Dougy Center rebuilding continues a brisk pace

See how their grand new building is coming along, built where their former center was destroyed by an arsonist. And, find out when volunteers and clients of this unique center that supports grieving kids is expected to open …

Brennan Wood with The Dougy Center looks at their new building, awaiting the day it will again reunite their community of healers and clients.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
“Trilled!” is the word The Dougy Center’s director of development and communications, Brennan Wood used to describe the progress of their new building located at 3909 SE 52nd Avenue.

“Our new building, replacing our original building that burned down in the 2009 arson fire is really coming along,” Wood said as she took East Portland News for a tour on July 17.

Contractors take a City of Portland building inspector on a tour of their new building.

On the new foundation stands the roughed-in frame with electrical wiring and plumbing in place, ready for it’s windows to be set in place and drywall installed.

“We expect the building to be completed at the end of November,” Wood said. “In December, we plan to move into the building; and, start having holding our group meetings here in January, 2013.”

Until then, the non-profit organization that now has affiliated groups worldwide, has struggled, as they continue to hold their support groups for kids, teams young adults and their families – who have experienced the death of a mom, dad, brother, or sister – in temporary facilities miles away.

It’s difficult for their 170 volunteer facilitators to interface with staff of 12 people who together serve more than 400 clients each month, Wood pointed out.

These steel studs show the outline of the circular group meeting rooms at the heart of the new Dougy Center.

“Because our program staff has to travel to and from our temporary group location, the rest of our staff can’t interact with the families and volunteers. In a sense, we’ll be bringing the ‘family’ all together again here in our new building.”

Although insurance paid for part of the reconstruction, the organization has raised additional money to new building; and Wood said they’re in their “final push” of raising the last $1 million for the project.

A PGE crew finishes hooking up electricity to the new Dougy Center building.

“We had an incredible tragedy, organizationally, with the arson fire that was devastating to us as a community,” observed Wood. “But, this building will be a huge move forward for us. It’s moving from tragedy, to hope – being able serve more families, more effectively, on into the future.”

Learn more about the life-healing work done at The Dougy Center, and contribute if you can, at their website: CLICK HERE to open their home page.

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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