by the humming bird and flower and traditional dancer in the tree. 

What is the original story behind why this mural was created, and why is it now at the ReBuilding Center?

I made this mural about six years ago because of an invitation I received from the Por Que No? restaurant on Hawthorne.  The neighborhood association and owner of the restaurant, Bryan Steelman, invited me to do it and I put the project together with the owner who wanted to bring more art to his restaurant.  I got a grant for the public art that was only good for five years, and space beside the restaurant was then rented the mural was blocked by carts.  The owner took it down.  Stephen [the Executive Director at the ReBuilding Center] agreed to store it, and then decided to put it up. 
PQN UNVLNG B.jpg

What would you like people to take away from your art? 

For me, it's really important to tip the scales for everyday people.  We don't have as much power to change the world as we would like to.  I make beautiful imagery and art.  I'm trying to tip the scales with what I do and add some goodness to the world.  Give to the life giving forces.  Share my art with kids.  Make the world beautiful.  Not only because it is aesthetically pleasing, but because it is part of my spiritual practice and I really believe it has an effect.  I believe color and imagery help stimulate the brain and this affects our health as human beings.  It activates the brain and makes us think.  I'm doing what I can with this medicine that is in me.  My art is my medicine.

How does this piece resonate with the ReBuilding Center's mission of improving community through reuse? 

When the mural was taken down, I was about to say goodbye to it.  I had nowhere to store it, but there was still so much life in it.  There is so much value in these things that are going to be thrown away.  Instead of being thrown away, it is getting used a second time and gets to keep living.  The ideas of harmony and working with the earth that are symbolized in this piece is exactly what the ReBuilding Center does.  Reusing rather than wasting is part of the message behind the mural.  

Can you tell us a little about your work with Latino Network and local youth?

Latino Network is a nonprofit where I work with at risk youth.  I work with a lot of immigrant families, helping them to navigate services and housing support.  I get referrals from the county for kids that are in the juvenile system.  I work in the juvenile detention center, where I'm starting Red Stone Collective, a place where they can do art and participate in Native American practices such as dancing.  This is going to become a nonprofit as well, and will become be a full cultural community center. 

You've worked with an extensive array of nonprofits.  Can you name some of the ones that you have worked with or share any stories from that work?

I work on the board of an Aztec dance group that does cultural presentations at schools and community events, and holds ceremonies several times a year that are open to the public.  We just became a nonprofit and will be expanding.  I'm on another board that also just got nonprofit status that does healing for people through Native sweat lodges.  I'm really proud of those two groups, and that I get to be part of them and the amazing people that run them.  My work at the detention center is also going to become a nonprofit, and I'm hoping it will become a community center, a safe place for all these kids to share art and culture and just stay safe.   

Are you working on any new projects right now?

I've been invited to do a mural or two at the PDX airport, and I'm currently working with high schoolers on that.  I've applied for some other things, but nothing certain just yet.  I was just invited to the Clackamas Art Alliance.  I've worked with four schools from there in the last year, which is great.  I'm definitely growing. 

How many murals have you created in the Portland area?

Over 30 now, I think.  

Are you active or accessible to your fans through social media such as Facebook or Instagram? 

Yes I have pages on those, and that's been the best way for the youth to keep in touch with me since I'm not always in the same place. 

Anything else you would like to share?

I'm really grateful for the ReBuilding Center.  When I saw my mural back up it was powerful and beautiful and it warmed my heart.  I'm very pleased by this validation and affirmation of my work.  The staff there is great and this has been a great experience.

Kenton Neighborhood Approves Proposal for Tiny House Village for Houseless Women

On the night of March 8, a vote by the Kenton neighborhood approved a tiny house village for 14 houseless women with a landslide vote of 178 to 75 in favor of this innovative solution. At the vote, City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly weighed in, “No neighborhood is going to be exempt from this conversation," Eudaly said, "This is a problem for all of us to solve. We're not talking about importing people to Kenton. We're talking about housing your houseless neighbors." 

The ReBuilding Center has been reporting on this story. To learn more, read The Oregonian article Tiny house village for homeless women approved by Kenton neighborhood >

“The newest idea in housing homeless people earned the first round of approval Wednesday night with a vote by the Kenton neighborhood in North Portland.

The neighborhood residents voted 178 to 75 in favor of a village of 14 tiny houses for homeless women.

Key city officials back the pilot project to form a community with shared restrooms, common space and a garden at a site off North Argyle Street, near Kenton Park. Charlie Hales kicked off the idea during his term as mayor and now Mayor Ted Wheeler is championing it as a better alternative to people sleeping on the streets or in tent villages.”
— Molly Harbarger, The Oregonian

The tiny homes were built by students from Portland State University's Center for Public Interest Design and the Village Coalition, a houseless advocacy nonprofit (that RBC helps support) using space and materials provided by the ReBuilding Center.

