National News

Multnomah County gives homeless families a 'Home for the Holidays'

Posted November 24, 2017 12:11 p.m. EST

— While many will spend this holiday weekend at home with family, there are thousands of people in the Portland metro area who have no home to celebrate in.

A local initiative called "Home for the Holidays" is trying to change that for some, by giving 40 homeless families a home for the holidays and giving them an opportunity to get back on their feet.

Wednesday was the first time Andrea Bunch and her son have had a place of their own to live in over four months. She's been homeless since July and was staying at the Human Solutions Shelter, one of Multnomah County's primary family shelters.

Bunch and her son saw her new home today for the first time.

"It was surprising. I wasn't expecting the playground," she said. "He hasn't really stayed in any place where there's a playground."

The folks from Eco Living stocked the fridge with food.

"They are going to eat well tonight in a place of their own, by the warmth of a new fireplace, so that's a wonderful place for them to be," Human Solutions Executive Director Andy Miller said.

The family also received a gift card for groceries.

"There is nothing that warms my heart and makes us feel like we're doing our job than watching families have the opportunity to move into their next home," Miller said.

This is just the beginning of a new life for Bunch and her son. Over these next four months in her new place, Bunch has one goal.

"Get a job, so that way I can keep it, keep staying here, so I can have a stable place for my son," she said.

Bunch and her son will be able to stay in this apartment for four months and then move to permanent housing.