Dignity Village wants to build two new structures on their site: a storage building and a new computer lab. Dignity Village is composed of many individual one-room living structures and several common spaces. Over the years, most structures have been improved significantly, but there is still work to do. The Village has been working with ACE Charter School, an alternative vo-tech high school that teaches architecture, construction, and engineering skills to young Portlanders. From design to construction, building the storage space and the computer lab will be learning opportunities for students. The 11th grade construction class will be donating labor on this project to put their learning into practice. We also hope to spark a conversation with them about homelessness.
The computer lab currently on site at Dignity Village is a makeshift structure, repurposed from an off-the-shelf shed. The dark, cramped space doesn’t function well. Members use computers to search for jobs and housing, connect with friends and family, and access other resources. We’d like to have a better lab space so that we can offer on-site workshops to build the skills of Villagers-- which will make them more qualified candidates for jobs. With the help of ACE’s students, we can provide the village with a fully secured, insulated, bright facility.
Currently, we have a 3-walled shack where we store donated goods. We use what we need from donations, and organize the rest into our annual yard sale fundraiser. Unfortunately, the condition of some donations suffers because they are exposed to the elements. Enclosing the storage in a new structure would solve this problem. We also need space to store pet food for the dogs and cats that residents keep as companions. When we receive a large pet food donation, uninvited critters infiltrate the stash. Our new storage shed will be protected from the elements, secure, and constructed to keep rodents away, to better manage the food for our animals.
Funded by Portland, OR (January 2015)