Community Build Newsletter

November 2022
11 Shelters Done - 10 More to Go - Can We Do It?
In early December, our ever-growing crew of enthusiastic volunteer builders and painters will have 11 shelters ready to move to the Caswell-Brown Village on Mill Road that’s providing safety and a sense of community for people without shelter. In early October, OlyCAP contracted with Community Build to construct as many 8’x12’ wood shelters as we could within the $49,000 it had available. That was only enough to pay for materials and electrical work for 8 shelters so Community Build pitched in $15,000 that had been donated since we completed Pat’s Place village last spring. Together with donations from our suppliers, that was enough to build 11 shelters for people who would have spent this winter living in tents or cars. 

The county permit for Caswell-Brown allows a total of 21 shelters but OlyCAP doesn’t have funds to build the remaining ten. Our Community Build volunteers are anxious to build them if we can raise the money for materials. Can we do it? 
People often ask, “What does Community Build do?” We BUILD! It’s that simple - we share a passion for building secure housing for those without it. We’ve discovered that in addition to building shelters, we are building COMMUNITY based on compassionate inclusivity, first and foremost for our most vulnerable citizens. Each of us has our own gifts and talents, and sharing them expands our own feelings of community!   But although we are blessed with extraordinary volunteers who have constructed 35 shelters in the past two years, materials cost money and fund raising is always a challenge. 
Will you join us in raising $60,000 by February so our volunteers can build ten more shelters by May? We gratefully accept contributions of any size. Perhaps you can even join with friends or colleagues to donate the $6,000 needed for an entire shelter. All donations are tax deductible. Checks can be made out to Community Build and mailed to 2205 Redwood Street, Port Townsend WA 98368.  Or go to to donate online by credit or debit card. If you have questions or ideas, contact our volunteer coordinator, Debbi Steele at:   

Please give whatever you can and feel your heart swell with appreciation for the COMMUNITY you’re helping to BUILD.  Right here.  Right now. Together.

How Your Dollars Make A Difference
$5,900 builds an 8x12 wood tiny shelter to keep someone safe, dry and warm:
Lumber, insulation and roofing: $3,200
Door, lock and three windows: $575
Paint and vinyl flooring: $400
Electrical wiring, smoke/CO detector, ceiling and porch lights, outlets: $1,250
Entry deck with step and railing: $300
Wall heater: $175

$750 outfits the shelter to offer that person dignity and hope:

Bed frame and mattress: $150
Pillow, sheets, blankets and towels: $60
Shelving and clothes rack: $210
Black-out curtains: $100
Mini-fridge: $230
Local Businesses Help Out Once Again
We are extremely grateful to the local businesses that are pitching in with donations and discounts so we can build more shelters.

Peninsula Paint has again made a huge contribution to our tiny house projects. Enormous thanks to owners Ray and Diane Donahue and Port Townsend store manager Greg Hope for donating the exterior and interior paint for all of the 11 new shelters! They truly live up to this statement on their website: "When you support local businesses, you get a better level of service, as well as helping make your community a better place to live." Peninsula epitomizes our motto that "Community Build builds community!"

We're also grateful to Carl's Lumber Supply for stepping up to the plate with a large discount when we needed subflooring, to Henery's Hardware for donating all the primer for the interiors, to Peninsula Flooring for vinyl flooring for one of the shelters, to Centrum for space to store donated furniture until the shelters are ready for residents, and to the Port Townsend Food Coop for coffee to warm up our volunteers on these chilly fall days. The Texas manufacturer of plug-in wall heaters even responded to a cold call with a discount when they heard why we needed them.

Thank you all!
How Does It Happen?
Our amazing project leader Dave Merrill teaches volunteers the skills they need for each phase of construction - in this case, how to install the roofing. Ace volunteer Jerry Harpole suggested we use an assembly line system which is working even better than we hoped. All ten floors were built first, then all walls added, all roofs, all insulation, etc. Dave also modified our previous shelter design to improve ventilation and make the shelter interiors feel larger than their tiny 8'x12' footprint. With a shed roof and a third window near the top of the 9-foot side wall, warm air can now escape during hot weather. The new design is also less expensive and much easier to build. Dave and Jerry definitely created a win-win-win-win situation!
We Are Thankful for our Donors
Community Build (CB) has been the beneficiary of some very generous financial donations, something we haven't talked about a lot because many of our donors want to remain anonymous. We wanted to recognize this aspect of our group effort in some way though and so we asked one of our most ardent supporters to share her thoughts. The following was written by Kathleen Mitchell, who has contributed to all three CB projects - Peter's Place, Pat's Place, and now the Caswell-Brown Village. We hope Kathleen's words will inspire more people to give whatever they can to help get the next 10 shelters completed in the spring.

Shelter is a basic need, it's a means of providing safety, security and dignity. The tiny houses that Community Build is providing can be a life changing opportunity for a person without a home. It's often the first step in creating a safety net for an individual and linking them with other services that can help them become more stable and productive. Unlike many of my dedicated friends who have donated countless volunteer hours building shelters, I have yet to get my hands dirty. Instead, it's been my honor to financially contribute to Community Build. If you don't have the time to commit to raising a hammer or using a paint brush, making a donation, large or small, is another important way to contribute to those in our community who need our support.

We also received a $500 donation, although we don't know who it is from. We received an interbank donation from a South Dakota bank. Could it be an RMD donation? We would like to at least send you a Thank You note so if it's YOU, 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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