In 2021, Jason lost his job due to the pandemic, and started a small business with his partner to make ends meet. It put a strain on their relationship and when the business failed, they separated. She owned the house, so he was on his own with his teenage son. Due to a lack of affordable housing in the area, Jason found himself living in his car. He sent his son to live with other family members while he figured things out.
Jason is from Portland where he has lived much of his life except when he was in the military. He joined the military at age 17 to give his life structure and a better future. Over the next ten years he travelled the world gaining critical life skills.
Since becoming houseless, he has worked hard to change his situation. Through 211 he connected with our Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program at Transition Projects that focuses on Rapid Rehousing specifically for veterans. Rapid Rehousing puts folks in housing first, without any preconditions, and then they work with case managers to help solve any barriers or issues they are experiencing such as finding employment, mental or physical health concerns, etc.
At Transition Projects, Jason worked with his caseworker Michael to find housing. Jason moved into a hotel with his son to stabilize their lives. He was adamant about finding an apartment in the same school district where his son was enrolled so he wouldn’t have to change schools. “Jason was extremely proactive,” Michael said. “He knew how to do the hard work - sifting through apartment listings and reaching out to social service networks in order to get what he and his son needed.”
Jason found an affordable apartment in the metro-area. “I was ecstatic,” he said. “I just want to tell anyone else in my position that if you don’t give up, and work with your case managers you can lift yourself back up.” Jason and his son have been living in a two-bedroom apartment and have gotten back into a routine together. “His school is only ten minutes away,” Jason said, as he now begins the work of finding a job. Jason will be supported by a housing grant from the VA during that search and he’s confident he’ll be successful.