On Saturday, March 17, 2012, Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East celebrated the dedication of the final six homes with families and volunteers at the Rivergate Commons site in north Portland. This 12-home community is part of an unique partnership between Rivergate Community Church, local philanthropic families, Portland Housing Bureau, U.S. HUD Self-Help Homeownership Program, local sponsors and volunteers.
Evelynlena Mitchell has been completing sweat equity hours since ground broke on the Rivergate build, and is so excited to buy her first home. Evelynlena is a single mother of three daughters. Their current rental has bad plumbing, mold problems, and her landlord keeps raising the rent. Evelynlena has done her best to improve their living situation but with historically high rent in Portland, she was not able to afford a healthier home, before being accepted into Habitat. In total Evelynlena put 500 sweat equity hours into her home and will purchase it at a zero percent interest mortgage.
The Agnew/Lytle Family Foundation, the Jurrens Family Foundation and the Koelher family all sponsored Habitat homes at this site and have enjoyed the process of working alongside the family that will benefit from their generosity. The project was also made possible by Rivergate Community Church who sold the land to Habitat below market value and has been heavily involved in the project. Representatives from all of these partners were present at the dedication which included a packed house at Rivergate Community Church, a brief ceremony, tour of the newly completed homes and lunch.