County Recognizes PCRI's Success Housing Veterans

September 10, 2015 · by pcriadmin · Featured, PCRI

PCRI was one of the local partners recognized by Multnomah County on Tuesday, September 8, as the city and county began a 100-day push for their “Home for Every Veteran” initiative, aimed at ending veteran homelessness before the end of the year.

Home for Every Veteran event

Debi Christensen (right) accepts a “Home for Every Veteran” award from Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury at a media event on September 8, 2015.

“While we have rent assistance and other tools to help get vets back into housing — what we don’t have are the apartments,” said Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury at a news conference.

PCRI was recognized as one of a handful of community partners who have been instrumental in opening doors and removing barriers for veterans seeking housing. Since January 2015, PCRI has housed six residents referred by the Veterans Administration’s Portland Community Resource and Referral Center. Debi Christensen, PCRI’s Senior Portfolio Manager, was one of the PCRI staff members at the event and accepted the award from Kafoury.

At the news conference, Kafoury noted unprecedented demand, skyrocketing rents, and near-zero vacancy rates as barriers making it even harder than normal for veterans and other renters to find stable housing.

Kafoury, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, Commissioner Dan Saltzman, and local Veterans Administration officials each spoke at the event. The common message from the leaders to private and nonprofit landlords was: if you have a vacant unit, please consider a veteran.

The speakers noted that with federal and local resources focused on ending veteran homelessness, “a veteran who comes with unprecedented resources behind him or her to help them be good tenants.”

The local officials who spoke at the event also asked that anyone knows a landlord with available housing visit www.ahomeforeveryvet.net where additional information is available.

To date, the “Home for Every Veteran” initiative has connected 430 veterans to permanent housing, but according to estimates, there are still about 290 Portland veterans without housing.

The goal of ending veteran homelessness is to achieve “functional zero.” The county acknowledges that there will still be veterans who experience homelessness after their goal is achieved, but add that systems are now in place to ensure veteran homelessness is brief, rare and non-reoccurring.

The media event preceded an event on September 11 called Veteran Stand Down. That event, at Veterans Memorial Coliseum, helps veterans connect to services including housing, clothing, employment, medical programs and other critical services.

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