County works to house all homeless vets by 2016

Community effort to house all homeless vets

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A community-wide effort is aiming to end homelessness among veterans in Multnomah County.

The cities of Gresham and Portland are joining county and federal agencies in an initiative called "A Home for Every Veteran."

"It's ambitious. It's audacious. But it's achievable," said Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury.

Kafoury says the effort is well on its way, housing around 50 vets per month. To reach the goal, she says that effort needs to ramp up to 62 vets per month.

The county has put out a call to landlords, asking them to give homeless vets a chance to rent their property. They've been promised financial support and the knowledge that vets will also receive emotional help and case management.

"I just feel they should get thanks for taking care of our country," said landlord Joni Jones.

Jones just rented her Gresham condo to Navy veteran Mark Giles and his family. Giles had been homeless for a year, for the first time in his life.

"I never even thought that I would be in that position," said Giles, who had a message for other landlords considering renting to veterans.

"I would say first of all: Thank you, because you don't have to do it," said Giles. "Please give veterans a chance to get back on their feet. They won't disappoint you."

Landlords interested in learning more about A Home for Every Veteran, can call 503-988-6796 or e-mail mary.carroll@multco.us

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