Education

Student Spotlight: Lynne Caldwell

By: Aaron Green

On occasion, our ReBuilding Center education staff has the privilege of receiving feedback from former students who let us know what they’ve been up to since taking a class with us. Sometimes those students are first-timers, and other times, as in Lynne Caldwell’s case, they’re six-time returning students. Wow! We asked Lynne if she’d be willing to let us interview her for our newsletter, and thankfully, she agreed! We hope you enjoy her story and find as much inspiration from it as we do.

A few years ago, before taking any carpentry classes with us, Lynne remembers wanting to try to build garden boxes. After selecting a few eight-foot boards from Home Depot and having them cut down to size, she grabbed her drill and got to work.

But, as she recalls, “I had no prior training… I had only used a hand saw but never a power saw of any kind.” Lynne did accomplish assembling her garden boxes, but afterward, she knew that having even a little more knowledge and access to power tools would propel her confidence forward during her next project.

Chopsaw Miter Cut in Action 1-1.jpg

Today, six classes with the Education team later, Lynne reflects, “I have learned so much from these classes from simple things, like why the little metal end is on the tape measure, to big things like becoming confident using a miter saw. The miter saw education and confidence has been the biggest thing for me and has made a huge difference in the projects that I feel comfortable trying.”

Lynne has gone on to build benches for her home, a work table for her garage, and she even replaced her garbage disposal after taking one of our Plumbing Basics classes. “One of my proudest accomplishments was replacing our garbage disposal… This is something that I have paid a handyman to do in the past, and I did it myself. And no leaks!”

unnamed (1).jpg

Recently, Lynne built her very own coffee table out of a salvaged slab of basketball court wood. A self-proclaimed semi-regular at the ReBuilding Center, Lynne noticed a few big sections of basketball court material in the lumber yard one day. “I love basketball,” she tells us. “But I couldn’t think of what to do with the big sections. Then…I found smaller pieces broken down with the other flooring [and] I decided to try to make something.” Wanting the colored stripes natural to the old game flooring to show, Lynne did little to strip the wood after she got it home. She tells us that she miter-cut four pieces of wood to make a frame, and then glued those pieces together around the flooring. A couple layers of polyurethane later, and Lynne had herself a fantastic new table, made completely by herself.

When we asked Lynne what she might get up to next, she said, “I am always trolling the RBC for ideas [but] I plan to build a martial arts belt display for my son.” Lynne says she’s also working on a large bench for her porch. “I plan to add cushions too so that I can take a nap. Covered porch napping bench!”

We also asked Lynne what’s brought her back to the shop for classes so many times. She nearly brought us to tears when she said, “The instructors are really wonderful! I can’t say enough about how welcoming and patient they are. They show enthusiasm for their work, and they aren’t judgmental with beginner’s questions. As a middle-aged woman I was afraid of feeling intimidated in seeking out beginning educational opportunities in using tools. [These] instructors have always been super pleasant, organized, patient, and encouraging.”

Thanks, Lynne! We can’t wait to see pictures of your son’s martial arts belt display and, of course, the napping bench! We hope to see you in the shop again soon.

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

Breaking Down Deconstruction in PDX

If you’ve been following the news, you know that Portland’s City Council recently adopted an ordinance mandating that in lieu of demolition, home structures built prior to 1917 be fully deconstructed instead. Prior to the ordinance, roughly 30 homes in Portland were deconstructed annually with 300 being demolished. With the ordinance, it is estimated that as many as 100 homes will be deconstructed each year, diverting up to 2,400 tons of materials from the landfill.

To ensure that the skilled workers are available to take down all of these old homes, the City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability held a training in March, led by the renowned deconstructionist Dave Bennick of Bellingham, WA. Fifteen trainees participated over 12 days, taking down three homes.

deconstruction-trainees-PDX

All of which is enough to get us excited at the ReBuilding Center. But what was really cool was the class of trainees itself: women, people of color, the formerly incarcerated. Every single one of the trainees came from a class of people who are not traditionally well-represented in the trades. And as a sustainability organization, that was amazing because development that is truly sustainable must not only “meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,” but also needs to work for everyone in the community. Let’s meet some of the trainees!

9.17.09 010.jpg

Zach is an incredibly affable guy. He learned about the training from his Home for Good manager. “It’s pretty incredible. It’s an amazing opportunity. The first house came down quick. It moves fast, fast. Removing flooring was probably the coolest thing. It was oak. Nice stuff. Learning how to rock it back and forth so you don’t rip the groove out, that was something I’d never seen before. We had Shane, Forrest, and Augest teaching us how to do that. And the roof came off in like two hours. The hardest piece was the plaster in the other house. It was a good inch thick and we just had to hammer it and hammer it and hammer it.”

