Dougy Center reopens: 'It feels like we have a home again'

Dougy Center reopens: 'It feels like we have a home again' »Play Video
The Dougy Center celebrated its grand opening Saturday. (KATU photo)

PORTLAND, Ore. – A rebuilt Portland grief counseling center opened again Saturday, three years after an arson fire destroyed the building.

The Dougy Center, located at 3909 SE 52nd Avenue, provides grief counseling to children and teens after they lose loved ones. The center serves as a meeting place for hundreds of families.

“It feels like we’re set, like we’re solid again,” said Lydia Terjeson, who attends the Dougy Center.

The center serves about 400 children and 250 adults.

“When you lose someone it’s kind of like a part of you has been torn away,” said Terjeson.

The rebuilding work began last April while the center operated out of a temporary home on Northeast Glisan near 22nd Avenue. The Dougy Center raised more than $4 million to fund the new building.

Some of the Portland firefighters who helped put out the arson fire three years ago were on hand to celebrate.

Even after the fire and moving around to temporary homes, the center didn’t cancel a single support group meeting.

“Before being bounced around, we had more people bouncing in and out,” Terjeson said. “Now it feels like we have a home again, set people and we’re back to being even a stronger community.”