‘Operation 365’ Didn’t Stop There

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Author: Mary Dawn Elkington, Executive Assistant
Date: Monday, November 11 2019

St. Vincent de Paul: Unceasing in Its Efforts to Assist Our
Nation’s Veterans, 365 Days A Year.

In 2015, Lane County's Poverty and Homelessness Board, in conjunction with other community partners, began an initiative – Operation 365 - to house one veteran every day for an entire year.

In January of 2016, the Board announced their numbers had exceeded expectation: Operation 365 had successfully housed 404 veterans in the community! The partners worked tirelessly throughout 2015 to identify and house homeless veterans. Partners included Lane County, City of Eugene GovernmentSt. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County,  Community Supported SheltersEugene Mission, City of Springfield, Oregon Government, Housing and Community Services Agency of Lane County, Rental Owners Association, Housing Our Veterans and many more.

But St. Vincent de Paul’s work didn’t end after a one year period.

Before federal funding was sifted down for this initiative, SVDP had been working to house veterans. Before, during, and after - SVDP has been the constant; continuing to assist veterans and their families since 2012, and for years to come.

SVDP has continued their efforts through the years with their Supportive Services for Veterans and Families (SSVF) program, which from 10/1/2018 to 9/30/2019 alone served 247 individuals, and 23 families. Below is a snapshot of the veteran community SSVF served during that timeframe:

  • 52 of the 247 individuals were over the age of 62.
  • 89 of them reported physical and mental health conditions at enrollment.
  • 56 of the 247 individuals reported as fleeing or being a survivor of domestic violence.
  • 156 of the individuals served were found to be living in a place not meant for habitation (on the streets).
  • 60% of the individuals served were zero income veterans that exited the programs with income.
  • 18 of the 48 individuals within the veteran families were children.
  • Of the 23 veteran families (all individuals in the household) ALL regained housing stability and retained housing with SSVF’s case management and temporary financial assistance.
  • 18 of the 23 families entered SSVF with zero income (loss of employment), and with assistance from SVDP-SSVF, obtained housing vouchers and/or public benefits at the exit of their program to maintain housing.

… All of these, assisted in only one year.

Proudly serving veterans and their families with the goal of stable housing.

Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) is a program at St. Vincent de Paul aimed at helping homeless veterans and those at risk of homelessness with the resources needed to become or remain permanently housed. Sponsored by a grant from the Veterans Administration (VA), SSVF provides financial assistance and case management with the objective of helping our country’s veterans achieve housing stability.

Services include:

  • Case Management
  • Eviction Prevention Assistance
  • Utility Assistance
  • Deposit Assistance
  • Connection to Veteran Services
  • Connection to Social Security Benefits
  • Referrals and assistance with finding services locally
  • A kind ear and a safe place to talk about your problems

St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County honors our veterans, their families, and those that support them, day after day - year after year. We honor them by serving them, as they have so selflessly served us.

Thank you, Veterans.

Mary Dawn Elkington serves as Executive Assistant to Mr. Terry McDonald of St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County, Inc. Ms. Elkington comes from a military family, works closely with veteran programs within SVDP and commits her life in service to her community.