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What’s in a name? How we chose Pallet

March 23, 2021

The name Pallet speaks to the functionality of the homelessness solution we provide, but it also reflects our values.


Pallet shelters panels are shipped on pallets. In this photo, the shelters are being unloaded in Portland, Oregon.

Pallet shelters panels are shipped on pallets. In this photo, the shelters are being unloaded in Portland, Oregon.

When you first hear our company name, chances are wooden planks forged together might be one of the first images that come to mind. It's an understandable reaction given what the word has come to represent over time. But unlike wooden shelters, ours are made of durable materials that won’t rot. They are mold, mildew, and bed bug resistant. In one sense, Pallet as a name accurately describes us because we stack the shelters' panels, place them on a pallet, then ship them to destinations across the country. Pallet speaks to the functionality of the homelessness solution we provide. But that wasn't enough. Our name needed to reflect our values.

The driving force behind choosing the name — Pallet Founder and CEO Amy King — is a self-described "linguistic nerd." She loves words and definitions, and it turns out her instinct was correct. The early definition of a pallet is a straw mattress, a crude or makeshift bed to lift people up. When someone has a bed and a safe space to sleep, it allows them to recharge, reflect and heal. This is crucial for people experiencing homelessness. One cannot start to improve their circumstances without having their basic needs such as shelter addressed. Our shelters lift people up because they offer dignity, a locking door, storage, personal climate control, and more. They are grouped to form a community where people living in them can access services and develop camaraderie with others.


A Pallet employee works on a shelter.

A Pallet employee works on a shelter.

Pallet as a name is also a reflection of our commitment to elevate our employees who build the shelters. We are a second-chance-friendly employer, which means we hire and invest in people actively engaged in recovery and reintegration. Some have lived experience with homelessness and informed the shelter's design. We offer a living wage, benefits, and a 401k plan — all things they deserve but haven't always had access to.

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