The Boiler Room is dedicated to building community by providing a safe space for the growth and improvement of individuals through a volunteer-operated coffeehouse. First opened in the Mount Baker Block Building in 1993, The Boiler Room bounced around, finally making arrangements to purchase a downtown building in 2005. The building required a massive overhaul, with contributions from many prominent local builders and landscapers. Even with ongoing projects through the years, the building remains in need of work and the kitchen is desperately out of date.

“We have old appliances that are definitely not energy efficient, single pane windows, an unheated office, daisy chains of power strips, a toilet that regularly clogs, and dripping sinks,” says Executive Director Amy Howard. “We’ve served over 22,000 free meals to the community this year from a stove that came from Waste Not Want Not. It has three working burners and the oven racks don’t fit!”

“I turned my life around. I was a homeless drug user when I came to The Boiler Room for the first time. Having a community that held me accountable for little things—like showing up to my shift on time—helped me in ways that I didn’t understand at the time. We’ve always made do with whatever second-hand equipment we could get our hands on, so this is a HUGE opportunity for us. I’m incredibly grateful.”

The Boiler Room will have an energy audit conducted by a third-party and will use that as the basis for making a plan of what to replace first. Amy reports that The Boiler Room spends over $1,000 a month on utility payments and points out that this is not a good use of resources. “It’s not environmentally responsible. It’s also not the best use of the donations from our generous community when those monies could be spent on providing services.” In addition to free food, The Boiler Room provides our community with job training, free hygiene supplies, art lessons

from local working artists, and is an all-ages creative space.

“Our vision is to have an unexpected community of eclectic people respectfully learning and creating together,” says Boiler Room Board Member Natalie Lagergren, the Program Director for Habitat for Humanity of East Jefferson County. “The Boiler Room is unique in our community. It’s pretty unique in the nonprofit world; we’re lucky to have it in Port Townsend.”

Many recognizable local folks were Boiler Kids; from Boiler Room founder Teresa Verraes, the current Executive Director of the Port Townsend School of the Arts, to David Faber, local attorney and City Councilor. Today, current and former Boiler Kids are students seeking high school diplomas and college degrees, doctors, Grammy-winning musicians, authors, parents, design professionals, contractors, social workers, therapists, dancers, independent business owners, tech company executives, artists, service workers, tattoo artists, and even professional athletes! Volunteering at The Boiler Room was the first “job” for many teens and the training and support provided hundreds of individuals with the skills and confidence that they needed to make major life changes.

Thank you for your support!