This story has already received a ton of news coverage, but we think it deserves even more! One NE Portland neighborhood has succeeded in buying a former strip club, and everyone is pitching in to transform it into a community-friendly space.
After more than a dozen years of operating across the street from two community centers, a pediatric health clinic, school bus stops and affordable housing, the "Sugar Shack Strip Club" posted a For Sale sign last summer. Cully neighborhood nonprofits quickly organized to raise money to purchase the building.
Verde, Hacienda Community Development Corporation (Hacienda CDC), Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) and Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East combined forces to fundraise. Multiple foundations awarded grants; Craft3 extended a $2.3 million loan; and Portland Development Commission contributed a $250,000 loan. In addition, 528 individual funders donated a total of $54,094 through an Indiegogo campaign.
The sale closed this summer, and volunteers immediately started to clean up the property, doing everything from picking up trash to weeding to painting a mural! A celebration is planned for August 4th from 4-8pm. There will be food, music, arts and crafts, and community members will be invited to share their vision for the future of the neighborhood.
This is the miraculous kind of thing that can happen when communities organize!
Verde, Hacienda CDC, NAYA and Craft3 are all Kaiser Permanente Community Fund funded partners. NAYA is also funded by our Healthy Beginnings+Healthy Communities Initiative and Learning Together, Connecting Communities.