Operation 365 Veterans
On November 11, 2014 Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy and County Commissioner Pat Farr launched Operation 365 Veterans in response to Michelle Obama's challenge "to make a commitment to ending veteran homelessness in their cities in 2015."
Mayor Piercy and Commissioner Farr pledged to place 365 Veterans in 365 beds in 2015, a goal that we surpassed by housing 404 veterans and ensuring that more than 50 additional veterans were able to avoid imminent homelessness.
Although Operation 365 has concluded, we continue to work with numerous local partners, networked through the county-wide Poverty and Homelessness Board, to tackle this challenge. Major players include:
- St. Vincent de Paul
- Veterans’ Affairs Behavioral Health Reintegration and Recovery Services (BHRRS) 541-242-0440
- Housing and Community Services Agency of Lane County (HACSA)
- Housing Our Veterans (HOV)
It has been well documented that the “Housing First” model is highly effective and cost-efficient as a long term approach to homelessness. Once people are housed, they are far more capable of addressing other challenges in their lives. Eugene and Lane County are widely supportive of this approach.
While we have an amazing array of services and inspired caseworkers, our greatest challenge repeatedly boils down to the same key point: not enough affordable housing – especially for single veterans.
A Point-in-Time count is a count of all sheltered and unsheltered homeless people in your community on a single night. It is a consistent way of counting people and helps with program development, public information, measuring progress and planning.
Lane County had 210 homeless veterans (mostly in the metro area) on a single night in the January 2015 point-in-time count.
(source: Lane County Homeless Management Information System (HMIS)
In all of 2014
- 3,232 veterans sought social services in Lane County in 2014
- Of those, 1,374 were homeless at some point during the year
- Of those, 821 were also disabled