Lorie Perkins of Eugene, Oregon is a woman on a mission: to end homelessness of veterans in Lane County. In 2005 she founded Housing our Veterans, a nonprofit dedicated to helping men struggling with addiction, unemployment, and homelessness.
Like generations before them who protected our freedom by fighting in Europe, the Pacific, Korea, and Vietnam, veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan come back with deep physical and emotional wounds. The difficulty of readjusting to civilian life and a tough economy leaves many without homes and jobs. Some turn to drugs and alcohol as the only friends they have left. Broken families, communities, and increased crime become the collateral damage of the war at home.
Housing Our Veterans provides affordable housing in a supportive community to help assist them to get back on their feet and lead productive lives. We provide a hand up to get vets moving in the right direction on their new mission back home. Each participant must adhere to a no tolerance drug policy.
Lorie’s organization now houses 64 residents in eight properties. Housing our Veterans pays residents’ first month (or more) of rent and assists them in finding employment and accessing the veterans’ benefits they have earned. Housing Our Veterans also provides furnishings, beds, dressers, bedding, and kitchen goods—everything needed to maintain everyday life.