Building Communities, Breaking Barriers

Portland Pride Build, made up of members of the GLBT community, and a
group of Presbyterian churches are sponsoring a Habitat for Humanity
duplex that kicks-off June 27

June 17, 2009 (Portland, Ore.)- Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East is honored to be the second Habitat affiliate in the United States to partner with the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender community and friends to build a healthy and affordable home for a family in need. Portland Pride Build, which has its kick-off celebration June 27 at 11 a.m. at the corner of SE 97th and Woodstock, will be one of nine Habitat homes being built in this community.

On the lot, called “Lents Landing,” four duplexes and one single-family home will be built along with partner families who put in 500 hours of sweat equity before buying their home with a 0% interest mortgage.

What makes the Portland Pride Build even more unique is that the other half of the duplex will be sponsored by a community of eight Presbyterian churches who have raised over $30,000 towards a Habitat home. So far Portland Pride Build has raised $45,000, but is looking to raise $70,000 to be a full home sponsorship partner.

“Habitat is a great way to build bridges in the community,” said Jamie Shauvin, the chair of the Portland Pride Build committee. “Portland has been a great city for the GLBT community, and working with Habitat is a fabulous way to embrace diversity and give back by working together, learning from one another, and helping to shed light on the affordable housing needs of our community.”

Shauvin, who has been a longtime Habitat for Humanity volunteer, heard about a Pride Build with Habitat for Humanity in Austin, Texas.

“I thought to myself that if they could do it in Austin, we definitely could do a build in Portland,” Shauvin said.

A core group of volunteers has been organizing the fundraising and volunteer coordination for the project. Habitat for Humanity Portland Metro/East has provided support and will provide a construction site supervisor for the project set to kick off June 27. Last weekend at the Portland Pride Parade, over 100 people marched with the Portland Pride Build float and over 300 people wanted to help out and volunteer.

“Portland Pride Build has so much energy behind it, and it is incredibly well organized,” said Habitat for Humanity Executive Director, Steve Messinetti. “Habitat is about breaking the chasms that exist between communities, and this extraordinary group of volunteers has rallied behind this philosophy of bringing everyone together to raise awareness of the housing needs in our area.”

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