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The grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust will help construct 52 rooms for UGM's LifeChange program.

PMG FILE PHOTO: MILES VANCE - Melinda Bell high-fives well wishers and family at a previous spring graduation ceremony of the Portland Union Gospel Mission's LifeChange program at Cornerstone Church in Beaverton.Union Gospel Mission received a $3 million grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust for a new 52-room recovery center in Bethany.

The local nonprofit will use the new center for its LifeChange program, which provides recovery housing and support for women and children experiencing homelessness, addiction and abuse.

The new building will be at Northwest 185th Avenue and Rock Creek Boulevard, north of Beaverton.

The newly purchased site will be 2.5 acres and include 52 residential rooms, plus a learning center, children's activity and play area, counseling center, commercial kitchen and dining room.

"Union Gospel Mission is excited to receive the generous support of the Murdock Trust and looks forward to partnering to serve the most vulnerable of our houseless neighbors: women and children," said UGM executive director Jason Christensen in a statement. "Thanks to the Murdock Trust, the Mission can serve twice as many people as before. Our projection is 2,000 women exiting houselessness and becoming self-sufficient over the next decade."

With the new building, UGM expects to double the capacity for LifeChange, which is a 15-month program providing access to addiction support services, case management, counseling, legal guidance and applications for housing.

Program participants can also get childcare and support after the program.

According to UGM, 78% of women who completed at least one phase of the LifeChange program from 2015 to 2019 are still sober, employed and housed.

"Homelessness is a persistent, growing challenge in Portland and across the Pacific Northwest," said John Franklin, program director at the M.J Murdock Charitable Trust. "We are grateful for organizations like Union Gospel Mission who work not only to address the immediate need of safe shelter, but who look at each individual distinctly and seek to provide service that supports their flourishing over the long term."

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