Savannah, a recent Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. graduate, learned about deconstruction during her pre-apprenticeship training with OTI. She enjoyed it, did some research on deconstruction and “realized it was something ethically I believed in; and I like hard work and I love the idea of rebuilding things… It’s gratifying to be able to visually see progress on something. I love the idea of salvaging materials and keeping things out of the landfill.” 

DSC_0088b.JPG

Joe was living in a shelter when she heard about the training. She owned her own home for fourteen years and so knows a thing about reuse and repair. “You’ve got to do some of it---the repairs---yourself. You just can’t afford to have someone else do all of it.” Joe said, “I think the training's great. I always believed in deconstruction and reusing. And I think having this program vs. coming in with big equipment and wrecking everything and taking it to the dump, it’s great. I think it’s really important that we can use places like the ReBuilding Center to keep reusing. Dave Bennick gave a great speech about energy, about how it takes a certain amount of energy to make the roads to get the items, to take them somewhere to build them, and that we lose that energy if we don’t save the materials and reuse them. So let’s reuse them.”

And then there’s Umoru. Umoru was a carpenter before he came to the United States. He’s been hanging around the ReBuilding Center for about a year, volunteering and trying to get back into the trades. Umoru said, “There are some tools that I didn’t know the names of but that I know how to use. So there’s one big tool that I really like to use, a big pry bar, I like using it. I feel like it’s good for me. It is dirty work but it’s a good job.”

Safety is always a concern. Dave Bennick, the intrepid instructor explains: "We’re practicing taking out florescent light fixtures in a safe way. It’s above your head. So not only is there the danger of the light falling down but you’ve got debris. And it’s an older light fixture so there may be PCPs in the ballast. And another concern is that we’re worried about taking it out in such a way so that it can be re-used.”

But the best story was from Sara Badiali, a former ReBuilding Center employee, the founder of Reclamation Administration, and a fixture in Portland’s deconstruction scene. “This has been a really fun group of people. They work together really well. The guy with the dumpster dropped it off in the wrong spot. So Dave Bennick was showing everyone how you use levers and we actually fit it into the right spot. And I turned to Kyle (one of the students) and said, ‘Man you work together really well.’ They had the communication down. And she turned to me and said, ‘Yeah, I’ve been a longshoreman and I have never actually worked with a group of people who worked together so well and had such a good time,’ and then she leaned over and she said, ‘You know, there’s always kind of an a**hole in the group that sort of ruffles everyone’s feathers. But there’s not a single one in this group.’”

Reducing waste. Reusing materials. Building a more sustainable Portland, for everyone. And having fun while they’re at it.

Keeping Portland weird.

Learn How to Cob & Build Community April 8th & 9th!

You’ve probably seen the intriguing, organic, red bay at the main entrance of the ReBuilding Center that we call the "Community Trees.”  You may have asked yourself how these walls and trees were built? The answer is cob, a traditional building technique using earth mixed with water, straw, and sand.  The Community Trees are in desperate need of repair and we need your help to fix them! Learn valuable skills on how to mix, build, repair, and plaster with cob while building community!

The ReBuilding Center is sponsoring a two-day workshop to learn about making and using cob to repair the Community Trees. 

Saturday, April 8th & Sunday, April 9th
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. all day drop-in
1-hour lunch at noon

All are welcome! This cob workshop is intended to be accessible for all from children to elders. This is a family-friendly event. 

Drop-ins welcomed within these times:

Saturday, April 8th 

10am - Opening Circle
10am to Noon - "Classroom" Conversation
12pm to 1pm - Lunch
1pm to 4pm - Mixing Structural Cob, Mixing Plaster Cob, Cob Application
4pm to 5pm - CleanUp, Closing Circle

Sunday, April 9th

10am - Opening Circle
10am to Noon - Cob & Plaster Application
12om to 1pm - Lunch
1pm to 4pm - Cob & Plaster Application
4pm to 5pm - Wrap Up, CleanUp, and Closing Circle

Instructors will discuss the a history of the practice and its resilience to earthquakes.

Instructors:

Seed was born in Duwamish Coast Salish territory, Seattle, and grew up in Multnomah Chinook territory, Portland. He has traveled around Turtle Island trading work for skills like cob building, gardening, and ecological restoration, with a focus of supporting indigenous sovereignty projects—a core foundation of ecology in every region. He teaches and works with cob as a material for building sound structures, community, and metaphors for his own and our collective volition. Learning and growing through leading workshops past, including the Village Building Convergence, Seed hopes to facilitate a conversation of resilience skills, applied practice, and collective Spirit. Aho!

