City Hall, county, VA and others pledge to house all chronically homeless disabled veterans by end of next year

City Hall, county, VA and others pledge to house all chronically homeless disabled veterans by end of next year

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Navy veteran Frederic Allen Maxwell says his life expectancy is longer now that his medical condition is stabilized and he has a roof over his head, courtesy of the HUD/VASH program to house homeless vets. (Mike Francis / The Oregonian)

Mike Francis | mfrancis@oregonian.comBy Mike Francis | mfrancis@oregonian.com
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on November 10, 2014 at 2:02 PM, updated November 11, 2014 at 9:30 AM

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Veterans and housing advocates said Monday they aim to place 23 disabled military veterans per month in rental units in order to end chronic homelessness among local veterans by the end of next year.

At a press conference Monday at Portland City Hall, Mayor Charlie Hales, Multnomah County Commissioners Diane McKeel and Jules Bailey, VA Portland Health System director Joanne Krumberger and others said advocates have placed 139 such local veterans in housing between April and October. And they said they have more to do.

Fredric Alan Maxwell, a Navy veteran who benefited from a housing voucher two years ago, said he loves his unit in the Kerns neighborhood. He read from a letter he wrote to President Obama to tell him so.

The event honored REACH Community Development and Income Property Management for their efforts to help reduce homelessness among military veterans.

The local initiative reflects an ambitious, five-year national effort to end homelessness among military veterans, announced in 2009 by President Obama and then-VA secretary Eric Shinseki. The centerpiece of that effort is the HUD/VASH voucher program, a federally funded program that turns to local organizations to help push veterans off the streets and into housing.

McKeel and Hales invited landlords and veterans to contact local organizations who are committed to reducing veterans homelesness. Landlords should Transition Projects Inc.,’s landlord program and veterans should call the Homeless Veterans Center at (503) 808-1256, they said.

-Mike Francis

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