By Lauren White, RCS Assistant Editor.
We’ve had a whirlwind last couple years between the Coronavirus, material shortages in the industry and the devastation the nation endured from wildfires, ice storms, hurricanes and more. Amid all of this, people have continued to need roof repairs, replacements and safe places to live. The Oregon council of National Women in Roofing (NWIR), recognized this need and continues to serve the people of Oregon.
NWIR encourages councils across the U.S. and Canada to get involved in their communities, and the Oregon council has taken that to heart. Their first major project in 2018 was a Habitat for Humanity build, where they roofed a home in one day.
In 2019, the council put new roofs on three POD shelters for Kenton’s Women’s Village, which provides homeless women with temporary shelter. Stephanie Baird, the community outreach chair for NWIR and the general manager of Bliss Roofing commented, “This was a no brainer. It’s women helping women in Oregon...I don’t have the answer to the homeless situation, but it was great our council of NWIR could do something productive to help.”
And during November in 2020 they organized the 30 Days of Gratitude Box, where they encouraged other NWIR councils across the U.S. to donate to local food banks. Associated roofing contractors of Oregon and Southwest Washington joined the Oregon council’s cause and together delivered more than 100 Gratitude Boxes and $2,000 worth of monetary donations to the Oregon Food Bank.
The need is always great, whether it's the middle of a pandemic, the height of fire season, or simply a hard month. Read on to learn more about how NWIR continues to serve others.
Devri Pieratt, the project administrator for Tecta America revealed that the Good Neighbor Center (GNC) in Tigard, Oregon identified the need for a laundry addition. Good Neighbor Center helps homeless families in crisis and provides them with safe and emergency housing, allowing the families to save money and stabilize themselves in the community.
Some of the many services GNC offers include feeding everyone three meals a day, early childhood education programs, skill building classes and a Rent Well Course. In the U.S., 2.5 million children are now homeless each year- that's one in every 30 children. Between 2019 and 2020, GNC served 135 children and 117 adults, a total of 75 families.
The addition of this laundry room will allow for more washers and dryers to serve the growing number of families they assist, and also create a designated space for linens. Materials and labor are being donated for this commercial roof by Tecta America. Bliss Roofing and other local companies will participate in the project as well.
A nonprofit that is near and dear to the hearts of those in the NWIR Oregon council is A Village for One. Formed in 2012 by Cassie Trahan and Austin Burres, this organization is dedicated to supporting and helping girls heal who have been impacted by commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking. “We were blown away by the statistics of sex exploitation in the Portland area,” shared Stephanie. As of when this article was written, there have already been 132 human trafficking cases in Oregon.
A Village for One is situated in an undisclosed location to protect the children who are staying there. They host six clients at a time, ages 12-18, and work with them to provide a holistic healthcare approach, meeting each individual’s physical, mental and spiritual needs.
In 2019, the Oregon Home Builder’s Foundation, the charity division of the Home Builder’s Association, which helps build and renovate housing for the homeless in the Portland area, provided A Village for One with a grant to build a house. When Cassie presented to the NWIR Oregon council about the need for a roof, there was no discussion, the council knew this was something they needed to do. “This is what NWIR is all about; women supporting women,” Stephanie shared.
Local companies worked together to complete the house, called Anisa’s Place after Anisa Swearingen, a sexually exploited teen who was murdered in 2012. All materials and labor were donated for the project. Malarkey Roofing donated the shingles and local contractors assisted with the construction- Bliss Roofing, Interstate Roofing and CC&L Roofing. “Everyone wanted to be involved,” Stephanie commented. “Those who couldn’t donate labor or materials brought lunch and other supplies.”
Since then, A Village for One has become “our charity,” according to Stephanie. She shared, “We will continue to monitor their needs and continue the relationship. Devri from Tecta America installed Christmas lights on the home and the Oregon chapter of NWIR brought Christmas to the house with gifts for the girls to open on Christmas morning.
A Village for One’s latest need is for an animal shelter, and there’s talk of building another house to serve more youth. NWIR is already prepared to help with their new roof.
The need is always great for organizations and nonprofits like these whether it’s a roof or a bag of food. If you can, please consider supporting the nonprofits in your community.
This year at the 2021 Building Hope Gala and Auction, the work on Anisa's Place done by the NWIR Oregon council, in addition to the other companies who worked hard to bring the home to life, will be featured. The event will be hosted in person and virtually June 19, 2021 and benefits Home Builders Foundation.