Sharky is a free spirit, born and raised playing in the mud of Kalapuya territory aka Eugene, OR. For the past 5 years, Sharky has traveled across Turtle Island studying off-grid living, natural building, farming, and passive solar construction. After building with different styles including earthships, earthbag construction, and cob, Sharky prefers cobbing because it is free-form, soul-soothing, accessible and fun for everyone. Sharky hopes to empower others to create autonomous buildings and community that, with a little TLC, will last a millennia.  

The Community Trees all dressed up for an episode of Grimm

The Community Trees all dressed up for an episode of Grimm

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

Upcoming Classes at the ReBuilding Center

The ReBuilding Center is celebrating their six-month anniversary of hands-on DIY classes for adults in our ReFind shop! Over two dozen scholarships have become available because of donations. We are excited to see so many hearts and hands involved in making this program grow. Thank you!

Cutting Boards and Butcher Blocks

Saturday & Sunday, March 25 - 26
1:00-5:00 p.m. | $125
Learn to cut, glue, and finish, plus alternative clamping methods.

Intro to Carpentry Tools

Saturday, April 1
1:00-5:00 p.m. | $90
A hands-on tour-de-tools to unlock your wildest DIY Pinterest dreams.

Custom Picture Frames

Saturday, April 29
1:00-4:00 p.m. | $50
Miter saws and nail guns - what's not to love? Just in time for Mother's Day, too!

ANNOUNCING A NEW COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROJECT: MUDBONE GROWN

PORTLAND, OR. (February 3, 2017) — Local start-up MudBone Grown, LLC (MBG) and its partner programs GroundUp Organics, Green A&T have launched a culturally/ethnically-specific urban food systems project at the Oregon Food Bank’s 33rd Ave. Farm. MudBone owners Shantae Johnson and Arthur Shavers are NE Portland natives that made the leap to small farm agriculture early last year.

“We are very excited about our collaboration with Christine Hadekel Outreach Manager with Oregon Food Bank for the opportunity to launch our social enterprise-based start-up farm”, said Johnson, (founder, certified community health worker, doula, and now urban farmer).  Arthur, (co-founder, construction “jack-of-all-trades”and professional leathersmith) and I have been dreaming about this for years and we were not sure how things were going to turn out after we left the BUFA (Beginning Urban Farmer Apprenticeship) program last summer.”

“This is a game changer,” says Shavers. “This assistance saves us more than $10,000 of start-up costs that usually keep many people interested in this kind of work, from being able to launch their dream of farming .

With the help from ReBuilding Center’s Community Outreach manager Edward Hill, who happens to have a background in urban farming, Shantae and Arthur in less than 60 days, were able to  finish writing a business plan, establish land agreements, and create a farm plan that supported a formal partnership with the Oregon Food Bank on nearly an acre of fully equipped land in NE Portland.

“We are so excited to have Edward and ReBuilding Center on board, their assistance has been instrumental in getting us past many of the barriers we were experiencing to getting an actual farm site in the City and large enough to create sustainable cooperative revenue.”

Additionally, education contracts with Black Parents Initiative (BPI), purchasing agreement with KAIROS School and local Food Prescription programs, and watershed enhancement funding, MudBone Grown is leading an environmental and community economic stewardship coalition that is modeled on national programs like Growing Power in Milwaukee, WI and Detroit Black Farmers in Michigan.

“Farmers, by nature, are innovative problem solvers,” said Shavers, who will lead the crop planning for the team. “We can be most effective by working toward solutions in a collaborative manner with other community groups who have been trying to leverage for a position regionally.”

MudBone Grown, formed as a LLC, focusing on promoting inter-generational community-rooted farming methods that create “measurable and sustainable environmental, social, cultural, and economic improvements.” MudBone will also be providing STEM/STEAM-based education, workshops, and outreach through things like on-farm demonstrations, hands-on engagement with local schools, and adult jobs training services for both interested small farmers and the general public.

Johnson is thrilled at the pace of success this year already; “Our community partners recognize that local agriculture is critical to healthy lives and a strong economy for communities that have historically had marginal participation in the local food economy.”

Donation Strengthens ReFind Education & Class Offerings

Dawn St. Clair, Rick Pogue and Stan Pulliam with Heffernan Insurance dropped by the ReBuilding Center last week to present the ReBuilding Center with a check for $3,000 to support ReBuilding Center’s ReFind Education Program, which provides hands-on educational classes for adults and kids on how to safely and creatively work with used building materials.

