"Fortify House" Project
November 13-14 in Wilsonville
PHOTO ALBUM - CLICK HERE
Transitional Youth is a non-profit that works to bring hope and healthy transformation to at-risk youth in Oregon and Washington. It’s estimated there are 500 homeless youth in downtown Portland alone. There are hundreds more across the metro area and even more aging out of foster care and other youth agencies. By providing outreach, support, and housing to homeless and at-risk youth, TY seeks to transform both hearts and lives.
“Fortify House” is a 140-year-old farmhouse on a lovely 40+ acre lot located in the Eastern rolling hills of Wilsonville, which has been dedicated to TY’s use for the next 15-years. It serves as a residential home for at-risk young men and a respite center for TY staff. Teams of volunteers have been busy cleaning and remodeling the home since early 2019; and last Fall, Catalyst converted the basement into a gathering and workout space for the young men. We all had such a great experience working together, that all of Catalyst's tools & trailers are now stored in Fortify House's outbuildings!
This year we tackled 2 BIG PROJECTS, coinciding with a Winter Storm that local weather professionals called a "SOAKER." We agree with that assessment! But thanks to over 45 VOLUNTEERS who endured gallantly in the rain, we couldn't be more happy with all that we got done together!
Massive Property Cleanup of Over 100 Downed Trees - In the Summer of 2020, an arborist volunteered his time to help TY fell and limb over 100 trees all over the property. They've been whittling away at the mess ever since, but it was totally overwhelming. Catalyst volunteers moved the logs, cut/stacked the firewood, and moved a zillion branches and debris into 2 gigantic burn-piles.
Demo Decommissioned Storage to Create Usable Space - There was an old cold-storage closet in one of the Fortify outbuildings, which is adjacent to the living quarters of the retired couple who serves as Fortify site staff. The area behind the storage doors was an absolute wreck! We demo'd the existing walls, along with the old cooling system, and rebuilt a new area that will be safe and useable. It was a super yucky & dirty job!
Catalyst Staff carefully watched-over all the work, providing safety training/gear, and generally making sure that people stayed safe. We were thankful for a very successful (albeit wet) day, great new friendships, and no injuries. GREAT JOB, CREW!
TESTIMONIAL FROM FORTIFY HOUSE MANAGER:
"I just don’t know how to thank each of you for your hand in all that was accomplished yesterday. Between doubling the living space of our foster grandparents Rudy & Linda, and tackling the wood cleanup job which has been glaring at me from my to-do list and would have taken months for us to accomplish on our own, the effort of the group was deeply impactful, and that impact extending beyond the tangible. Having never been a part of a Catalyst project, I can’t say I have ever felt the power of “many hands making light work” more than I did yesterday. Every limb that was picked up, every log cut... at the end of the day to reflect on the work of the “many” was most satisfying. Thank you each for your time, sweat, joy & willingness to show up like true PNW’ers in the soaking rain:) I hope to see some of you again when Catalyst returns to action, this time myself joining the ranks of you all in volunteering. Grateful! - Luke Pinneo, Fortify House Manager