Jackson County Oregon lays claim to a lot of statistics that are not very complimentary and one of these is the number of homeless veterans who are here. Thanks to a grant from the Veteran’s Administration, Access is now able to turn that situation around. The estimated 400 homeless veterans in Jackson County can all be in homes if the community acts together to identify who needs help and to find the rentals to shelter them.
David Mulig, Support Services Director with Access, says, “This is a wonderful, flexible grant that has few limitations on how it can be used.” Often grants are limited in what can be provided, but this grant has the option of helping with housing, expenses, even car repairs if it will help a veteran get work.
A few of the opportunities for veterans and their families include:
• Rent and utilities for eligible families
• Assistance with other expenses such as job search costs
• Clothing or tools needed for work
• Education opportunities
There are two parts to the project where the community can help. First is identifying the homeless or struggling veterans and getting the information to them. The Veteran’s Administration is helpful with that, but can’t do the entire job. Salvation Army, local churches, food banks, and virtually any organization can be helpful. Not every homeless veteran wants to be helped, but that still leaves hundreds who will accept help if they can be located.
The second part of the problem is the most difficult; people with places to rent need to register with Access! That is as hard as it gets, Access does all the work. If you have, or know someone who has, rental property in Jackson County, you can easily become a part of this community project. In addition to having your rental filled, you will have the satisfaction of helping to solve a problem.
Access was formed June 1, 1976 specifically to help the elderly and low income people in Jackson County. It is still doing that job with everything from food to wheelchairs. According to the Access website, last year Access helped 257 families with weatherization services, 6,395 households ,which represent over 16,000 individuals, with energy assistance, 989 families with rental assistance for housing, 8,656 families with food assistance, 339 seniors & people with disabilities with outreach & referral services, and 3,000 people who borrowed medical equipment.
With such a successful track record, Access can help put a major dent in problems with Jackson County’s veteran population. Do your part and call Access if you can help. 541-779-6691.