Constructing a Brighter Future
Constructing a Brighter Future (CBF) is a 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 temporary shelters. 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.
CBF provides training to CTE instructors from all Lane County School Districts to construct finished single room shelters. Once trained, CTE instructors lead their students in the construction process, providing them with hands-on, education, training, and work-based learning opportunities that help them develop valuable employment skills, credentials, credits, and certifications.
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.”
Shelter Models: CBF built one room transitional shelters for two local housing organizations – Square One Village and Everyone Village. Both are located in Eugene, Oregon. Shelter models are 8 x 12 or 8 x 16 and include essential amenities – bench/bed, small desk/work area, one window and door. One model has electricity, another has a front porch. Plumbing was not included in these models. All shelters are build on skids and easily moveable by forklift. They do not utilize a trailer platform. Shelter work is done at the schools and the final product is transported to the respective housing site when completed.
2023 – 2024 School Year Goals:
- Number of shelters to be completed and delivered to local housing sites: 16
- Number of estimated Lane County schools participating: 19
- Coordinate classroom CTE mentorships with the Lane County Construction-Aggregate sector industry professionals to assist with CBF project builds.
- Focus on rural expansion for site development of CBF model. Work with rural leaders to identify community build project needs.
2022 – 2023 School Year Data:
- Number of participating Lane County Schools: 16 (this includes Lane Community College Construction classroom). 11 schools are considered rural.
- Number of participating students: 190
- Number of shelters completed and delivered to local housing sites: 7
- Number of shelters that are in process of completion, fall 2023: 9
The completed shelters now fulfill a vital role as transitional housing for the residents of SquareOne and Everyone Village, thereby making a significant impact on the lives of those in need.
Constructing a Brighter Playbook
The Constructing a Brighter Future Playbook serves as a blueprint, showcasing how other communities can replicate the success of the CBF. It provides a comprehensive explanation of the core principles, goals, and methods, offering a clear picture of the model used. By sharing this playbook, our aim is to inspire instructors, educators, and key stakeholders, to join us in creating a better future for everyone. We believe that by adopting the strategies and insights presented in this playbook, communities can make a meaningful impact and contribute to positive change.
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:
- NPR Here & Now, August 11, 2023 (Here & Now is carried by 450 NPR member stations with an estimated audience of 5 million listeners)
- KLCC Broadcast, July 18, 2023
- KPIC Feature, May 23, 2023
- KLCC Broadcast, April 7, 2023
- The Cottage Grove Sentinel, April 4, 2023
- Register Guard, March 27, 2023
- 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.
The incredible goodwill and support shown by our local community; seeing the pride that our students felt by participating in a meaningful project that went toward helping a social need; visiting one of Square One’s sites to see what the end product of the project looked like. (CTE Instructor)
It made me realize that people are trying to make a better life for themselves and I’m helping to provide a stepping stone for them to do so with more affordable housing. (CTE Student)
It made me want to be more helpful in my community. (CTE Student)
- Oregon Department of Education – CTE Revitalization Grant
- Oregon Community Foundation
- Lane County Economic Development
- Marie Lamfrom Foundation
- One Hope/Sheds of Hope
- Future Ready Oregon – Prosperity 10K
- Roundhouse Foundation
- Rotary Club of Eugene
- Lane Education Services District/Lane CTE/Lane County School Districts
- Lane Workforce Partnership
- Lane Community College
- Square One Village
- Everyone Village
- One Hope
- Richardson Media