The LifeChange Center of the Union Gospel Mission is a new urban infill project located on West Burnside that has become the new gateway to the Old Town/Chinatown neighborhood. The LifeChange Center houses both the operation and administration of the Union Gospel Mission LifeChange program, which offers life rehabilitation to those who require long-term drug and alcohol addiction recovery. The program involves structured classroom opportunities, values based education, work training programs, and a variety of community activities.
SERA’s design intent was to support the context of Old Town/Chinatown and the Skidmore historic district in a contemporary way while also creating an urban sanctuary that is restorative and a place of peace and recovery. The project is also a beacon to the larger community to let city residents know about the program, and know there is place to seek help.
The LifeChange Building is a mixed-use five story structure with the main lobby and assembly spaces on the ground floor, educational classrooms on the second floor, men’s and women’s LifeChange residences on the third and fourth floor respectively, and the Union Gospel Mission administrative offices on the fifth floor. Residents live, learn and work together for an extended period of time, so when the residents leave LifeChange, they are healthy, responsible and trained to live life productively and joyfully. The recovery process of LifeChange is accomplished through a structured program that emphasizes leadership and personal commitment to positive values.