By Janet Goetze
For the Hollywood Star News
Native American youth are receiving training in construction and house renovation through a partnership with a local housing agency.
The Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) is working with Proud Ground, formed in 1999 by the City of Portland and local housing advocates to provide permanently affordable homes. The organization also works in Gresham and Washington County.
Martin McAllister, the NAYA construction manager, said the program trains young Native men and women who have no work experience and who face challenges in getting decent-paying jobs. The skills they gain can take them to other jobs, too, he said.
So far, Proud Ground has contracts to renovate four homes with the NAYA construction program.
“Proud Ground has helped this program by giving us projects to train the interns,” McAllister said. “It really helps that they understand that training projects take a little more time. It has been great not to have the pressure of someone looking over your shoulder while you are training.”
In addition to working with youth in training, Proud Ground is working with NAYA clients who are buying their first homes affordably.