Building dreams: A look back at the 2024 HopeBuilder Lunch

The excitement of working together to help communities reach their full potential filled the air at Habitat for Humanity Portland Region’s 2024 HopeBuilder Lunch, April 24, which highlighted Habitat’s work, the impact on the lives of homeowners, and the innovative ways we can transform neighborhoods for better.  

The annual event drew nearly 1,000 eventgoers to the Oregon Convention Center, for an inspiring keynote address by Majora Carter, recognized for her innovative urban revitalization strategies and the philosophy that you shouldn’t have to move out of your neighborhood to live in a better one.  

In total, our supporters raised over $518,000, which will support Habitat’s work to build and repair stable and affordable homes throughout the Portland Metro region. Habitat current has five active build sites in Hillsboro, Lake Oswego, and other parts of the Portland Metro region, and is on track to build or repair more than 100 homes this year.  

Watch the whole event here.

Attendees enjoyed a complimentary lunch while listening to an insightful interview between host, Johnna Lee Wells, and Habitat Portland’s President and CEO Steve Messinetti.  

Their conversation touched on many crucial topics, including the importance of building entry-level homes, Habitat’s Home Repair Program, and how it all ties into healthy neighborhoods. 

“At Habitat, we believe in giving people the opportunity to stay in their homes and in their neighborhoods. We believe that people — teachers, retail workers, healthcare workers — deserve to be able to work and live in the same community,” he said. “All the research shows that that’s what’s best for us, to have mixed income communities.”  

In her address, Carter spoke about the value of affordable homeownership as a key part of building a healthy community, along with business opportunities and social opportunities. All of which encourages people to stay and invest in their own neighborhoods, rather than moving away to find those opportunities elsewhere.  

“Capitalism can fuel gentrification and displacement, or poverty maintenance, but neither of those strategies help the people already there to live in the kinds of neighborhoods they all deserve,” said Carter, a Peabody-award winning broadcaster and author. 

Attendees heard from several Habitat homeowners in a video featuring several Habitat homeowners’ stories of finding their sense of belonging and community once becoming a homeowner. This manifested in better school grades for their children and creating meaningful friendships within their neighborhoods.  

Thank you to all who attended the HopeBuilder Lunch, and a special thanks to our Platinum sponsor, Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC. Valued partnerships like these mean Habitat can continue building strength, stability, and independence with every home we build or repair.  

If you were unable to attend, but would still like to support our work to build and repair affordable homes in the Portland area, you can donate at https://habitatportlandregion.org/events/hopebuilderlunch/ 

2024 Event Sponsors




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