Collaboration is theme at apartment complex for homeless veterans and among elected officials,
stakeholders from three counties
(Roseburg, OR) — During a Roseburg visit Tuesday, Governor Kitzhaber and First Lady Cylvia Hayes learned about partnerships that benefit veterans and their families and efforts focused on strengthening collaboration in the Umpqua Valley.
The Governor and First Lady first visited Eagle Landing Apartments, one of the first permanent housing complexes built for homeless veterans on a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs campus. The 55-unit complex near the Roseburg VA Medical Center was built through a partnership that reached across community nonprofits and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The United Community Action Network (UCAN) and NeighborWorks Umpqua were essential to planning, development and raising more than $12 million for pre-development and construction.
Both the United Community Action Network and NeighborWorks Umpqua provide property management and case management for residents, who began moving into the complex in November 2013. Veterans and their families living at the apartments have guaranteed rental subsidies from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The Governor and First Lady toured the grounds, which include a community garden, play structure, community room with kitchen, and bike shop with equipment, tools and bicycle parking.
"It is inspiring to see how a community came together to meet an urgent need for those Americans who have given their best to our country," the First Lady said. "These homes provide a foothold that can be the first step to prosperity for our veterans."
Following the tour, veterans and their families shared their experiences at the facility with the Governor and First Lady and emphasized that residents are more than neighbors — they're family.
"All veterans deserve a strong support system," Governor Kitzhaber said. "What’s special about Eagle Landing Apartments is that the spirit of partnership has carried through from the project’s inception to today. Residents are working together to build the kind of community they want to live in."
Following the tour, the Governor and First Lady attended the South Coast Community Collaborative meeting, which drew elected officials, stakeholders and business leaders from Douglas, Coos and Curry counties. The group represents Regional Solutions, coordinated care organizations, early learning hubs, regional achievement collaboratives, and workforce coordination groups in the three counties. Participants discussed ways to improve collaboration to advance community and economic development programs and help meet health care and education goals, and how to combine efforts for a youth workforce training project.
"While various parts of the state have differing core industries and demographics, every region I’ve visited is blessed with hard-working Oregonians aspiring to a similar goal," Governor Kitzhaber said. "In each community I visit, I see and hear Oregonians set aside their skepticism, link their arms, and come together for a common purpose: the common good of Oregon and its four million residents."