Local church braving the heat to build a homeless village in SE Portland

(KPTV Image)

This heat wave has many people hunkering down inside in an effort to stay cool, but several groups are braving the sun in southeast Portland with hammers in hand.

They're constructing a new homeless village but these aren't your average homes.

The sound of hammering is ringing out along Southeast Powell Boulevard with the sun beating down, people from the Agape Church of Christ, and several other area groups are working hard to bring tiny homes to life.

“This brings in a lot of different groups and skill levels. And we are just finding ways to build small pods,” Minister Ron Clark said.

Clark said they work in homeless camps every year but this is the first time they are building a community.

“Since the city has considered houselessness a crisis, it opens the door for a lot of us to find different ways to house people,” he said.

Dozens of people are braving the heat throughout the summer to build anywhere from 20 to 50 pods on the site of Central Nazarene Church.

“The Agape Village Group is working, along with some of the individuals who are sleeping out in this area, and they are joining us in the work,”

Similar projects, like Dignity Village, already exist throughout Portland and Clark said Agape Village will just add to the help.

“For some, it might be a transition to housing, for others it might be a more permanent structure,” Clark said.

A place of their own that will bring some stability while blocking out harsh weather like this, year-round.

The groups stopped around one Thursday afternoon to keep volunteers out of the worst of the heat, but they'll pick the tools back up again Friday morning.

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