Housing for veterans in Portland
Veterans from The Salvation Army Harbor Light find permanent housing.
Fifteen veterans from The Salvation Army Harbor Light Center in Portland, Ore., have moved into permanent housing, and more are expected to join them. The Veteran’s Emergency Transitional Shelter (VETS) program at Harbor Light works directly with both male and female veterans and their dependents, providing information and assistance in integrating them into permanent housing.
Harbor Light enlists the help of the Housing Authority of Portland’s Veterans Administration Support Housing (VASH) program that provides vouchers to veterans for permanent housing. To qualify, the veteran must be homeless, have an annual income of less than $23,000 and have a need for case management. The Harbor Light Center works closely VA liaison Keith Scheff to determine if the men are eligible and then to assist them with appointments and background checks.
The vouchers cover some, if not all, of the veteran’s rent. Usually the recipient pays 30 percent of his income, and the voucher covers the rest. However, if he has no income, the voucher covers it all. Once the voucher is issued, it is up to veteran to find a housing unit that will accept the voucher.
“Sometimes it’s hard for a veteran to follow through on his own,” said Harbor Light Director Rick Stoller. “That’s where a case manager can assist him to find appropriate housing by helping him build a portfolio or writing a letter of support.”
After securing housing, a previously homeless veteran expressed his thanks for the Army’s help. He said, “The best thing that happened to me at Harbor Light was my case manager. For the first time in 10 years I feel like a whole person.”