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A New Roof for Youth

NWIR Homeplate
May 25, 2022 at 6:00 p.m.

By Lauren White, RCS Editor. 

When a facility that serves youth experiencing homelessness needed a new roof, the industry stepped up to the plate. 

Washington County in Oregon is the second most populous county in the state, and has 2,754 houseless students, according to HomePlate Youth Services, the only drop-in and street outreach organization for youth in the county.  Beaverton, a city in Washington county, has had the highest number of houseless students in the state of Oregon for six consecutive years. 

For youth experiencing homelessness, having a safe place to go that protects them from the elements is of vital importance.  While the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child,” rings true for HomePlate, it takes a village to put a roof over a child’s head too.  When it became apparent that the existing HomePlate facility needed a new roof, the roofing industry stepped up. National Women in Roofing (NWIR) Oregon council partnered with the Home Builders Foundation to bring these youth a new roof.   

HomePlate, which was established in 2005, provides a judgement-free and safe community for youth ages 12-24 who are experiencing any type of instability.  Youth instability can be due to “family homelessness or instability, no income and loss of employment, alcohol or drug abuse, or a situation that is not acceptable to the parents such as coming out as LGBTQIA+ or becoming pregnant,” according to HomePlate. 

Here are just some of the services and necessities HomePlate provides: 

  • Warm meals 
  • Clothing 
  • Showers and hygiene needs 
  • Laundry 
  • Housing search 
  • Documentation and identification assistance 
  • Healthcare referrals 
  • Job search and application assistance 
  • Skills training 
  • Interview coaching 
  • Parent resources 
  • Education resources 

In order to continue serving youth and providing a safe space, HomePlate needed a new roof.  When Home Builders Foundation heard of this, they got in touch with the Oregon council of NWIR.  “Whenever there’s a need, they know we’re going to make it happen,” shared Stephanie Baird, the community outreach chair for NWIR and the general manager of Bliss Roofing. 

“There's lots of different outreach programs in NWIR that do wonderful things for their local communities.  The Oregon council likes to focus on donations of roofing, and I like to make sure that’s where our donations go,” shared Stephanie. 

This isn’t the first time the Oregon Home Builders Foundation and the NWIR Oregon council have partnered on a roofing project.  They also put new roofs on POD women’s shelters for Kenton’s Women’s Village, which provides homeless women with temporary shelter, and roofed a new facility for Anisa’s Place, which is dedicated to supporting and helping girls heal who have been impacted by commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking.  

“We really like partnering with Home Builders Foundation because the work is already done.  We don’t have to go out and vet the job or qualify for the job, they’ve already done that. We just know there’s a need,” Stephanie explained.  “All the projects we’ve done – Kenton's Women’s Village, Anisa’s Place – all those charitable programs have already been qualified.  All we have to do is step in with our trade, knowledge, donations and just do the job.” This project for HomePlate, like the others NWIR has helped with support the mission and goals of NWIR by helping women and children in need. 

The following companies donated materials, time and labor to make this project happen: 

  • Interstate Roofing and Bliss Roofing – labor 
  • Owens Corning – shingles 
  • Beacon Building Products – drop box and unit of plywood 
  • Dealers Supply – drip metal  
  • EagleView – aerial report for measurement 
  • Gibraltar – vents and flashings 
  • Roofline Clackamas – loaded roof 
  • Roofline Lake Oswego – drip metal 

Even with “iffy weather” in the forecast, these Oregon-based contractors decided to forge ahead with the project.  Anticipating the Pacific Northwest weather, tarps were put up for everyone to work under.  When asked how long the project took, Stephanie shared, “We made it a one-day project, staying until about 7:30 p.m.”   

Not only do these donations benefit HomePlate and the youth they serve, but they also benefit the companies who donate labor and materials.  “Community outreach is cause marketing,” explained Stephanie.  The people from HomePlate see that these organizations are giving back so when they have a future roofing or construction need, they will be sure to call on one of them. 

“When you’re able to give of yourself and your knowledge in the field where you are, it’s huge.” 

Learn more about NWIR and Bliss Roofing in their RoofersCoffeeShop® Directories or visit nationalwomeninroofing.org and blissroofing.com. 


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