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Veterans have a new outlook on life thanks to ColumbiaCare housing

On Friday, ColumbiaCare announced that construction on a block of affordable housing units intended to serve local veterans is now complete. On Monday, five veterans moved into the units.

Posted: May 18, 2021 4:53 PM
Updated: May 19, 2021 9:23 AM

MEDFORD, Ore. -- Veterans who were once in need now have a place to call home all thanks to ColumbiaCare.

“Just the overall prevailing tone was just excitement and gratitude from everybody here. Just so thankful for the opportunity and just really looking forward to getting settled into this new place,” said Veteran Services director Joseph Chick.

On Friday, ColumbiaCare announced that construction on a block of affordable housing units intended to serve local veterans is now complete. On Monday, five veterans moved into the units.

“Means everything. I mean, it's hard to really work on any kind of goals or objectives or anything you want to accomplish without having a safe, comfortable place to stay every night. So, for a lot of these guys, you know, this might be the first time they've had that for years and just creates an opportunity to really work on any other goals they have — whether that's employment, education, reuniting with family, whatever it is,” Chick added.

The Stewart Avenue Apartments will include an on-site Resident Manager to welcome new residents and support them while they live in the buildings, and features an office and community room for tenants to engage in social activities or classes once COVID-19 restrictions have eased.

“I mean, we have guys that are, you know, working on employment goals. We have guys that are trying to get reunited with some family. Um, and this is just really that big first step. So, for, for them really at this point, the sky's the limit. This was just that, that beginning phase for them,” Chick said.

Elias Montemayor is one of the veterans who have moved into the new housing units. He was in the service for three years. His time in the service included time in Camp Pendleton.

“When I got out, even then life was tough because addiction goes way back,” Montemayor said.

He said then life only got tougher with his addiction.

“I was homeless and unemployed and it was really taxing on my mental health,” Montemayor added.

One day he decided to make a change and reach out for help. That’s where he found ColumbiaCare.

“That team banded together, without them I wouldn’t be here,” Montemayor said.

Montemayor has been living in Oregon for 33 years and his new home is giving him a new outlook on life.

“I’m celebrating a new lease on life . . . it’s a great experience, it’s a wonderful feeling,” Montemayor concluded.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 354681

Reported Deaths: 4235
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah55528700
Washington38530317
Marion36621448
Clackamas29551307
Lane27511300
Jackson22911308
Deschutes20066125
Umatilla14401146
Linn12732127
Douglas12019243
Josephine9334196
Yamhill8645111
Klamath7898116
Polk729981
Malheur559576
Benton543531
Coos498094
Columbia378143
Jefferson370752
Union317348
Lincoln317238
Wasco286540
Crook283546
Clatsop243229
Baker201528
Tillamook195929
Hood River191637
Morrow184023
Curry179825
Harney112126
Grant99513
Lake91812
Wallowa68312
Gilliam1534
Sherman1503
Wheeler1121
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 4835022

Reported Deaths: 71032
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles148065626473
Riverside3708005020
San Diego3656704178
San Bernardino3577115627
Orange3237885538
Sacramento1589272303
Kern1455891632
Fresno1455032073
Santa Clara1452251898
Alameda1204021391
San Joaquin1024051721
Ventura1008821166
Contra Costa997401004
Stanislaus858701326
Tulare79709958
San Francisco54299645
San Mateo54046622
Monterey50815583
Solano45958341
Santa Barbara45074522
Merced42144580
Sonoma40895402
Placer39222424
Imperial35906764
Kings32708322
San Luis Obispo29863332
Madera23761285
Butte23726268
Shasta23637349
Santa Cruz20962218
Yolo20275248
Marin17674244
El Dorado17123149
Sutter13873174
Napa12871100
Yuba1003382
Tehama9448108
Humboldt9195108
Nevada912990
Mendocino760087
Lassen754347
San Benito742772
Tuolumne685589
Lake6593104
Amador542964
Siskiyou447046
Glenn435233
Calaveras387280
Del Norte357642
Colusa303318
Inyo208040
Mono16673
Plumas16198
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Trinity87211
Modoc6795
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