Portland State professor, students help design newest village for houseless

Portland State Professor Todd Ferry and his architectural design class helped plan the layout and pod homes for the Agape Village, the newest alternative housing village being built on the property of the Central Nazarene Church located at 97th and Powell Blvd.

Ferry and his students contributed to similar villages such as the Kenton’s Women’s Village Project and Clackamas Veterans Village Project.

“My students are the real stars here,” Ferry said. “Beside helping to design the pods and floorplan of the village, some of them took it upon themselves to continue helping with the build after they were done with my class.”

There have been a number of different villages started up within the last few years in Portland: Right to Dream Too, Hazelnut Grove and The Kenton Women’s Project.

“We plan to have 15 homes, and there will also be a porta potty, wash pods, shower pods, washing machine pods, and I believe we are making a community center as well,” said Ron Clark of Agape Church of Christ, which is partnered with Central Nazarene Church and is the namesake for the village.

Cascade Clusters, a local nonprofit, is the construction crew working with the church to manufacture the tiny pod homes.

“We are already screening applications and getting prepared to get people hopefully moved in by the time the weather turns to rain,” Clark said. “The area used to be for youth gathering, and we figured it was a good spot for a village.”

Agape Village is on the last leg of its building with the final two buildings being built offsite and basic infrastructure left to install such as railing for front porches and porta potties. The opening is planned for the beginning of June.