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Media contact: Eileen Sigler, 541.780.5137

 

Veteran Housing Resonated With Northwest Community, CEO Says

Categories: Email Newsletter, Housing, Veterans, Volunteers
Author: SVdP Staff
Date: Tuesday, November 19 2013
President and CEO of Northwest Community Credit Union, John Iglesias.

Like the Ugly Duckling that turned into a swan, a neglected little house in Santa Clara will be transformed into a lovely abode for a veteran returning from deployment and his or her family.

Its fate was sealed Tuesday morning as representatives of the Veterans’ Housing Project gathered at 159 Hansen Lane to receive the $75,000 donation from Northwest Community Credit Union that made its purchase possible. They also acknowledged The Home Depot Foundation, which has donated $75,000 toward the rehabilitation of this and four other homes.

Man speaking to group.
Eugene City Manager Jon Ruiz describes the genesis of the Veterans' Housing Project.

The Hansen Lane house is the sixth donated to or acquired by St. Vincent de Paul on behalf of the Veterans' Housing Project. Formed nearly three years ago to preserve existing housing and meet the needs of veterans and their families, the VHP has at its core: the City of Eugene, EWEB, the Homebuilders of Lane County, and St. Vincent de Paul.

Eugene City Manager and VHP co-founder Jon Ruiz described the early brainstorming about how to provide safe, affordable housing while giving veterans the time they need to adjust and reintegrate, start jobs or school, and access social services.

Northwest Community President and CEO John Iglesias recalled his own reintegrations, having served in the Air Force through several conflicts and contingencies. “Even the simplest things are hard,” he said. “When you have a young child, a wife, there’s not only the adjustment but also difficulty in providing for them.”

Home Depot representative speaking
Jay Dallimore, manager of The Home Depot West Eugene Store #4028 and a veteran, hasn't forgotten how difficult reintegration can be. The Home Depot Foundation has donated $75,000 toward the rehabilitation of five veteran homes.

The first two VHP houses were purchased through the foreclosure process. The second two came through a long-term agreement with the Bethel schools. No. 5 was a “you move” opportunity from the Lane County Fair Board, and 159 Hansen Lane was purchased with the $75,000 check presented by Northwest Community Credit Union. The first four VHP houses are occupied by grateful veteran families.

John Iglesias credited the Northwest Community Board of Directors for the latest gift, saying they had resolved to be more deliberate in their community involvement. The VHP resonated with them because it involves making housing available for a deserving population.

“Who better than our returning veterans,” he asked.

He urged community members to “do what you enjoy” in offering time and talent to the Veterans’ Housing Project. Anyone with energy and skills to share is asked to contact St. Vinnie’s Volunteer Coordinator at 541-743-7136 or by email.