This important donation will help support our ReFind Education program by supplying our shop with much needed equipment such as chop saws, nail guns, band saws and other various hand tools which will strengthen our capacity to bring hands-on learning opportunities to 7th graders and basic carpentry and DIY classes to adults!

“The support couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Dave Lowe, Volunteer Services Manager, “we need new equipment and replacement parts and are so grateful for Heffernan’s support!” ReFind Education offers a three-day class entitled “Three Stringed Theory,” through Portland Public Schools’ 7th Grade Maker Experience. Students from Beverly Cleary Middle School were building three string guitars when Heffernan’s associates came to present their check. 

Thank you, Heffernan!

Intern at the ReBuilding Center!

Expand and learn new skills while working with a creative nonprofit team striving to build community through reuse! View our list of internship opportunities below. If you are interested in any of the current offerings, please email info@rebuildingcenter.org or fill out an application online: 


Media Content Creator Internship

 Are you a Facebook maven? An Instagram junkie? Do you like taking photos and writing? Do you enjoy unearthing hidden stories then sharing them via social media? If you’ve answered “yes!” to all, then you might be an ideal candidate for the Media Content Creator internship. If you’re committed to social change and using cool content to make that happen, apply now. 

If you are interested in this internship, please email communications@rebuildingcenter.org and fill out an application online.


Community Outreach Internship

At the ReBuilding Center, community is at the heart of our mission, and the Community Outreach internship is perfect for someone who wants to roll up their sleeves and dive into helping forge, develop and manage community resources. If you like to write, create plans and be around people and organizations that are in sync with the ReBuilding Center’s mission to use existing resources in new and inspiring ways, apply now. 

If you are interested in this internship, please fill out an application online.


Digital Media Marketing Analyst

Do you believe in the power of numbers? Are you a self-described data geek? More importantly - do you believe that numbers can help tell the bigger social media story? If this rings your career path bell, then you might be our next Digital Media Marketing Analyst intern. Use your talents with stats to help the ReBuilding Center further their mission rooted in community, recycling and reuse. Apply now. 

If you are interested in this internship, please email communications@rebuildingcenter.org and fill out an application online.


Court Liaison Internship

2005 (2).jpg

If you’re pondering a career in law, criminal justice or social work, the Court Liaison internship is a golden opportunity to gain exposure to criminal and restorative justice efforts. Learn how the ReBuilding Center works with organizations to further our community building mission by creating positive change via those fulfilling court-mandated volunteer work. This is meaningful, important and rewarding work — and if you want to connect with our justice system in a very real and hands-on way, apply now. 

If you are interested in this internship, please email dave@rebuildingcenter.org and fill out an application online.

HOLLA: Challenging the Narrative for Kids of Color in America’s Whitest City

Holla the Movie, is coming to the Rebuilding Center.

Holla chronicles the organization of the same name, founded by African-American Pastor, Eric Knox, to mentor kids of color in predominantly white and white-taught schools.

The film explores the lives of three young women on the Holla basketball team, as mentorship subtly transforms their experience. Through tough love and tenderness the kids learn to hurdle obstacles and adversity in a system biased against them.  But learning is a two-way street—the viewer also sees the educators and mentors in the organization changing and growing through their work.

Featuring straight talk from notable intellectuals Robert Munoz of Portland State University and Diane Watson of Lewis & Clark College, as well as raw testimonials from mentors and mentees, Holla is an informative, humorous, and heartbreaking look at the issues that face our city and our nation, as we struggle to fulfill the promise of integration and equal opportunity.

Holla features select tracks from Portland’s nationally recognized music scene, including songs from Tre Hardson (Pharcyde), rising star Liz Vice, Catherine Feeny & Chris Johnedis and the band Joseph.

Stay tuned to hear more about the Holla girls and film. A follow-up project is currently being made following-up with the girls seven years later. ReBuilding Center intends to feature both documentaries on their touch-screen kiosks in the Commons on their property on N. Mississippi Ave. 

Holla Mentors is a culturally responsive mentorship organization. Since it’s inception, it has built a community of socially active neighbors, local entrepreneurs and committed professionals who are willing to foster healthy relationships with economically challenged and at risk children and teens within the structures of the educational system.

Oh, What A Year!

What a year! February 2016 seems like eons ago—when Portland City Council voted unanimously to approve the nation’s first ordinance mandating the deconstruction of all homes scheduled for demolition built prior to 1917. (These homes represent about 33% of single-family home demolitions.) You can watch the Council debate here; it starts around minute 70 and includes testimony from the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability’s (BPS) Shawn Wood (1:19) and yours truly, Stephen Reichard, the ReBuilding Center's director (1:37). 

