From building homes alongside Habitat homebuyers and volunteers to being a home sponsor for communities throughout Northeast Portland, Gregg has been a longtime supporter of Habitat’s mission. Born and raised in the Cully neighborhood, he’s dedicated his life to uplifting the city he knows and loves.
“It feels great to contribute to Habitat’s work,” Gregg said. “It’s all about revitalizing neighborhoods.”
It would so happen that the very first home he helped co-sponsor would be in his old neighborhood. For months, he swung hammers and framed walls; building the Helensview community from the ground up. And he did not stop there.
Before his retirement from NW Pump, he formed a strong partnership with Habitat; one that continues to this day. NW Pump sponsors a home in Cully Place, a 15-home community just blocks away from Helensview.
Once retired, he didn’t lose any momentum. He opened up a warehouse in Portland’s industrial east side with hopes of continuing to give back. It didn’t take long. Now, he’s designated half the warehouse to Habitat’s Playhouse Experience, where volunteers build playhouses for family recipients of the Dougy Center, United Cerebral Palsy of Oregon and more, with funds raised going directly into providing more affordable homeownership opportunities in Portland. The second half is devoted to building beds for local families living on low incomes.
Every week he joins men and women from around town in building bunk beds and single beds for children throughout Portland. He is a chapter president for Sleep in Heavenly Peace, a national nonprofit that works to ensure every child has a comfortable bed to sleep in at night.
“Before we started doing this, I had no idea how big the need was,” Gregg said. “We’re still learning.”
It’s a whole family operation. He and his volunteers build an average of 20 beds a week with regular deliveries made by him and his wife and son. For Gregg, it’s a natural extension of his desire to serve his city.
“All are welcome,” Gregg said. “We give hands on learning to all volunteers who want to get involved and give back.”