Glencoe Construction Students Build Sheds for Homeless
June 15, 2023, Hillsboro, OR - This spring, students in Todd Patterson’s Construction classes at Glencoe High School built two sheds for use at the Project Homeless Connect (PHC) day shelter in downtown Hillsboro.
The project was the result of a collaboration between Patterson and the Home Building Foundation of Greater Portland (HBF). HBF works with the residential construction industry to remodel or build shelters for nonprofits working to end homelessness, and is currently remodeling the day shelter.
After reading about the project in HBF’s fall 2022 mailer, Patterson reached out and offered his students’ help. He was contacted by Workforce and Communications Coordinator Teresa Spangler, who put him in touch with the project manager, Chris McDowell.
Together, Patterson and McDowell determined that the students would build two sheds: one for use as a clothing closet, and the other for storage of gardening tools and supplies.
Using funds from grants and private donations, HBF ordered and had materials delivered to Glencoe from Parr Lumber. Approximately twelve seniors led the construction process - which included designing the sheds, framing, roofing, and other tasks - as their senior project, with a number of underclassmen assisting in smaller ways. The construction began in late February/early March and the sheds were completed in late May.
PHC’s Katherine Gaines described how the shelter was having to turn away donations because there was no space to store them, despite needing them. “The storage sheds [will provide] us with designated space for meaningful and essential donations, including ‘welcome baskets’ full of housing items that are given to our newly-housed friends upon move-in.”
“Lessons learned went well beyond construction,” explains Spangler. “Patterson welcomed staff members from PHC to come talk to the students. The speakers included a man with lived experience being homeless, who spoke of how helpful the program was to him.”
In response, students wrote letters back to PHC staff telling them how impactful and informative their visit was, and expressing appreciation for being able to participate in the project.
The sheds will be delivered to the day shelter on Tuesday, June 20.
Watch a short video about the project.