Flyer created for event

Flyer created for event

This landmark resolution will create jobs, increase safety related to lead and asbestos materials, and divert 4,000 tons of building materials annually for reuse. This is a crucial and pioneering first step, and we will work hard in 2017 to adapt to the growth of the deconstruction sector and drive further progress.

 

February also saw the dedication of the Sons of Haiti’s new food cart lot just to the south of the ReBuilding Center (RBC). A true community-wide partnership, dozens of supporters from across the neighborhood donated nearly $11,000, which was matched by $40,000 from the Portland Development Commission, in the effort to rebuild the lot to bring it into compliance with city code. This rebuilding effort established a significant revenue source for one of the last remaining Black-owned enterprises on Mississippi Avenue.

In March there was the Building Materials Reuse Association’s (BMRA) bi-annual gathering in Raleigh, North Carolina. Fresh off our legislative victory in Portland, the ReBuilding Center’s DeConstruction Services Manager, Doug Lichter; BPS’s Shawn Wood; and Metro’s Bryce Jacobsen told the story of the four-year effort to enshrine deconstruction as the preferred method over demolition. A local group of deconstruction industry representatives has submitted a proposal to host the fall 2017 BMRA DeCon Conference in Portland—the new epicenter of deconstruction.

Remember York? A one-man play about the first African American to the Pacific Northwest?  We co-produced this play with the Native American Youth and Family Association before an audience of 500 at Jefferson High School Auditorium in early March. 

Elaine & Milhouse pose in front of their house getting a fresh new paint job

Elaine & Milhouse pose in front of their house getting a fresh new paint job

More coalition building followed in the spring as the RBC’s Volunteer Services partnered with the African American Alliance for Home Ownership to establish a new tradition—Day of Service. More than 35 volunteers conducted much needed repairs on five homes in Portland’s North/Northeast Corridor for homeowners at risk of losing their homes. 

7th grade class posing with their new 3-string instruments

7th grade class posing with their new 3-string instruments

Flyer for adult education classes taking place in the RBC workshop

Flyer for adult education classes taking place in the RBC workshop

With the time, energy, and vision of more than a dozen volunteers, in 2016 our ReFind Center was reborn as the Education Program, offering classes and much, much more in the ReBuilding Center’s fully equipped workshop. In 2016, 402 Portland Public School seventh-grade students came to learn about the physics of sound while designing and building their own three-stringed instruments, documented here in Three-Stringed Theory. Additionally, the Education Program offered 14 adult classes on how to safely and creatively work with used building materials. Over 70 participants enrolled in hands-on topics such as “Basic Carpentry for Women” and “Build and Play a Cajon (Peruvian Box Drum).” 

The Village Coalition, a network of urban villages and their allies representing Portland Metro’s houseless community, got its start at the ReBuilding Center in March. We hosted 25 meetings fueled by generous food donations from Mississippi Pizza. When the Village Coalition meetings recently grew beyond the size of the RBC’s conference room with the involvement of many village residents and allies, we facilitated a move to the Albina Youth Opportunity School

Loki with her tiny house built in the RBC lumberyard

Loki with her tiny house built in the RBC lumberyard

The Village Coalition inspired an innovative private sector initiative to build hard tents or “pods” for Portland houseless communities, 18 of which were built in the final quarter of 2016. With the incredible support of City Repair, Congregation Beth Israel, Castaway Portland, Tivnu, Oregon Tradeswomen, Constructing Hope, Portland Youth Builders, Natural Felt, National Urban Housing, Center for Public Interest and Design, and many more—including Andy Olshin and the Village Coalition—we will build up to 100 more pods in 2017. The ReBuilding Center continues to supply building materials (along with the help of Lowe’s and Parr Lumber) for this initiative as well as transporting the tiny houses around town.

During the summer, nearly 100 individuals came together to advise the RBC as it considers re-developing the north end of its property. That report has provided RBC with the invaluable wisdom of the community as we seek to leverage our space to the fullest potential to expand our mission to strengthen the social and environmental vitality of our community. 

ReBuilding Center Japan in Nagano

ReBuilding Center Japan in Nagano

An extraordinary spoken word event at the Mississippi Street Fair; the construction of a new reused materials studio at XRAY.fm; the opening of ReBuilding Center Japan; the first of a new annual Labor Day community celebration at the RBC, complete with the lumberyard music stage (this year's event honored the retirement and service to community of long-time Community Outreach Manager Linda Hunter); and so much more—we could not and would not have realized so much with the support of so many of you.  

