What started as a soup kitchen in 1951 is now a comprehensive ministry providing men, women and children with meals, shelter, job training, recovery programs and more. Salem, Oregon’s Union Gospel Mission serves Salem’s most vulnerable populations. In order to better serve its clients and to replace aging facilities, United Gospel Mission needed to build a new men’s shelter and chapel, and create a storage area for bicycles. Union Gospel Mission hired CD Redding Construction for the project.
People need to know about Mass Ply. It is an amazing product. We use it, and have recommended it. In fact, we brought it to the table for this project. The structural engineer was very receptive to the idea. Mass Ply is an amazing product, and the Freres’ are fantastic. I will continue to use Mass Ply wherever I can.
Scott Champion, CD Redding Construction
The current Union Gospel Mission men’s shelter had 200 beds — not enough to meet the need. Those beds were in high demand even before multiple events, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the local wildfires and historic ice storm, led to increased unemployment, temporary closing of homeless shelters and loss of homes in the nearby wildfires.
Labor shortages were also wreaking havoc on construction costs and timelines. CD Redding Construction’s Scott Champion needed to find a way around these obstacles. Having worked with Freres’ Mass Ply Panels on a number of other projects, he chose Mass Ply to help solve his problem.
The new, 57,000 square foot men’s shelter provides 300 beds, dining facilities, bathing facilities, classrooms, counseling and medical support. Of the 300 beds, 224 are slated for emergency shelter beds for the homeless, 76 are for the long-term program, which provides services to help men with life skills, recovery, education and counseling. After one year, more than 82 percent of the men in this one-year program are successful, meaning they are employed, have stable housing and are sober.
The new chapel supports the Union Gospel Mission community, as well as local businesses and community members. Also built from the ground up, the chapel’s design includes a sloping roof with three-to-five foot cantilevers extending all around the chapel. Most eaves extending to that length require rafters, cables or trusses for support. According to Champion, Mass Ply doesn’t, which is another benefit from both a labor and maintenance standpoint as rafters and trusses are a favorite nesting place for bats, bugs, birds and other critters.
“We knew from past experience that Freres’ Mass Ply has an offsetting benefit in labor costs,” said CD Reddings’ Champion. “We chose Mass Ply because it is costeffective, durable, saves time and is a multi-purpose product; Mass Ply provided the roof structures, ceilings (painted) and the exterior overhangs without the need for supporting rafters.”
From the pandemic and OSHA shut downs to the delays caused by the wildfires and ice storms, CD Redding Construction lost nearly three months of construction time. According to Champion, without the various challenges that caused delays, the project would have been completed on time or early. “Being able to install Mass Ply in one day was a huge benefit.”