Just $750 to change a family’s life forever: Doug’s story

It took just $748.68 from the Emergency Housing Account to give Doug and his son the foundation for success and stability. Doug had lost custody of his son and living in his truck for three years when he contacted Housing Alliance member Northwest Housing Alternatives. Through Doug’s hard work, the support of NHA, and resources from the Emergency Housing Account, he was able to secure permanent housing and reunite with his son.  Right now, proposed funding for the Emergency Housing Account will be reduced, and fewer families will have access to this critical support. Help more parents provide stability for their kids by contacting your senator (find yours here), and Sen. Richard Devlin (Sen.RichardDevlin@oregonlegislature.gov), Rep. Nancy Nathanson (Rep.NancyNathanson@oregonlegislature.gov), and Sen. Peter Courtney (Sen.PeterCourtney@oregonlegislature.gov) and asking them to increase funding for the account and to pass HB 3357 to raise more revenue for this program.

Read how support from the Emergency Housing Account and Northwest Housing Alternatives has

Doug was homeless “off and on” since he graduated high school. By the time he got in touch with Northwest Housing Alternatives he had lost custody of his son Gaige and had been living in an old bread delivery truck for three years.

Doug made some mistakes in his youth. His criminal and substance abuse history had caused him to become homeless and his record was a barrier for him in finding housing.

After he lost custody of his son, he decided to turn his life around and dedicate himself to becoming independent so he could be a better father to Gaige. While still living in the bread truck he was able to get clean, find a job and graduate college—amazing feats for a man living in a truck. He was very close to reuniting with his son, he was just having trouble saving enough money to afford first and last month’s rent and a security deposit for an affordable place to live. It was also difficult for him to find a landlord who would look beyond his checkered past and give him a second chance. Doug was so close—he just needed a little help.

He called Northwest Housing Alternatives and was connected with Lisa, a HomeBase Family Support Specialist. After meeting with Doug, hearing his story and getting to know him, Lisa worked with Doug to set goals, expectations and progress benchmarks.

Through HomeBase, Northwest Housing Alternatives was able to assist Doug with enough money ($748.68) to get into a safe and affordable apartment and to act as a character reference to ease the landlord’s concerns. After speaking with Lisa, the landlord felt confident that Doug would be a good tenant and offered him the apartment.

Doug is now thriving. He has a new job working in the tech field he studied in college. He remains clean and sober and has been re-united with his son Gaige. They are both now stable in their housing and looking forward to a future of new opportunities.