Building for a Good Cause

Anisa’s Place, Clackamas County

With curious goats looking on, a tractor gently lifted a new shed off a truck on a rainy winter night to head for the backyard of Anisa’s Place. The beautiful hand-crafted shed was built by Sam Barlow High students this 2021-22 school year with help from HBF and the guidance of their teacher, Josh Pikop. Pikop says the collaboration was a big hit with his students “They learned a lot, they liked the design “.

Barlow hosts one of 30+ architecture and construction programs in Portland area high schools. When we connected with the schools last summer, Sam Barlow contacted us to see if we could help find materials so his students could build a shed. HBF Project Manager Chris McDowell gathered leftover lumber from the 2021 NW Natural Street of Dreams, contacted Bliss Roofing for roofing, then made a delivery to Gresham.

Philanthropy and Carpentry Come Together

Sam Barlow High Construction Students

McDowell had been asked by the nonprofit A Village for One for help with a shed for a shelter we helped build. Anisa’s Place. The Clackamas County facility provides rehabilitation for young women survivors of sex trafficking. Finding the time in our shelter project schedule to build smaller items can be challenging. HBF’s team decided that eEncouraging students to tackle some amenities such as this shed is a great way to show them the impact they can have by working in the home building industry. Sam Barlow’s construction students appear to have enjoyed the opportunity. “They liked where it was going to, the purpose it is serving, it was a really fun project”.

Project Manager Chris McDowell (L) overseeing the move

Anisa’s Place History

The project was spearheaded by Builder Captain Jim Standring of Westland Industries. More than 50% of the nearly $850,000 project came from in-kind donations, and included a $70,000 grant from HBF.

The seven- bedroom house features six personalized bedrooms for girls, as well as a 24-hour “house mom” suite. A Village for One’s organization has now grown to more than 20 care professionals who help the girls get on the path towards recovery during their one year stay. 

Keeping on Under the Cloud of Covid

Like so many projects during the past two years, building the shed took far longer than their teacher and the kids would have liked. Covid-19 cases closed Sam Barlow High temporarily for a few weeks.  And of course, the usual homework and holiday breaks got in the way. But, slowly and steadily, the kids were able to put their nameplate on their structure in the new year.

Shed a Perfect Match

High Schools Help HBF

On a cold February night, the shed was carefully driven alongside the fence of Anisa’s Place, guided to the spot where our Chris McDowell had removed some panels to ease it into place. Former Sam Barlow student Tyler Sester donated his tractor and time to bring the shed to the facility. The shed looks right at home at Anisa’s Place. It is solidly built, and its Pinterest-selected color scheme ended up matching the house and surrounding fence perfectly. We are hoping to have the Barlow kids help us with other projects for shelters, such as picnic tables. Pikop is already scheming “I think that would work out really well-they’ll like that. Maybe we can add a little more-add a custom design to it or something”. HBF is so pleased with this project that we plan to ask more schools to help us in the future.

High Schools Help HBF

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