News & Events

Aug 10, 2021 | Blog

SMACNA Members Team Up With Non-profits to Address Homelessness

Since 2020, members of the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association’s (SMACNA) Oregon & Southwest Washington chapter have been working closely with non-profit organizations Construction for Change and Pallet. CFC is an organization that partners with NGOs and government ministries to build spaces where people can become healthier, better educated, and increase economic mobility. Pallet is a social purpose company dedicated to building equal opportunity access to housing and employment by constructing housing communities around Oregon designed to help people in need find a pathway out of homelessness. In August 2021, local contractors will build their 250th shelter, an accomplishment achieved in less than a year of collaboration. These shelters will accommodate 500 individuals looking to get back on their feet.

The shelters, manufactured by Pallet, are 100 square-feet, can house two people and are outfitted with beds, climate control, safety features, electricity and more. They are made from highly durable aluminum and composite materials and can be built in less than one hour.

“At Pallet, we invest in people and we believe that having a roof over your head can change your life,” said Amy King, founder and CEO of Pallet. “We, as a community, need to embrace our neighbors fighting their own personal battles like homelessness and help provide respectable housing where they can feel safe and jumpstart their future with reintegration back into the workforce. Of course, building these communities is all made possible with the enthusiastic support of our construction partners.”

Numerous SMACNA contractors, including General Sheet Metal based in Clackamas, have stepped up to volunteer their time and manpower in order to efficiently assemble more than 250 shelters across Portland, Springfield, Cottage Grove and Florence.

“SMACNA members have dedicated over 1,000 hours over 132 days to this initiative,” said Carol Duncan, SMACNA Vice President and Owner and CEO of General Sheet Metal. “Our skills and equipment are coupled with our passion to do good for our community, and it’s incredible that we’re about to build our 250th shelter, having helped provide housing for over 500 individuals. This is a project we plan to stay involved with for a long time.”

Construction for Change is responsible for connecting local contractors to community impact projects.

“We’re so fortunate to have charitable local organizations like SMACNA as partners to help us mobilize these communities,” said Kevin Hunter, Executive Director at Construction for Change. “We facilitate the relationship between the need for social infrastructure and the construction sector to not only better the community, but also carve a pathway out of homelessness for so many residents.”

This story originally appeared in SMACNews.