And let’s not forget Lean Portland, an extraordinary group of professionals who are giving up their Saturdays pro bono to help the RBC become a more efficient and effective organization to better meet the needs of our guests and our community. When you visit our store in 2017, you’ll notice “lean system” efforts underway!

With the support of the Energy Trust of Oregon, we converted to LED lighting. With the support of the Autzen Foundation and the Portland Development Commission, we were able to undertake a feasibility study to explore the expansion of our space and mission. With the support of the Collins Foundation, we are well prepared for the challenges of successful implementation of the deconstruction ordinance. 

We deconstructed 20 homes and dozens of kitchens, garages, bathrooms, and barns in 2016. These projects diverted nearly 3,000 tons of materials from the landfill; saved more than 40,000 gallons of water; and prevented some 500 tons of carbon from being released into the atmosphere. 

None of this would have been possible without the assistance of nearly 2,000 volunteers, providing us with more than 20,000 hours of your precious time. This was your year—from ushering people to their seats at York last March, to repairing homes in June, cheering on the spoken word in July, and building sleeping pods in the fall. And each and every day, processing materials, putting them on the store shelves, and taking them off the shelves again to give to our guests. Our customers, volunteers, supporters, and staff—the ReBuilding Center community without whom we would not even be here. 

We may remember 2016 as an extraordinarily difficult year—one that may well change the trajectory of our nation and our planet. In what may be challenging times ahead, do not forget to recall what you accomplished this year—with others, in community. You’re amazing. Thank you.

Cover photo by: Carlyle Ellis

January Volunteer Opportunities

Get involved with the Portland reuse community this January with the Rebuilding Center! Learn more about reuse and remodeling with the Portland Build, Remodel, and Landscape Show; help build community with Hands On Greater Portland; gain fire safety skills with the Red Cross; add to your resume with Rebuilding Center internships; join the newsletter team; do some cathartic denailing while salvaging materials for reuse; and represent RBC's DIY spirit tabling at the Portland Fix-It-Fair. Check out these amazing opportunities below!

Join us in honoring the legacy of Dr. King through meaningful service to our community.

Everybody can be great... because anybody can serve.
— Martin Luther King Jr.

TABLE AT THE PORTLAND HOME SHOW: BUILD, REMODEL, AND LANDSCAPE SHOW

Need some home modeling inspiration? Join the ReBuilding Center at the:

Portland Build, Remodel, and Landscape Show
January 6-8
at the Oregon Convention Center

Volunteer for a shift at our table to share ReBuilding Center info with attendees. Before or after your shift, see the latest design trends and talk to experts about energy efficiency, home automation, windows, and much more. 

Volunteers that table at the Build, Remodel, and Landscape Show will actively engage those attending the show as a representative of the ReBuilding Center. Event volunteers will answer questions, provide information, and be a general steward for our organization's mission of "Inspiring people to value and discover existing resources to strengthen the social and environmental vitality of communities." 

Already a volunteer?

New to volunteering at the ReBuilding Center?

Email volunteer@rebuildingcenter.org with any questions.


Building Community Through Reuse
Social Night

Are you interested in making new friends in the community while volunteering? Look no further than a Hands On event at the Rebuilding Center.

January 12th
6:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M.
at the ReBuilding Center
3625 N Mississippi Ave

Come to the Rebuilding Center to help with hands-on projects while working with donated materials. Afterwards, head across the street with fellow participants to StormBreaker Brewing for a post-volunteering happy hour! Sign up through Hands On Greater Portland's website by clicking on the link below:


MLK Day of Service: Save Lives by Installing Fire Alarms

ReBuilding Center and Red Cross are teaming up to keep people safe in 2017!

January 14th
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
at the ReBuilding Center
3625 N Mississippi Ave

You can help save lives in the following ways:

  1. Documenter: The documenter should have good handwriting and attention to detail for completing paperwork. The documenter will document the services provided, detailing the number that were in the home before the team perform their installation, the number of Red Cross alarms installed, if a plan was developed, and basic demographics information about the residents in each household. The documenter in addition to completing paperwork will also maintain an accurate count of total alarms installed, homes visited, and other details.
  2. Educator: The educator will share fire prevention and response information with the residents. They will encourage/assist the residents with creating a home-fire evacuation plan. The educator will also provide residents with information about actions they should take when an earthquake occurs and information about what should be included in their disaster supplies kit.
  3. Installer (minimum 16 yrs/old): The installer will inspect existing alarms to verify that they are working, their age, and their placement. The installer will offer to replace alarms that are 5-years or older with new alarms. They will also install additional alarms and place them based on recommendations provided by the Oregon State Fire Marshal.

