Aloha Post 104 Works Together to Assist Opening of New Housing for Homeless Veterans
Washington County, Ore., approved building an apartment complex to house homeless veterans in 2016. Betty Pomeroy contacted the Aloha Post 104 Auxiliary to assist veterans prepare to move in. All members of the post started working together to identify ways we could help.
The Auxiliary immediately began making a list of supply necessities for someone to move into a first-time home. In addition to the supplies, they gathered other comfort items for specific tenant needs. “This project has been awesome, not knowing any of the people and yet directly helping the immediate community,” said Mary Shields, president of Unit 104.
The District 1 Auxiliary donated their 50/50 drawing money from the Dec. meeting, and Jodi Mooney Marsh won the drawing and donated that portion to Pomeroy Place housing. That money, along with money donated by Squadron 104, put together enough money to buy other essentials like towels, bedding, paper towels, etc., for the new residents. “This project is one that makes you feel good because we could touch it, it was close by, and you could see it growing,” said Brooks Lange, department Auxiliary VA&R chair and Unit 104 first vice president.
Legionnaire Dan Fink began working veteran homeless issues along with Betty many years ago. Federal funding is available to support homeless housing, but does not support move-in expenses. “With Pomeroy Place Apartments, we are finally able to get some HUD/VASH vouchers into Washington County,” said Fink. Several of the veterans service organizations are stepping up to assist with the move-in expenses.
On move-in day, members of Aloha Post 104 began moving furniture and other donated items into specific apartments. It didn’t take long to see the smiles on residents' faces, as they began to set up their own housing.
The official grand opening was Jan. 25, 2018, and the color guard from Post 104 stepped up to post the colors. Pomeroy Place Apartments has 20 units of affordable housing for veterans and families. There are 5 one-bedroom units, 10 two-bedroom units, and 5 three-bedroom units. There are now 29 children and 30 adults living at Pomeroy Place Apartments. Those attending the grand opening included government officials supporting the project, and service and community partners.
Northwest Housing Alternatives (NWA) is the project lead for Pomeroy Place Apartments. They coordinated with all the financing project partners to put this project together. They wanted to name the place after a female veteran. COL (R) Mae “Betty” Pomeroy served in the U.S. Army for 30 years. In 2012 she received the Washington County “Outstanding Oregon Women Veteran” award. She has been a selfless advocate for the veterans of Washington County. NWA will provide on-site management and coordinate continued training and assistance for the occupants to move to their long-term housing solution.
The Salvation Army has a facility in Beaverton that provides transition and supportive housing to homeless veterans. “Now we have the ability in our community to take people to the next step in housing,” said Lange.
All the members at Aloha Post 104 look forward to supporting this long-term project.