News Archive

Give Back, Get Stuff!


The 2014 Willamette Week Give!Guide has officially started! Now is your chance to get delicious incentives while giving back to your community. Make as little as a $10 donation to Habitat for Humanity through the Give!Guide and you get free ice cream from Salt & Straw, a taco from ¿Por Qué No?, a brew from Stumptown Coffee Roasters and more. Feeling extra generous? The incentives increase with the more you give!

Find Habitat under the Social Action category!

Click Here to Donate Through the Give!Guide

About Give!Guide

Created in 2004 to hook readers 35 and younger on the giving habit, this goal remains the primary focus. But the Give!Guide has grown sufficiently since its founding — from $24,000 collected in 2004 to nearly $2.5 million in 2013 — that it now has the added goal of trying to raise as much money as possible for as many worthy local nonprofits as we can support.

Learn more at

Cully Neighborhood Launches Campaign to Redevelop Strip Club


For more than a dozen years, the Sugar Shack Strip Club has operated in northeast Portland’s Cully neighborhood, and for years neighbors have hoped this block-sized complex could be used for something that would better serve children and families.

So when the Sugar Shack went up for sale this summer, local nonprofits saw an opportunity to make the neighborhood’s vision into a reality. While Living Cully has already made an offer on the property, the group has 90 days to line-up financing for the funds needed to purchase the land.

As part of this effort, the Cully community has launched the Let Us Buy The Sugar Shack! campaign, with a goal of raising $50,000 to be used towards the purchase and redevelopment of the property into a destination that serves Cully’s diverse community. But the community has a limited time to raise this money, and they need your help!

Here is how you can get involved:

- Donate to the Let Us Buy The Sugar Shack! campaign here.
- Follow Let Us Buy The Sugar Shack! efforts on Twitter and Facebook

For the Holidays: Gifts That Build


What do you get the person that has it all?  How about a kitchen sink, or front door for a local family in need?  Through Habitat’s Gifts That Build program, you can help build a Habitat home on behalf of your family and friends.  The gift recipient will receive a specially designed greeting card of your choice, a commemorative ornament and the joy of knowing that because of them, a hardworking family will soon have a decent home of their own.

Click here to learn how you can give Gifts That Build.

A Record Breaking Night

Habitat for Humanity Hard Hat-233

Raising $210,000, this year’s Hard Hat & Black Tie Dinner and Auction raised more money for local hardworking families than ever before! A big thanks to all the sponsors and everyone who attended, making the evening so fun and successful!  And don’t forget to mark you calendar’s for October 2, 2015, which is when next year’s Hard Hat & Black Tie Dinner and Auction will be taking place.  This time at the Portland Art Museum.

Volunteer Spotlight: Jim Laubenthal

Jim Laubenthal Volunteer Spotlight

Jim Laubenthal Volunteer Spotlight

After 30 plus years as a project manager with the Port of Portland, Jim Laubenthal decided it was finally time to retire. Apprehensive about leaving the structured work world, he began looking for ways to maintain structure, community and purpose in his daily life.

On the recommendation of former coworkers, Jim came out to build with Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East in 2007. He instantly loved the active, tangible hands-on experience that volunteering provided. Now, 7 years later, he has over 400 volunteer hours under his tool belt!

In his time with Habitat, Jim has been struck by stories future homeowners shared while building alongside him. With many Habitat homeowners coming from an immigrant background he has heard about life experiences from around the world.

“It really gives me a more well-rounded worldview,” said Jim. “It reminds me that if you think you’re having a rough day –you’re not! It’s hard to imagine the emotional strain some of these families go through in search of safety and opportunity.”

A vital part of the “Wednesday Regulars” crew –a group of mostly retired Portlanders who build consistently with Habitat– Jim has found structure, made great friends and helped to expand affordable housing options in the Portland area.

Most recently Jim came on board to help Habitat’s Interfaith Build. He is co-chairing a committee at his church, The Madeline Parish, to raise funds, awareness, and volunteer support for the Interfaith Build house, currently under construction at Habitat’s Trillium Court site in SW Portland. The house will be purchased by the Sabastian/Pascual family and become home to their three children. Jim is particularly moved by the impact housing has on children, after hearing a Centennial School District principal speak on the subject at a Habitat home dedication.

“Socialization is so important for kids as they grow up,” said Jim. “The constant change of moving makes it hard for them to be a successful student. I love that I get to help people who will really benefit from these homes.”

