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Local contractors and foundations pitch in to remodel bottom floor of daytime resource center for unhoused individuals.

PMG PHOTO: JONATHAN  HOUSE - Those who help dedicate the renovated Just Compassion Resource Center Wednesday include, from left, Just Compassion Executive Director Vernon Baker and Board Chair Darla Tillman- Samuelson, Tigard Mayor Jason Snider, Tigard City Council President John Goodhouse and Home Builders Foundation Executive Director Brenda Ketah. Tigard City officials, construction representatives and members of Just Compassion's board of directors gathered Wednesday afternoon to dedicate a major renovation project that for the agency's resource center, which provides a refuge for individuals without permanent housing during the day.

Over the last two years, the Home Builders Foundation and Olson & Jones Construction helped renovate both the top and bottom floor of Just Compassion's Resource Center, most recently adding two bathrooms (one with a shower and both accessible for those with disabilities), a laundry room and an open community room to the lower level of the facility.

"It's state of the art stuff down there," Vernon Baker, Just Compassion's executive director, said Friday. "We really want to make it user-friendly and welcoming to all those who utilize the services of Just Compassion."PMG PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Just Compassions executive director, Vernon Baker, makes remarks Wednesday during the dedication of the Tigard Resource Centers lower level.

Plans are to install a big-screen television in the open space there in the future.

The center, located at 12280 S.W. Hall Boulevard, caters to unhoused individuals, providing a place to grab breakfast or lunch, get out of the weather, find suitable mental health services, search for jobs or find clothing.

The Home Builders Foundation and Olson & Jones Construction were aided in their remodeling efforts by 40 different trade partners who helped renovate the 1,800-square-foot home to make it a welcoming and inviting place for those in need.

The upper part of the center had been renovated when the facility opened in 2018.

The resource center sees an average of 23 individuals on the days it's open, said Baker.

Currently, COVID-19 restrictions mean masks and social distancing for those using the facility.

"We (can) have anywhere from eight to 10 in the building at a time," said Baker. "Those who are waiting, we have a canopy out back that's covered where our guests can socialize and wait until they have an opportunity to come in."PMG PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - A group checks out the renovated space at the Just Compassion Resource Center.

Currently, Just Compassion's Resource Center is open three days a week – Tuesday through Thursday – but hopes are to add a Monday to the schedule as well, he said. Plans include eventually transforming a portion of the Tigard Resource Center into a severe weather shelter where those without homes could spend nights when the weather turns cold.PMG PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Just Compassion volunteer Jeanne Jamison leads a tour of the renovated Tigard Resource Center, a facility that helps unhoused individuals with a meal, clothing, help finding a job or accessing mental health services.

"We're definitely interested in that," said Baker.

One of the few daytime resource centers in Tigard for individuals without permanent housing, Baker said he was 'beyond happy" with the way the Just Compassion project turned out.

"We're ecstatic about where we are (and) just looking forward to continuing to provide services for those who are in need within our community," he said.

Just Compassion is a coalition of religious, civic and business owners who serve those without permanent housing.PMG PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - The Home Builders Foundation and Olson & Jones Construction recently donated their time and services to remodel the lower level of Just Compassions Resource Center.


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