Latest Be the Change winner tackling homelessness in Portland - KPTV - FOX 12

Latest Be the Change winner tackling homelessness in Portland

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Take a drive into Portland and it doesn't take long to notice the city's heartbreaking homeless problem, but one local man is working to change the landscape of life on the streets by offering classes for men battling addiction and other problems.

Every Wednesday, all day, Bud Hartley with Cityteam Ministries can be found in southeast Portland, volunteering his time, and sharing his heart with a group of men, some homeless, many battling addictions and other struggles.

"My wife and I have an agreement. It's pick a day, any day, and it's yours,” Hartley said. “And Wednesday is the day I come here."

From anger management classes to bible study, it's easy to see Hartley’s passion is teaching, and most of the time, he has an eager audience.

The businessman, who spent the better part of his career at a Fortune 500 company and owning a business, experienced a shift in priorities.

"In 2013, my business took a downturn, and the Lord started working on me, saying you really ought to get into volunteering more,” Hartley recalled. "I popped onto the Cityteam website, and lo and behold, it said Portland. I didn't know there was a facility here in Portland!"

The volunteer opportunity was for an anger management instructor, so he took a leap of faith and went for it.

"I can do this. Give me the material, give me a week or two or two to learn it and I'll take over teaching,” he recalled telling Cityteam staff. “They said 'We don't have any material.'”

That didn't stop Hartley, though. He wrote his own program, and it is the program that's been taught at Cityteam ever since.

Hartley said it has changed countless lives and perspectives.

"If you don't believe God does miracles, meet them when they walk in the door and then meet them when they graduate,” he said. “It's a total revolution in their life and behavior."

It is because of his efforts to improve the lives of men in his community that Hartley has won the FOX 12 – Les Schwab Be the Change award.

Hartley says his dream is to help develop a women's shelter for Cityteam and plans to devote his efforts to help others as long as he can.

"As long as the Lord will have me here, I'll be here.”

For more information on Cityteam ministries, including their programs and volunteer opportunities, visit Cityteam.org/Portland.

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