New home sought for ‘Freedom House’

Find out why – although their June fundraiser was successful – the life-changing work of this meaningful non-profit organization might still come to an end …

About 250 folks made their way to Club Paesano’s Cedarville Park to support the work of Portland Freedom House, by attending their Annual Barbecue and Auction.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The main building of Club Paesano’s Cedarville Park, located just over the line that divides outer East Portland from Gresham, was filled to capacity, as the 2010 Portland Freedom House Barbecue and Auction got underway on June 18.

“Freedom House is a one-year residential program that builds consistent Christian character in the lives of addicted and broken men,” explained its director, Pastor Jim Cottrell. “Tonight, we’re hoping that we can raise $50,000.”

The fundraising effort is vitally important, Cottrell explained, because Freedom House is a Christian-based, totally-self-supporting nonprofit operation. “We don’t receive any federal state or local funding, or insurance funding. Every man who’s been helped overcoming addiction spends a year in our program. These funds mean they can participate without worrying about a huge financial burden.”

Cathe Weise, of My Father’s House, presents the appeal for donations for Freedom House Ministries at their annual barbecue.

Pastor Jim Cottrell, the executive director of Freedom House, talks candidly about the uncertain future the ministry faces, as they look for a new “home”.

Organization seeks new site
Having been located at the Quality Inn & Suites in Parkrose – until the serious fire that destroyed part of that plant – Cottrell said they now have to move, because the facility has been sold to a commercial operator by the church organization that had owned it.

“Yes, it appears we’re about to become ‘homeless’ now,” Cottrell said. “We are looking to the Lord, and to the community, for a facility that can house up to 20 bed spaces, and allow us to hopefully launch a thrift store that’ll help raise support to keep the doors open.” Unless such a facility can be found, this project will come to an end.

The suburban mission has flourished, Cottrell added, “Because of the care of the Christian community, and the faithfulness of many people who have stood with us – believing that faith has turned lives around for the many men who are no longer living in addiction, and in the streets.”

Freedom House’s Pastor Jim Cottrell spends a moment with Parkrose native son, Joe Rossi.

A familiar face from Parkrose, Joe Rossi, was one of the 250 who attended the event. “I’ve worked with Pastor Jim and his ministry, helping men in his program find work; two of them have gotten ‘post graduate’ jobs.”

In addition to providing his personal support, Rossi brought the large PA system they used on the farm for Movie Nights. “I really believe in Jim and his work and wanted to show my support.”

To find out more about their organization, see their website: CLICK HERE to open that page.

In addition to a full barbecue brisket dinner, many attendees went home with great merchandise and gift packages donated to the event.

© 2010 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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