From the Red Cross website:

The goal? To install 1,000 smoke alarms in homes that need them in the Boise/ Eliot neighborhood of NE Portland. This is our region’s largest home fire campaign to date, which means we need you! Mark your calendar and please join us to volunteer, along with your friends, family and neighbors, to help with this major Centennial Celebration event!

Sign up for a role that looks interesting to you and you'll get contacted by Sam, Red Cross's volunteer coordinator about details for the day! If you are unable to make the entire day, still sign up - we can use your help! If you are new to the ReBuilding Center and would like to volunteer, select what "type" of volunteer you are on our website and fill out an application so you can attend an orientation and get into action! Login into Volgistics and locate the opportunity in the directory and sign up today by clicking on the link below:


DeNailing Every Tuesday and Saturday

Every Tuesday and Saturday, come on out to help us divert materials from the waste stream! You'll team up with Pete Heim, our Site Supervisor to rid salvaged boards of it's nail-esque componentry and turn them into salvaged building materials for reuse (that could end up being used in a volunteer-led project to build tiny houses for the houseless)!

Every Tuesday & Saturday
9:00 am. - 1:00 p.m.
1001 NE 2nd Ave (near the Rose Quarter Max transit stop)

Dress for the weather. We will provide all necessary safety equipment and tools. If we end up canceling, only those that have scheduled (either online, or by contacting Dave) will be notified. Login into Volgistics and locate the opportunity in the directory and sign up today by clicking on the link below:


Fix-It-Fair

The Fix-It Fair is a free City of Portland event where you can learn simple ways to save money and connect with resources. Join your neighbors and talk to the experts about how to spend less and stay healthy.

January 28th
9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
George Middle School
10000 N Burr Ave, Portland

Event volunteers will answer questions, provide information, and be a general steward for our organization's mission of "Inspiring people to value and discover existing resources to strengthen the social and environmental vitality of communities."

If you are new to the ReBuilding Center and would like to volunteer, select what "type" of volunteer you are on our website and fill out an application so you can attend an orientation and get into action! Login and sign up by clicking on the link below:


MARKETING ANALYST AND MEDIA INTERNSHIPS AVAILABLE

Do you have an interest nonprofit work, data analysis, media creation, or social media? Do you want to gain experience using data analysis and marketing tools to boost nonprofit efforts while increasing your business, technical, and marketing skills? If so, apply for the Digital Marketing Analysis internship or the Media Content Creator internship with the ReBuilding Center! For more information, email RBC Marketing & Communication Ashley Howe at  ashley@rebuildingcenter.org or apply online: 


JOIN THE NEWSLETTER TEAM EVERY THURSDAY 

Every week, the newsletter team meets with Ashley, the ReBuilding Center’s Communications & Marketing Manager. Together, the team writes stories, carries out interviews, takes photos, and puts together the ReBuilding Center’s e-newsletters. These newsletters are great portfolio/resume builders!

The newsletter team is comprised of volunteers just like you! This is your newsletter, written by volunteers, for the ReBuilding Center community.

Sign up if you have an interest in:

  • Photography/Videography
  • Journalism/Social Media
  • Sustainability
  • Creative Reuse
  • Graphic Design

Channel your creativity into serving our mission to build community through reuse!

To sign up schedule yourself by entering in your login information here:

Then click on "My Schedule," select any Thursday, click "Schedule me," select any time between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., hit "Continue", confirm, and voila!

Alternatively, you can email Ashley Howe, the Communications & Marketing Manager at ashley@rebuildingcenter.org.

Tiny Homes on Display at PNCA

In mid-December, 14 tiny houses were displayed in a parking lot near the Pacific Northwest College of Art.  These were designed by local professional architects and students of the PSU architecture program and then constructed at various sites, including two at the ReBuilding Center.  The concept is to provide small, safe, and beautiful sleeping units for the houseless population of the city. Initial planning was carried out by a collection of public and private participants calling themselves “Partners On Dwelling,”  hence the acronym “POD.”  By a happy coincidence, tiny houses can also be referred to as “pods!” 

A collection of “pods” becomes a village, and are planned to be located at various sites throughout the city.  The current 14 pods are proposed to be sited in North Portland in the community of Kenton. New pods continue to be built at the Rebuilding Center, utilizing available recycled materials. The long-term goal of the initiative is to create 30 villages of 30 pods each. 

