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Arin's House Teen Center and Project PACE Join Forces

From Beaverton Times: Arin's House, a teen center, has found an ideal roommate in a longtime friend. The nonprofit teen center is moving in with Project PACE (Parent and Child Enrichment), a Beaverton organization that specializes in working with children with autism spectrum disorders and their families. After years of partnering together on service projects, team-building activities and community celebrations, Arin's House and Project PACE leaders have decided to share a 3,000-square-foot building on slightly less than an acre at 2360 S.W. 170th Ave., adjacent to the western border of the Tualatin Hills Nature Park and across from Beaver Acres Elementary School. "Were really excited about the opportunities ahead of us", said Allyson Jameson, executive director of Arins House. We were getting kind of cramped in the house we've been renting. It was a great starting point, but we are really looking forward to moving into a facility where we can spread out and continue to grow." The new location will improve the teen centers visibility in the community while also offering a safe haven for middle and high school students to hang out, get homework help, use computers, play music, create art and organize community service projects. "In the house were renting right now off of Murray, were not allowed to post a sign", Jameson said. "We've kind of felt like an undercover teen center. Now well be able to really let people know that were here. Our teens already love this place." For the past couple years, Eric Hamblen and Kathi Calouri, founders of Project PACE, have hosted several events for Arins House on their property along 170th Avenue, including two pirate parties and a graduation celebration. When Hamblen and Calouri began considering a plan to rent out a portion of their building that they were not using for their practice, it seemed only natural to open their facility to a group they knew that has a mission they support. "These are people we know and trust", Calouri said of the Arin's House team. "They understand what we do and respect our work and we respect them. They're a very worthy group. The grounds are fabulous for teens, and we can all benefit from sharing the space." Hamblen agreed. "We work with a subgroup of teens that have a hard time finding a peer group outside of school, he said. Having Arin's House here will provide our teens with a chance to build relationships with other teens. Its a nice connection and a pretty win-win situation for everyone." Part of something Project PACE operates a challenge course on the property that features a 100-foot-long zip line and 40-foot-high catwalk as well as several team-building obstacles and green space. While Project PACE will occupy four offices and a play area in the building, Arin's House will transform the remainder of the facility into a place sure to keep teens entertained. The teen center will include a new computer lab, music jam room and a recording production area with a sound booth in the front; a large multipurpose room in the middle for art classes, junior board meetings, gaming, hanging out and doing homework; a kitchen for cooking nightly dinners and afternoon snacks; and a recreation area in the back with a pool table, fuse ball, air hockey, Guitar Hero and Dance, Dance Revolution stations. The goal of the center is to offer teens opportunities at no cost to them. In exchange for their participation in center activities, the teens give back to the community through group service projects, neighborhood cleanups, feeding the homeless and collecting items for the needy or through individual activities like peer mentoring, tutoring and sharing skills with others. "We believe in inspiring teens and building a better community through volunteer service", Jameson said. "All we ask of our members is to pay it forward in some way. We give them a chance to be part of something."