Before being moved to the Kenton neighborhood, the tiny homes are being stored at the ReBuilding Center's temporary lot. You can spot the ReBuilding Center’s head cashier, Ella Rose showing her beaming smile up on a billboard behind Ted Wheeler in the video below.

Drink and Craft at Portland's DIY Bar

DIY Bar is a gathering place in Portland, Oregon to get your craft on. On their website they say, "we're bringing people together to work on individual projects from our craft menu. Think of it as a Pinterest workshop where you get to sip on your favorite wine, beer, or cider. We've done the work for you to find the projects, gather the tools, and the materials needed to make beautiful and functional crafts." 

DIY Bar wrote about the ReBuilding Center in this blog post

We are excited to say the wood used for the frame of our bar, and our utility sink, are from the ReBuilding Center on Mississippi. The ReBuilding Center is filled with materials to get you through home, commercial, or recreational projects. A lot of these materials would have otherwise been recycled or landfilled, so it’s awesome to see them get a better use. They also have a deconstruction team, so if you need a house demolished you know who to call. Say goodbye to those pesky neighbors!

We asked DIY Bar a few questions about their mission, DIY culture, and reuse! See their responses below:

What is DIY Bar?

DIY Bar is a place for crafty and not so crafty people. It's part crafting studio, part bar. We supply the tools, materials, and tutorials for folks to sit down and complete a project from our project menu. It's similar to a paint and sip place, but we offer any of our projects at all times. The projects are self-guided with tutorials, and our craft-tenders are around if anyone needs assistance.

Who's it for?

We welcome everyone, but we're geared towards adults. As adults, it's easy for us to lose track of our creative and playful sides. We want to bring that back in those who have lost it, and continue to fuel it for those who still have it.

Why did you choose the ReBuilding Center for materials?

We share similar values as RBC. We grew up in the waste industry and worked in it before starting DIY Bar. We are familiar with how much waste is generated and the importance of using reclaimed materials. RBC is our go-to for reclaimed building materials. We're happy to say the heart of our bar (the bar) is made with materials from RBC.

How did RBC and DIY Bar get connected?

We familiarized ourselves with RBC by being involved with the waste industry. And now that we're neighbors it's even better (and dangerous because there's so many good things in there).

What is it about DIY culture that interests you?

We want to share the experience and feeling you get after completing a project. For us it's a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment. You can look back at your project and know you made or built it with your hands. You've put your own creative twist on it. You made that thing!

What are some of the projects you're most excited to lead?

As mentioned above, we'll have craft-tenders to help support folks with their projects, instead of leading individual projects at a time.

What types of projects will you be hosting?

We have about 20 different projects on our craft menu. They range from leather projects (clutch purse, wallet, passport holder), to light wood working (6-pack carrier, drop catch bottle opener) to home goods (magnetic shelf, cat scratcher) to jewelry (hex nut bracelet, beaded wrap bracelet, tree of life necklace) to a variety of other projects (nail and string art). They're projects with a purpose!

What kinds of materials will be used?

We have a lot of different types of materials! We'll be using wood, string, nails, paint, magnets, leather, feathers, beads, chains, etc.

DIY Bar plans to launch in the Spring

and will be located at:

3522 NORTH VANCOUVER AVENUE,
PORTLAND, OR, 97227

High School Students Power Tiny Homes for the Houseless

High school students from Catlin Gabel are powering tiny homes for the houseless with a project they call “The Juice Box Project!” Check out this 3-minute video and hear from the residents about how this system is helping them get back on their feet!

An innovative solution to off-the-grid communities like Hazelnut Grove, these eco-friendly boxes provide solar powered energy to juice light and electricity, which “allows residents to become more independent, productive and engaged in their communities!” Help The Juice Box Project win this year’s Lexus Eco Challenge by sharing this post! The ReBuilding Center is a proud partner in this initiative.

What Is Juice Box?

Juice Box is an efficient and sustainable way to provide electricity for off-the-grid, portable pods for previously homeless people.

  • The shelter "pods" are equipped with 100W solar panels that deliver power to the Juice Box, mounted inside. 
  • The power of the sun is harnessed to charge an 18 AH 12V battery. Batteries are recycled from FIRST Robotics teams.
  • This power can then be used to power devices that plug into a wall outlet  (120V AC, 300W max) or 12V DC automotive accessory socket.
  • The battery also powers a bright LED light bar mounted on the front of the Juice Box, perfect for illuminating rooms at night, and extending the day of the user.
© All Rights Reserved | Tax ID # 93-1241474