For additional information you can check out:

OR

Upcoming January Carpentry Classes

The ReBuilding Center offers classes and workshops focused on hands-on building projects that use simple design and reclaimed wood from the ReBuilding Center.

This adult education program aims to provide the community with an affordable way to develop DIY skills with both hand and power tools to enable greater self-reliance and creative expression! Classes will be made available regardless of income through scholarships and sliding-scale class fees.

Basic Carpentry: Tables and Benches
Saturday, January 14
1:oopm-5:00pm

Basic Carpentry for Women: Tables and Benches
Saturday, January 28
1:00pm-5:00pm

A garden bench, a bedside table, a catch-all next to the front doorit’s up to you! Come with basic measurements of your space and leave with your new piece of custom furniture!

Using a very simple design and reclaimed lumber, you’ll make a basic table or bench while gaining skills and confidence to use in future DIY projects.

Edge-Glued Wood:
From Cutting Boards to Table Tops
Saturday, January 21 & Sunday, January 22
BOTH DAYS: 1:00PM-5:00PM

Many woodworking projects require gluing smaller pieces together to make a larger surface, such as cutting boards, table tops, cabinet door panels, and butcher blocks. In this class, you'll make a simple edge-glued panel, and learn each step hands-on, from raw material to finished product!

December Volunteer & Internship Opportunities

Get involved with the Portland reuse community this winter with the Rebuilding Center! Help build community with Hands On Greater Portland; add to your resume with Rebuilding Center internships; join the newsletter team; and learn more about reuse and remodeling with the Portland Build, Remodel, and Landscape Show. Check out these amazing opportunities below!

Hands On Greater Portland: Community Building and Volunteer Day

Are you interested in making new friends in the community while volunteering? Look no further than Hands On at the Rebuilding Center.

December 15th
6:00 P.M. - 8:00 p.m.

Come to the Rebuilding Center to help with hands-on projects while working with donated materials. Afterwards, head across the street with fellow participants to StormBreaker Brewing for a post-volunteering happy hour!  For more information, contact Dave Lowe at dave@rebuildingcenter.org .


Marketing Analyst and Media Internships Available

Do you have an interest nonprofit work, data analysis, media creation, or social media? Do you want to gain experience using data analysis and marketing tools to boost nonprofit efforts while increasing your business, technical, and marketing skills? If so, apply for the Digital Marketing Analysis internship or the Media Content Creator internship with the Rebuilding Center! For more information, email Ashley Howe at ashley@rebuildingcenter.org.


Join the newsletter Team Every Thursday 

Every week, the newsletter team meets with Ashley, the ReBuilding Center’s Communications & Marketing Manager. Together, the team writes stories, carries out interviews, takes photos, and puts together the ReBuilding Center’s e-newsletters. These newsletters are great portfolio/resume builders!

The newsletter team is comprised of volunteers just like you! This is your newsletter, written by volunteers, for the ReBuilding Center community.

Sign up if you have an interest in:

  • Photography/Videography
  • Journalism/Social Media
  • Sustainability
  • Creative Reuse
  • Graphic Design

Channel your creativity into serving our mission to build community through reuse!

To sign up schedule yourself through ReBuilding Center's online Volgistics portal by entering in your login information here, click on "My Schedule," select any Thursday, click "Schedule me," select any time between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., hit "Continue", and confirm! Alternatively, you can email Ashley Howe, the Communications & Marketing Manager at ashley@rebuildingcenter.org.


Table at the Portland Home Show: Build, Remodel, and Landscape Show

Need some home modeling inspiration? Join the ReBuilding Center at the Portland Build, Remodel, and Landscape Show from January 6-8, 2017, at the Oregon Convention Center. Volunteer for a shift at our table to share ReBuilding Center info with attendees. Before or after your shift, see the latest design trends and talk to experts about energy efficiency, home automation, windows, and much more. 

Volunteers that table at the Build, Remodel, and Landscape Show will actively engage those attending the show as a representative of the ReBuilding Center. Event volunteers will answer questions, provide information, and be a general steward for our organization's mission of "Inspiring people to value and discover existing resources to strengthen the social and environmental vitality of communities." Volunteers can sign up through Volgistics or contact Volunteer Services at volunteer@rebuildingcenter.org to get registered.

Hands-On Volunteer Opportunities @ RBC

The ReBuilding Center is looking for hands-on volunteers! From helping seventh-graders design and build guitars in our wood shop, to taking photos and writing for our newsletter team, to working with salvaged materials in our store, there are so many ways to serve RBC’s mission to build community through reuse. Check out some of our current volunteer opportunities below!