A valued volunteer, donor and Habitat Regular, Jim is making a lasting difference in his own life and in his community –something we are immeasurably thankful for.

2014-2015 AmeriCorps Amp up Habitat Homebuilding

2014-2015 AmeriCorps

Please help us in welcoming Habitat’s 2014-2015 AmeriCorps and Quaker Voluntary Service members! These young volunteers have agreed to almost a year of service, helping to eliminate poverty housing in the Portland Metro area. AmeriCorps and QVS members are a backbone of our affiliate and we treasure their dedication to Habitat’s mission. When you see any of these 11 wonderful volunteers at Habitat’s construction sites, at the ReStore or in our Killingsworth Street office, please stop and thank them for their commitment!

  • Ally Clendineng  Quaker Voluntary Service Administrative Support Specialist
  • Marykatherine Coyne  AmeriCorps VISTA and ReStore Development Assistant
  • Amethy Sandstrom  AmeriCorps Construction Crew Leader
  • Bobbie VanTassel  AmeriCorps Construction Crew Leader
  • Jerod Topliff  AmeriCorps Construction Crew Leader (2nd year)
  • John Kelly  AmeriCorps Construction Crew Leader
  • Kristian Jones  AmeriCorps Construction Crew Leader
  • Peter Henne  AmeriCorps Construction Crew Leader
  • Cory Good  AmeriCorps Deconstruction Coordinator
  • Eddie Barnhart  AmeriCorps Home Repair Program Specialist
  • Shelby Butcher  AmeriCorps Homeownership Program Assistant

About AmeriCorps

AmeriCorps provides an opportunity for individuals to serve with Habitat for Humanity to help meet the housing needs of communities and families throughout the United States.

AmeriCorps members serve in a variety of roles within Habitat. Whether they are engaging communities, building homes, leading volunteers, raising resources or developing new programs, AmeriCorps members help Habitat affiliates operate more efficiently and effectively. Most importantly, members help us to serve more families.

Habitat for Humanity International was one of the first nonprofits to become a partner when AmeriCorps was formed in 1994. Since then, more than 7,000 Habitat AmeriCorps members have performed over 12 million hours of service, and:

  • Served more than 15,000 families throughout the United States.
  • Mobilized and engaged over 2.5 million volunteers.
  • Raised tens of millions of dollars.

About Quaker Voluntary Service

Quaker Voluntary Service equips the work and witness of Friends by providing support to a network of Quaker service communities. They support this network by providing centralized access to information about projects, and assist in the creation and distribution of resources for program development and vocational discernment. QVS assists with recruitment of potential volunteers and outreach to service partners, help with fundraising and organizational development, and support the creation of new service houses and other service opportunities.

Maximize Your Tax Savings by Donating Stocks or Bonds

Gifts of Stocks or BondsA gift of stock or mutual funds before December 31, could be your best way to maximize tax savings and meet your charitable giving goals this year. Even if your stocks have lost value since you purchased them, you can receive tremendous tax advantages. The key is in how you give the securities! Consult with your financial adviser and consider the following tips.

The Smart Way to Donate Depreciated Stock
For stocks that have lost value (depreciated) the key is to sell them first and then give the cash proceeds to Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East. You are likely to qualify to benefit tax-wise in two ways – you can take both the loss deduction and the charitable deduction.

The Smart Way to Donate Appreciated Stock 
For stocks that have increased in value (appreciated), the key to receiving tax savings is to donate the shares directly to Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East. You receive a double tax benefit by:

  • Avoiding capital gains on the profit you’ve gained, and
  • Receiving a full tax deduction for the fair market value of your gift.

Making a stock gift is easy! Simply use the brokerage information below.

For gifts of appreciated securities, please provide your broker with the following information to facilitate the transfer of shares:

Tax ID: 93-0801200
Broker: Merrill Lynch
DTC Number: 5198
Account Number: 5F4-50X87
Account Name: Habitat for Humanity Portland
Phone: 1-800-926-1111

Please remind your broker to include your name, contact information, and any special instructions for use of the gift with your transfer, otherwise we will not know who the stock donation came from. To expedite the processing of your gift, we suggest that you contact us with information about the type of stock and number of shares, as well as any special considerations you may have.

