Salem housing for homeless veterans should open soon

Below is a summary for the article : Salem housing for homeless veterans should open soon by KGW

*Note: Image used belongs to CAPI LYNN / Statesman Journal

*Note: Image used belongs to CAPI LYNN / Statesman Journal

Everything is warm and welcoming, just as organizers of a transitional housing program for veterans envisioned three years ago.

It would provide temporary housing for 15 homeless veterans from Marion and Polk counties.

“It doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but just to be frank, anything at all that adds to the housing stock and housing options for our clients is a net positive for the community,” said Jimmy Jones, director of the program that oversees ARCHES. His program offers WestCare, a network of nonprofit organizations that provides a wide spectrum of health and human services in residential and outpatient environments in 18 states, a lifeline while it awaits other potential funding sources.

WestCare hopes to get a piece of the Measure 96 pie, which directs 1.5 percent of net lottery funds to be used to provide veterans’ services, including housing.

Funding has been but one of the obstacles for the program, which originally was supposed to open during the winter of 2014-15.

It has a commercial kitchen, which makes Powers and Switzer dream of a culinary program for veterans someday.

The first order of business is providing not only temporary shelter and food for homeless veterans but resources to help them stay off the streets.

Salem no longer has a veteran-specific transitional housing program and nearly 17 percent of the homeless population in Marion and Polk Counties are veterans, Jones said, which is slightly higher than the national average.

Compounding the problem in Salem is a low vacancy rate and the fact that many of our homeless veterans are dealing with other issues such as chronic medical, mental health and substance abuse problems.

Among the sponsors, who purchased linens, drapes, rugs and other furnishings that decorate the rooms, are Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Creekside Rotary, Chemeketa Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Salem’s American Legion Post 136 and Capital Post 9, and Vietnam Veterans of American Chapter 271.


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