Community Build Newsletter

March 2023
Happy New (Build) Year!

We started our 2023 project year on March 8 when 18 enthusiastic volunteers arrived at the New Life Church to build ten more shelters for the Caswell-Brown village on Mill Road. It even made front page news in the Peninsula Daily News!

After the first 11 shelters were delivered (shortly before a major December storm!), we all took a well-deserved break but now we're back at work. As you may recall, OlyCAP was permitted for 21 tiny shelters at Caswell-Brown. Thanks to generous donations from our community members and a $20,000 grant from Jefferson County housing funds, we raised enough money for the remaining 10, which will be completed in May.

It was great to have so many of our friends back building with us and to welcome half a dozen new volunteers, some of whom never built anything before. If you haven't signed up yet, join the fun and go to SignUpGenius to schedule a volunteer shift. There is more to do than just construction  – see our Volunteer Wish List article below. If you have any questions, contact Debbi Steele at
Volunteer Wish List
Not everyone is a builder, or a painter - although if you'd like to learn, we'll show you how! Our own Volunteer Coordinator, Debbi Steele, started as a painter and quickly saw this was NOT her skill set. So what can you do if can't or don't want to swing a hammer? Tom McFarling volunteers to make a dump run once a week. Jeanette Reisenburg is our newsletter editor. Dennis Daneau is our videographer. Viki Allen organizes snacks and lunches for construction volunteers. Here's a wish list for non-construction volunteers:
Are you good with the computer?
Can you help us with correspondence?
Can you help find things we need for the shelter villages, like mattresses? 
Can you clean up the job site at the end of the day?
Can you help coordinate food for volunteers on Wednesdays and/or Saturdays?

You might even have a skill we didn't know we needed!  If you want to help in any way, email Debbi Steele at
Volunteer and Donor Appreciation Day was a Blast!
About 80 volunteers and donors gathered on March 1 to celebrate our work for Caswell-Brown Village and our progress as a volunteer organization in general. The Palindrome at Eaglemount was an excellent venue and there was wonderful food donated by Cafe Tenby, Food Coop, Ichikawa Sushi Bar, Kellen Lynch, Niko's Grotto, Pizza Factory, QFC, Safeway, Silverwater Cafe, and Tommyknocker’s Cornish Pasty. Musicians Carla Main, Dirk Anderson and Jim Oliver donated their time to provide music especially chosen to focus on "community." Grateful thanks to the musicians, restaurants, stores and Eaglemount for supporting our wonderful volunteers and donors!

Debbi Steele, our Volunteer Coordinator,  described our start with Peter's Place in 2020 and our current build at Caswell-Brown. She told all the volunteers and donors how deeply we appreciate their work and donations. Judy Alexander shared how fortunate we are to have an amazing Community Build team and her hope that we can encourage people everywhere to have their own volunteer organization focused on housing. High school seniors Juniper Cervenka and Ashlyn Winsheimer helped with the event as part of their senior projects with Community Build.

It was wonderful to kick back, relax and celebrate our accomplishments. If you missed it, don't worry, we will do it again! Meanwhile, we hope you'll join us on Wednesdays and Saturdays through May to help at the build site or in some other capacity.  If you can't, you can always donate financially at:
Community Build's Second Annual Tool Sale Fundraiser
The Second Annual Tool Sale and fundraiser for Community Build will take place May 6 at the New Life Church, 1636 Hastings Avenue, Port Townsend. This year the sale will be coordinated by Liz Coker of the Jefferson County Home Builders Association but all proceeds will go to Community Build.  We are so excited and grateful for this collaboration as tools will be donated by seasoned builders in our community which will ensure an ample supply for the sale. Of course, donations from other community members are also welcome - the more the better! This was one of our biggest fundraisers last year so we hope you'll support it again either by donating tools or buying them the day of the sale.

If you have tools to donate, please contact Debbi Steele at We'll have some drop-off options as we get closer to the sale and we'll let you know in our next newsletter the specific time; for now mark your calendars!
Community Build Oscar-Nominated Video!

OK, not really, but now that we have your attention, Dennis Daneau, our volunteer videographer, previewed a new video at the Volunteer and Donor Appreciation Party. It is an eight minute look at how Community Build got started and how it's affecting the lives of those who move into our tiny shelters. Check it out!
Water Street Rocks!

Big THANK YOU's to the Pizza Factory (1102 Water Street) for donating lunch for our first build day's crew and to Burritos Y Tacos San Juan (102 Water Street) and Water Front Pizza (951 Water Street) which are donating this week's lunches. Please patronize and thank these generous businesses for their support!
Curtains Needed
Our blue studio behind New Life Church needs curtains. Do you have any to donate? 
What's New?
Could We Start a Housing Bank?
Working with our community to provide safe and affordable housing for everyone is the foundation of Community Build. So far, we’ve focused on tiny shelters for transitional housing, but sometimes people in our community face emergencies such as fire or flooding. Their housing loss is sudden and their need is immediate.
One of our ideas for 2023 is to establish a "Housing Bank.” We could build one or more small shelters with basic bathroom and kitchen facilities that could be trucked as needed throughout the county. This would provide an immediate but temporary solution until the family has permanent housing. 
Would you like to help us explore this project idea? Got design experience? Ideas? Please contact Debbi Steele at

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Community Build Project · 2205 Redwood St · Port Townsend, WA 98368-3103 · USA

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