On Wednesday, January 27, the City of Eugene, Lane County, St. Vincent de Paul and other community partners were excited to announce the Operation 365 initiative had housed 404 veterans, exceeding the goal they set nearly 15 months ago.
Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy, Lane County Commissioner Pat Farr, and St. Vincent de Paul Executive Director Terry McDonald gathered in the community room at Stellar Apartment Complex, which includes several units of veteran housing, to celebrate and provide brief remarks before revealing the final number of veterans housed in 2015.
"This is very exciting for all of us," Mayor Piercy stated at the event. "What we learn from doing this together is something we hope we can apply over and over again to other parts of the homeless population because our goal is to see people housed."
On December 14, 2015, council unanimously supported a motion to consider a resolution declaring the City of Eugene's commitment to a Housing First model.
Throughout 2015, partners on the Lane County Poverty and Homelessness Board (PHB) have worked tirelessly to identify and house homeless veterans. Those partners include Lane County, City of Eugene, City of Springfield, St. Vincent de Paul, Housing and Community Services Agency of Lane County (HACSA), Rental Owners Association, Community Supported Shelters, Housing Our Veterans, Eugene Mission, and others.
In 2014, the year prior to the start of Operation 365, 3,232 veterans sought social services in Lane County. Of those, 1,374 were homeless at some point during the year and 821 were also disabled.