by Peggy Carey
In spite of the exponential growth Bend has seen over the last few years, and the challenges of 2020, our community remains connected. We are strong as ever when a ‘barn raising’ such as a Vocational school for youth or housing for Veterans is needed, and you can count on Rotarians to be there to help!
The Bend Rotary Clubs supported J Bar J Youth Services construction of a Vocational Training School for the adjudicated youth in residence at the boy’s ranch. The J Bar J program is designed to help the boys understand and change the behavior that brought them here and help them achieve a GED and or a High School Diploma. In 2019 a Vocational training program was added to include training in the construction trades and Culinary Arts
The Bend Rotary Clubs understood the need for this training immediately and stepped up to help. Mt Bachelor Rotary donated funds from the St. Patrick Day Run and Greater Bend committed $75,000, naming this their 3 year Signature Project.
The boys are now receiving instruction in the classroom and on line and are getting hands on experience building the tiny homes through a mentorship with Hayden Homes Project Manager, James Limerick. The boys will build the first three homes for The Bend Heroes Foundation’s, Veterans Village at J Bar J and transported to the permanent site on Poe Sholes Road where the village is under development.
Deschutes County has leased the land to The Bend Heroes Foundation for the Veterans Village and the City of Bend is forgoing development fees and has awarded $200,000 to the project. Many community businesses, local and state foundations and citizens have donated to this project for homeless Veterans.
It’s been said many times but nothing describes this project better than the phrase “It takes a village.” That village often starts with or includes the community servants of Rotary. Thank you!