Constructing a Brighter Future
Constructing a Brighter Future (CBF) is a new collaborative project that creates single room transitional shelters for the unhoused. This project defines the true meaning of partnership as it builds from an existing network of Lane County educators/school districts, local transitional housing organizations, community-based organizations, industry, and workforce to align and support local housing shortages with the construction of 30 temporary shelters by June 2023. Constructing a Brighter Future not only supports a prioritized community need but is a workforce initiative that introduces young people to the multiple career pathways in high wage/high demand construction trades work and provides them with hands on, work-based learning opportunities to demonstrate and refine these new skills for possible future employment.
Prior to the start of the 2022-2023 school year, Construction and Technology Education (CTE) teachers from 15 Lane County School Districts (representing all geographic areas of the county) met at Lane Community College with SquareOne and Everyone Village builders/designers for side-by-side training learning how to build finished single room transitional shelters from approved plans. The shelters include a bed, desk, electricity, heat, and other standard housing appliances. The CTE instructors then took the structure plans to their respective classrooms and are leading students in the construction process.
Shareen Vogel with the Lane Education Service District said, “This innovative project is an opportunity not only for students to learn high-wage, high-demand skills that our workforce needs, but it’s an opportunity for students to make a difference in their community where they live to really connect with a crisis that is happening right in our community.”
Gabe Piechowica, Leader of Everyone Village mentioned, “I just can’t think of a better story or narrative where everyone in the community from students to innovators in the industry to us as a nonprofit are coming together and, all at the same time, lifting together.”
Constructing a Brighter Future benefits Lane County in multiple ways:
- Provides additional housing units to be built for the most vulnerable population.
- Introduces young people to multiple high wage/high demand trades in the construction sector.
- Valuable workforce skills will be taught to participating students with relevant hands-on lessons and work-based learning opportunities.
- Schools and young people are able to identify and problem-solve to better understand and support the community housing needs.
Constructing a Brighter Future In the News:
- KEZI feature, March 13, 2023
- Register Guard, January 31, 2023
- KGW8 feature, January 30, 2023
- Register Guard, January 11, 2023
- KPNW radio segment, December 14, 2022
- KEZI feature, December 12, 2022
- KVAL feature, December 8, 2022
- KMTR feature, December 8, 2022
Below is Family Radio’s Community Bridge Feature on Constructing Brighter Future. Lee Kounovsky, the Construction Trade Sector Specialist at Lane ESD, spoke to Family Radio about the project, highlighting its potential impact on the community. “It’s amazing to see how we can not only provide a valuable service to the community while teaching students real-life construction experience,” Kounovsky said.
How You Can Help:
The cost of creating one temporary shelter is estimated to be $8,000. The state’s limited funding towards construction classes cannot fully support the project, therefore alternative funding sources are being sought. The Roundhouse Foundation has contributed $25,000 towards the project and Lane CTE is currently seeking additional funding to match the contribution.
Donations to the project can be made on the Lane CTE website by clicking here.
- Oregon Department of Education – CTE Revitalization Grant
- Lane County Economic Development
- Future Ready Oregon – Prosperity 10K
- Roundhouse Foundation
- Lane Education Services District (ESD)
- Everyone’s Village
- Lane Workforce Partnership (LWP)
- Pivot Architecture
- Square One Village
- One Hope
- Lane Community College (LCC)
- Richardson Media