Teens build tiny house for homeless man

Source: KGW / Maggie Vespa

It was a rare success story in Portland’s ongoing effort to house its homeless.

On Friday, a group of teenage boys and students at Oregon Episcopal School arrived at ‘Dignity Village’ in Northeast Portland with a large truck in tow.

On the truck sat a tiny home, built by the boys for a total stranger.

“When I saw the guy and him getting the house, it made me feel really great,” said 16-year-old Jack Morissette.

“The guy” is 56-year-old Ray Broaddus. He’s lived in Dignity Village, a northeast Portland homeless camp, for three years.

He’s spent that time in makeshift huts, one infested with rats, hoping he’d eventually be given one of the camp’s coveted tiny homes.

Two weeks ago, Broaddus got his wish.

“I thought maybe somebody was playing a game on me,” he said.

Broaddus thought that, in part, because he’d been promised a tiny house before. But when the home was delivered last year, there was a devastating design flaw. It had a loft, and Broaddus, who suffered a stroke years ago, cannot climb stairs.

On Friday, he got a second chance.

“I’m going to take lots of pictures,” he said as the new house pulled up.

The 10-foot by 12-foot home is the brainchild of Henry Morissette. The 17-year-old is going into his senior year at Oregon Episcopal, a school that requires students put in hours of volunteer time to graduate.

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