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White House Recognizes Portland For Curbing Veteran Homelessness

Portland city leaders and non-profits that provide services for families of homeless veterans announced Saturday that Portland and Multnomah County have been recognized by the White House for working to curb veteran homelessness.

Portland is the first West Coast city to receive the official designation of meeting a federal goal to end veteran homelessness. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that there aren't any homeless veterans in Portland, said Mark Jolin, Director of the Joint Office of Homeless Services.

“When we say, we’ve effectively ended veteran homelessness, what we mean is that we now can offer a path off the street, back into housing to every veteran who becomes homeless in our community," Jolin said.

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales said the goal to connect veterans with permanent housing would not have been possible without federal funding and private sector partners’ complete dedication to the work.

The regional coalition A Home For Everyone said it placed 695 veterans in permanent housing in 2015 and an additional 599 veterans received housing this year.

Over the past year, the number of veterans moving into or living in permanent housing has exceeded the number entering homelessness.

Veterans in need of housing assistance can drop by the VA Community Resource and Referral Center at 308 SW 1st Ave. in Portland.

By November, the group said there were 30 veterans without housing on its list.

<p>U.S. Navy veteran Daniel Kallunki speaks in Portland on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016.</p>

Roxy De La Torre


U.S. Navy veteran Daniel Kallunki speaks in Portland on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016.

Copyright 2016 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Roxy De La Torre