Homeless Outreach Program
So often we are asked “How can I help a Veteran in my area” or “where can I donate to Veterans”. Giving to a local charity often feels better than to a national organization. The answer is the Central Oregon Veterans Outreach “Homeless Outreach program”. This program provides items to help the homeless and extremely low-income Central Oregonians – both Veterans and non-Veterans – who don’t always have the means to purchase basic need items for health and safety. The Outreach Program operates a full line drop-in center, providing food, warm and clean clothing, sleeping bags and bedding, shelters, and other necessary items.
Please know that any request to earmark donations for specific groups – for example, Veterans or people living in transient camps – will be honored. As we all know, Veterans take care of Veterans, but their giving heart also extends to the hand of those in dire need.
Primarily, the mission of Central Oregon Veterans Outreach is not to promote the homeless lifestyle but to work diligently with those experiencing homelessness and our community partners to find solutions to end their homelessness. Through the efforts of partners, and the generous financial donations of Central Oregon residents, we can find a way to ease the burden of homelessness.
How to donate to those in need
If you have items that you would like to donate, bring them to the Outreach Program from 9a – 3:45p, Monday through Friday. Drive up, and as you face the COVO building, the Outreach Center is to the far right (East end) of the building. There are a set of double doors facing East with a sign saying OUTREACH. Just open the door and walk in. If you need assistance from your car, feel free to ask.
Unfortunately, we are generally not able to pickup donation items, although we suggest you give us a call, as we might be able to refer you to other Veteran resources that can.
It probably goes without saying, but we’ll say it: We ask that items be clean and in good repair.
Durable Medical Equipment is one of the higher demand items in our Outreach program. If you have what we refer to as “hard items” – walker, wheelchair, shower chairs, boots, crutches, etc. – we are able to take your donation and get it to those with either a temporary or permanent need.
Unfortunately, we are not able to accept medical supplies, such as insulin, catheters, protein feeding solutions and the like. If you have items of this kind to donate, please contact Medical Teams International to check your type of donation and get a shipping label to do so. Thank you for making a difference.
- Men’s, Women’s, and Children’s Clothing
- Winter Clothing of all sizes
- Propane (1lb disposable cans)
- Camping Equipment, ie: Tents, shelters, tarps, stoves, lights
- Canned food of any kind, high protein is extremely helpful
- Backpacks and duffel bags
- Bedding and Blankets
- Durable Medical Equipment (Walkers, Wheelchairs, etc.)
- Hygiene Supplies for Men and Women
- Infant and Baby Supplies
Whether the calendar says winter, spring, summer or fall, keeping people comfortable, dry, and fed is an ongoing challenge. We are in need of the following items:
- Propane (1lb cans)
- High Protein Canned Foods (Canned Meats, Chili, etc.)
- Tents and Tarps
- Sleeping Bags and Blankets
- Size 30-36 waist men’s jeans
Concurrently, Central Oregon Veterans Outreach performs outreach services into the community, at designated locations throughout the area, to make COVO services more available to people who may not be able to reach them at the Outreach Center. The community supports COVO’s Outreach Program generously with donations of items and volunteer hours both in our drop-in center and doing street outreach.
COVO’s Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) reaches out into the community to locate where people experiencing homelessness are living so we can connect with them to ensure their basic needs are being met. We also work with them to address the issues that are keeping them homeless. It is our mission to do what we can to create a pathway people can use to end their homeless condition.
The HOT works in conjunction with numerous community partners as referral sources to begin this process. If you are aware of an area or areas where there are people in need, please contact us. The Outreach phone number is 541-383-2793. You can also refer a Veteran through our Veteran Referral Link. Thank you for your continuing support!
Our Outreach Volunteer staff serve on the front lines, helping meet basic needs and begin the process of ending our clients’ homelessness. This role is very challenging and rewarding at the same time. To be successful as a volunteer in the Outreach Center, one must possess an open mind and a willingness to look past superficial problems to help those who truly need it. If this appeals to you, please go to our Volunteer page to fill out an application and send it in.
Check out this article from TheGuardian.com. Even though it’s based in the UK, it has a good viewpoint on how working with the homeless can be.