Housing Our Veterans

Our Roadmap

Co-Founded by Abie and Lorie Perkins, Housing Our Veterans works with military veterans to establish stable housing, maintain jobs, and access community resources. While many in our communities continue to face challenges from loss during the pandemic and an uncertain future, the path forward chosen by these veterans, and the founding story of Housing Our Veterans, shines a light toward resilience and recovery. 

For Lorie Perkins, it was both personal and patriotic. Her late husband was an Army veteran who served in the 1970s and she was astounded at the number of homeless veterans she encountered when she started doing volunteer work after her husband died. “The tragedy is that you give up your civilian life to fight for your country, come home, everything you have is gone and you end up sleeping under a bridge,” Perkins says. “They’ve been let down – literally – by the people in our country.”

Welcome to Housing Our Veterans - Since 2005

In 2005, the Perkins took a Financial Foundations class with DevNW to learn how to budget, save, and use credit as a business tool in order to pursue Lorie’s long-time dream of starting a recovery house. She established an Individual Development Account (IDA) to save money for the down payment of the first house, and qualified for a down payment Assistance (DPA) loan for its purchase. Within eight months, Perkins had opened their first recovery house. Through Lorie’s determination and Abie’s full support, Housing Our Veterans became an important community resource with eleven houses, where nearly 70 veterans lived in early 2020. 

Once the pandemic closures started, many of these veterans lost their jobs. Between 2020 and 2022, the number of Veterans housed dwindled to 34. Lorie feared she would have to end the operation completely. However, the promise she made to Abie, who passed away in 2009, kept her determination strong and her dream alive. 

 

Onwards & Upwards

Compass NorthIn 2022 Housing Our Veterans received funding through Measure 110, that will allow it to not only recover, but expand its services to provide 24-hour response, weekly assessments for incoming clients, additional networking resources and most importantly, new properties to house more veterans on the road to recovery. 

Measure 110 will allow Housing Our Veterans to work with our partners at Veterans Legacy Camp Alma to create a continuum of safe, stable, sober housing placements based on the needs of individual unhoused veterans. These funds will create 30 new beds of veterans at Housing our Veterans and 30 new beds at Veterans Legacy Camp Alma, 60 in total between the two entities. Veterans who experience severe symptoms of PTSD and/or present with acute habilitation skills deficits will be initially placed at Camp Alma, while veterans who present needing SUD treatment and employment support will be placed at Housing Our Veterans. Most veterans placed at Camp Alma will transition to Housing Our Veterans after approx. six months and remain housed at Housing Our Veterans for approximately one year. Funding through the Measure 110 will also allow Housing Our Veterans to open a new, gender-specific recovery house for female veterans, and open a new “second chance” house to prevent participants who have relapsed on substances from becoming unhoused.

Road Sign Post

Together United

Housing Our Veterans is a member of BHRN Lane County, composed of the following 12 partners: Center for family Development, Emergence, HIV Alliance, Veterans Legacy, Laurel Hill Center, Looking Glass Community Services, Restored Connection Peer Center, Shelter Care, TransPonder, White Bird Clinic. Services provided include screening and comp behavioral health needs, individual intervention planning, low barrier SUD treatment, peer support mentoring, housing services, harm reduction intervention, supported employment and much more. Read more about our partners here. 

As a service provider member of BHRN, Housing Our Veterans will coordinate with our partners ensure all individuals are able to receive SUD supportive services, including low barrier treatment and peer support. Housing Our Veterans will work through BHRN Lane County to refer individuals who present for services who may be indigent or ineligible for Medicaid to the most appropriate provider to meet their individual needs. For example, Housing Our Veterans will coordinate with Emergence to facilitate treatment participation for veterans who want to enroll in veteran-specific SUD treatment. Housing Our Veterans will also coordinate to ensure all individuals can access intersectional, culturally and linguistically specific and responsive services within 48 hours of seeking services.

Housing Our Veterans’ niche is providing recovery housing services to veterans in recovery, and eligible veterans will be screened and placed in housing services at Housing Our Veterans, Camp Alma or another appropriate housing provider within 48 hours of seeking services. Eligible veterans will be connected with veteran-specific SUD treatment services within 48 hours of seeking services at either the VA or Emergence. Housing Our Veterans will remain in communication with BHRN partners to ensure individuals are transferred to the highest quality and most appropriate provider of services to meet their individual needs within 48 hours of the individual seeking services.