Efforts pay off to get homeless ‘Home for Holidays’

'Home for the Holidays' seeks to put 40 families into homes by January 15

Andrea Bunch and her son benefited from a new city-county program and got an apartment and out of a shelter, November 22, 2017 (KOIN)
Andrea Bunch and her son benefited from a new city-county program and got an apartment and out of a shelter, November 22, 2017 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Andrea Bunch and her son walked into their own apartment Wednesday afternoon. They’d been homeless since July, living at a shelter and getting help from the Human Solutions Agency.

They’re one of the lucky families benefiting from a program launched less than 2 weeks ago by the Joint Office of Homeless Services called Home for the Holidays.

The joint effort between the city and county is working to place 40 families in homes between now and January 15. A KOIN 6 News viewer who saw our initial report decided to help.

That’s where Andrea Bunch comes in.

Andrea Bunch and her son benefited from a new city-county program and got an apartment and out of a shelter, November 22, 2017 (KOIN)
Andrea Bunch and her son benefited from a new city-county program and got an apartment and out of a shelter, November 22, 2017 (KOIN)

“It means everything to me and to him,” she told KOIN 6 News. “Now that he has doesn’t have to worry about nothing disappearing.”

In her case, her new apartment came furnished, even stocked with food. The landlord, EkoLiving Apartments, is providing it rent-free for 4 months. Hopefully that will be enough time for her to get back on her feet and be able to provide for her and her son.

Her apartment is one of 10 units at various properties that EkoLiving Apartments is providing rent-free for 4 months to help with the city-county effort.

“There is nothing that warms my heart and makes us feel like we’re doing our job more than watching families have the opportunity to move into their next homes,” said Andy Miller, the executive director of Human Solutions. “So this is a great day.”

The response from landlords has so far been great. Around 30 units with hope for more offers to come. Unlike Andrea’s apartment, many of the donate units will come unfurnished, so they’re asking for donations of household goods and furniture.

Those donations can be made through Community Warehouse.

Community Warehouse — Give furniture