Eugene, OR (population 129,067)
Project type: Public/Private Partnership
Project contact: Jon Ruiz, City Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
Located approximately 2 hours south of Portland, OR, the City of Eugene is home to an Oregon National Guard Unit, as well as a U.S. Army Reserve Unit. Despite having a relatively light military footprint, the community is seeing the impact of an average of 150-300 veterans returning to Oregon each month from Iraq and Afghanistan.
In the fall of 2011, community leaders including the City Manager, General Manager of the City’s Water and Electric Board, Executive Director of the area’s St. Vincent DePaul Society, and the President of the county’s Home Builders Association came together to address the challenges many veterans face in making the transition to civilian life after deployment. They recognized that finding a suitable place to live, while a veteran and their family put in place the stable and sustainable pieces of a successful transition, can be one of the biggest barriers to reintegration. Read More
Houston, TX (population 1,593,227)
Project type: Public/Private Community Response
Project contact: Buddy Grantham, Director of Veterans’ Affairs, email@example.com
The City of Houston and the surrounding five counties are home to nearly 370,000 veterans, almost one in four of all veterans living in Texas. An estimated 22,000 of these men and women are veterans of the wars in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom) and Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom), one of the largest populations of OEF/OIF veterans in the country.
In early 2007, the need to coordinate services to better serve returning veterans became a cause of concern for area leaders, including former Houston Mayor Bill White and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett. To begin a conversation about what could be done, leaders from the military, faith-based community, non-profits, educational institutions, service organizations, and all levels of government convened to hear directly from returning soldiers, as well as experts and other concerned parties. Read More