PORTLAND -- Sleeping on concrete is never easy, but nigh time temperatures near freezing make it downright dangerous.

Winter weather is just brutal for homeless folks, said Phil Miller with Portland Rescue Mission.

Fortunately, non-profit agencies are getting some help in their efforts to create more beds for the homeless.

We more than double our capacity, we'll be sleeping 130 men here tonight in addition to the 120 men, women and children who are with us year round, said Miller.

So how did the Portland Rescue Mission do it? Talented volunteers helped them expand.

In fact, volunteers made up of professional contractors are helping shelters all over Portland.

The Home Builders Foundation has actually created 123 beds that have been added to the homeless shelter system in this area, said Ken Cowdery with the Home Builders Foundation.

On Saturday, the volunteers spruced up a transitional apartment building run by Catholic Charities. Residents were thrilled by the fresh new paint.

It looks spectacular, my kids said wow look at the new paint and I told them to keep your hands off the walls, said Rukia Muhammad who immigrated to Portland from Kenya.

The Home Builders Foundation is making a difference, but the volunteers say their important work is just beginning.

The idea is when you create more shelter space, you give people a chance to heal, to get their lives back together, said Cowdery.


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