Please direct information about your gift and any other questions to Erika Kennel at 503.287.9529×16 or

Pope Francis Honored through Anonymous $50,000 Donation to Build Home for a Family in Need

Pope Francis

Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East has begun construction on a home in honor of Pope Francis. Located in southwest Portland’s Hillsdale neighborhood, the Pope Francis home is sponsored by an anonymous donor who pledged $50,000, and challenges members of the community to raise the additional funds needed to completely underwrite the cost of land and construction.

The donor is inspired by the Pope’s dedication to economic justice, equality and peace, and hopes to inspire others by inviting volunteers from local Catholic churches and schools to participate in the construction of the home from start to finish, as well as raise additional funds needed to build the home.

The donor stated the purpose of this house is:

  • To honor Pope Francis for his commitment to social justice & reinvigorating the Catholic Church
  • To provide a unifying, celebratory opportunity for both Catholic and non-Catholic volunteers to work towards a common goal (as Pope Francis says, “Work confers dignity”)
  • And to further Habitat’s mission of building and preserving homes.

Hussein/DawoodThe home will be built in partnership with the Hussein/Dawood family, and sold with a 0%-interest mortgage.

Abdulnaser Hussein, Suhair Dawood and their five children escaped the war in Iraq after their family was threatened by Al Qaeda because Abdulnaser worked for an American company. They came to America in 2010 and are currently living in overcrowded, substandard conditions.

“We are so thankful for the Habitat program and this anonymous donation,” said Abdulnaser. “Owning a home will help my children succeed in their future.”

Habitat hopes to complete the challenge and raise the final amount needed to finish the Hussein/Dawood home by the end of the year.

“We are very grateful for this sponsorship in honor of Pope Francis,” said Steve Messinetti, President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East.  “We are excited to mobilize our community to volunteer and raise the additional funds needed to meet this challenge.”

To make a donation to the Pope Francis Challenge contact Erika Kennel at 503.287.9529×16 or

19 Families Selected into Homeownership Program

19 New Families Selected into Habitat's Homeownership ProgramHabitat is excited to announce the selection of 19 new families into the Homeownership Program! These 19 families include a total of 91 people—44 of which are 15 years old and under. 21% are single parent families, and 16% have at least one household member with a disability. 26% are currently living in subsidized housing, moving them up the housing continuum and freeing up space for other families in need. The average Median Household Income of these families is 43.2%.

About half of the 19 families will be building and buying their homes at Glisan Gardens, a Habitat site located on NE 165th and Glisan Street, which will be breaking ground in early 2015. The other half will be purchasing and working on rehab homes around the Portland area.

Once again, this selection round proved that we have a great need for affordable homeownership in our community. During this selection, Habitat handed out more than 400 application packets and received 126 completed applications. After financial reviews, volunteers and staff went on 56 home visits before selecting families with the greatest need for the 19 available spots in the program. These families will begin their sweat equity and homeownership education classes this fall.

Welcome and congratulations to these families who are now on their way to stable and affordable homeownership!

Apply Now for Habitat’s Rock My Block! Cully Street Improvement Contest

Get ready to roll up those sleeves and join your neighbors the morning of Saturday, October 25, to make a difference the Cully community!

Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East will host its second Rock the Block event in Cully to help residents make needed street improvements. Habitat will coordinate volunteers and provide gravel, asphalt and tools to fill potholes on two unimproved blocks. We will also be partnering with Friends of Trees to plant free yard and street trees. But we need you to tell us where this work is needed most! If you’d like to see your street improved, nominate it for Habitat’s Rock My Block! contest.

Submissions will be accepted throughout September and can include anything that makes the case for why your street should be chosen. Examples include brief stories, photos, videos, drawings, etc. Creative, empowering entries are encouraged!

All submissions should include a name, address, phone number, email address, and block address description (example: 62nd Avenue between Roselawn and Sumner). You can send your nomination to, mail it to PO Box 11527, Portland, OR 97211, or deliver it to the Habitat office located at 1478 NE Killingsworth Street.

Follow the contest as we post our favorite entries on Facebook or Twitter tagged with #habitatrockmyblock. Winners will be announced in early October.

To volunteer on the day of the event or request additional info, please contact Jessica Jazdzewski at 503.287.9529 x 30 or

Rock the Block - Before

A Cully neighborhood street plagued with pot holes and puddles.

Rock the Block - After

The same street after repairs were made during Habitat’s Rock the Block.

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