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Agencies Pull Together To Help Homeless Vets

Multnomah County is teaming up with other local governments and agencies, trying to help veterans who’ve been living on the streets for years.

235 vouchers are available to veterans who have been homeless, and have significant problems like mental illness or substance abuse.

The county and the VA have organized an effort to try to get the vouchers in the hands of veterans by the end of the month, and see all the vets moved into Section Eight-eligible units by the end of the year.

VA officials say the demand is considerable.

The county, the city of Portland, the United Way, and the local Housing Authority have put up a combined $40,000 to help vets cover down payments and moving expenses.

Multnomah County Commissioner Deborah Kafoury says property owners are asked to accept Section Eight vouchers.

“Really the missing link at this point, is the landlords. What’s in it for them is not just feeling good about doing something for the community. Its a stable rent subsidy paid for by the federal government,” Kafoury says.

Kafoury points out the VA is providing support services and case management to chronically homeless vets, to maintain their ability to stay in their rentals.

The demand for rental units that will accept Section Eight certificates outstrips the supply by thousands.

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