Portland, Ore. -- The Central Church of Nazarene founded Agape Village as a way to engage and show love to their houseless neighbors. This nonprofit, faith-based initiative will provide a safe place for houseless individuals to find support, stability, and community. The aim is to open the village this summer. In mid-June, Pioneer Millworks supplied exterior Larch siding for four ‘tiny house’ sleeping pods. New Energy Works coworkers volunteered alongside other design-build companies and craftspeople to install the Larch siding and other enclosure details.

“It was an amazing experience to be so hands-on in helping the community,” said David Shirley, architect at New Energy Works Portland Studio. “Being part of something that will uplift people in our community through offering shelter and a sense of place really resonated with me and the rest of my coworkers.”

The Central Church of Nazarene’s ultimate goal is to create a village which involves the community in giving their neighbors a hand-up. Tivnu: Building Justice is an organization that has spent much of the last year working at Agape Village. Tivnu’s Construction Trainer, Erik Brakstad, says, “It has been a tremendous opportunity for my crew to build two of these structures from the ground up. But perhaps most important of all has been working alongside and getting to know people that have been dealing with houselessness in their lives. It has challenged my preconceptions and given me and my crew perspective.”

Shelter is a key to daily life for all humanity and the makeshift shelters that have sprung up throughout Portland in recent years makes this need apparent. Agape Village will offer shelter and access to health services. Creating well-built pods is a key component of the overall village plan. The Larch Siding provided by Pioneer Millworks forms a durable, attractive, rot resistant exterior cladding that will extend the life of the pods.

“This is the first time I’ve worked with larch – it’s great! This siding is easy to work with, isn’t prone to splitting, and the milling is very consistent. Plus, it is gorgeous,” said Brakstad.

For more information, visit pioneermillworks.com.