Photo above: New building design at 21st & SE Division

Despite the pouring rain, a happy crowd was in attendance at the ground- breaking ceremony for the Seven Corners Community Collaborative building in October. The land donated to Community Vision in April 2014 by Multnomah County enabled the non-profit to build a space where other non-profits could reside.

The 25,000 square feet building will be home to Community Vision, two partner organizations: FACT Oregon and Community Pathways, and an Assistive Technology Discovery Lab where families will be able to access life-changing technologies.

The building was designed by Waterleaf and according to architect David Donaldson, it took quite a bit of engineering to design the plan and meet with the Ladd’s edition historic district regulations.

The first thing that comes to mind for this location is the Flatiron Building in New York which Donaldson said was definitely studied while designing this building. Grand & Benedicts is the general contractor.

The goal of the Seven Corners Community Collaborative is to increase access to services to a wider range of people experiencing disabilities and connect people with the ability to communicate via the Assistive Technology Lab. The building itself will serve as a model of accessibility for Portland and the Pacific Northwest region.

Community Vision was founded by Joe Wykowski in 1989, when he helped a young man transition out of institutional living into the community. This young man had a rare disease that substantially shortened his life and he wanted to live the time he had left in as normal a fashion as possible.

Wykowski said he went to college to learn how to advocate for the disabled; the segment of society he has always championed.

Community Vision has been empowering people with disabilities to live, work and thrive in the community of their choice. They are the largest nonprofit organization in Oregon focusing on providing individualized housing, supported living, meaningful employment and home ownership services to people with developmental disabilities and their families.

The top floor will feature a large community space with conference rooms and an event space, as well as an accessible demonstration kitchen.

The retail ground floor will have a coffeeshop, Nossa Familia and an Assistive Technology Discovery Lab to help individuals with disabilities access augmentative communication devices.

The Dream Builders Ball is a Benefit for Community Vision and is scheduled for Thursday November 17, 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm at the Eastside Exchange Ballroom, 123 NE 3rd Ave. with live jazz music by Becky Kilgore. Enjoy a selection of wines, cocktails, dinner, and an auction.

For tickets and information, see tinyurl.com/helpkxq. NT