Pallet builds its 100th village 
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Pallet builds its 100th village 

January 3, 2023

Just before Christmas, we crossed a milestone — building our 100th village. It’s located in Tulalip, WA which is just a short drive north of our headquarters. The location holds special meaning for some Pallet employees who previously experienced homelessness in the area and are now finding purpose in building transitional housing to help others in the community. The village is made up of twenty 64 sq.ft. shelters and one 100 sq.ft. shelter and was constructed in just two days by the Pallet deployment team. The Tulalip tribes will manage the site and provide on-site services for community members moving in over the next couple of weeks. 

Build Breakdown  

Pallet shelters are built by our deployment team – a dedicated group of nine staff members specializing in on-site shelter construction. They travel from city to city, building transitional shelter villages in communities for people experiencing homelessness. This team also offers advisory and training services for constructing Pallet shelters. The expertise and experience they bring create a seamless, replicable process. 

A behind-the-scenes look into the process starts with the unloading of the palletized shelters from the delivery trucks.  

Unloading shelters from delivery trucks

Once the bases of the shelters are set in place, each shelter is built from the outside in. 

Working from the outside in

Next, the side walls are built around the base and roof is built last.  

Roofs are built after bases are secure

The interior of the shelter is then constructed, which includes shelving, climate control, lights, electrical outlets, a folding bunk bed with a custom-fit mattress, a fire extinguisher, and a smoke detector.  The last step in the building process is an inspection typically conducted by a Field Team Lead to ensure quality and to approve the site for city inspection. 

Meet the Pallet Deployment Team

Field Team Lead, James was one of the first people on the deployment team. He joined Pallet two and half years ago as a Manufacturing Specialist and was promoted to the role he has now. James is driven by our twofold mission — addressing unsheltered homelessness and building a nontraditional workforce through fair chance employment. 

"I get to work with people that have not only experienced homelessness, but substance use disorder and incarceration and see them thrive. They're some of the hardest working people I've ever worked with," he explained. "Our shelters are transitional to help people who fell on hard times. The village is here to help you get through that and get back up on your feet." 

100 shelter villages built and counting... 

"Building our one-hundredth village shows the Pallet model is a proven and viable option. More and more cities are turning to us because they need creative solutions," said Pallet Founder and CEO Amy King. "At Pallet shelter villages, people come in and stabilize. By consistently engaging with a service provider, they can build trust and community together. This preparation allows them to sustain permanent housing once they get there." 

Our first-ever village opened in Tacoma, WA, in 2017. The Tulalip location is the ninth village in Washington state. During the last five years we've set up shelters as far south as Hawaii and as far north as Burlington, VT. 

The 100th build won't be our last. We'll continue to provide this valuable resource to communities who want to help their unhoused neighbors. 

Tim’s story: From a Pallet shelter village to housing  

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