EUGENE, Ore. — A fundraiser that helps homeless families in our area find a place to live just kicked off its annual campaign.
Mayor Kitty Piercy started the “Home for the Holidays” campaign in 2012, inspired by a local family who decided to forego their Christmas presents and instead give money to local people in need.
William Wise at St. Vincent de Paul says the idea is to put people who are homeless with children in housing.
Folks with St. Vincent de Paul say, while some homeless people do have income, it takes about $1,000 extra to move into a home.
“They paid our move-in cost for our apartment,” said Reaba Rojas, who received $1,000 last year.
Rojas says the campaign helped her and her granddaughter get off the streets.
“We couldn’t have gotten into housing. Me and Tahlia might still be homeless right now. But the resources were there and we’re very very grateful,” Rojas said.
Last year, Krystal and Sean Griffin were expecting their first child. Just two months before the due date, they received $1,000 from A Home for the Holidays.
“It’s given us a place of dignity and a place that’s stable to come from,” said Sean Griffin.
They say the money changed their lives. Their daughter has never had to live without a home, and Sean is currently working on his degree at the University of Oregon, something he says he never could have done without a place to call home.
“It’s really hard to accomplish a lot when you’re living in the back seat of your car,” Sean Griffin said.
Folks at St. Vincent de Paul say this year the need is higher than ever, meaning it’s more important than ever to give what we can to help others who are struggling.
“This is a neighbor, or somebody that you worked with, somebody in the community who by no fault of their own have ended up with no place to live. And they need help. They need our help,” Wise said.
So far, the campaign has helped 108 local families get into housing. Click here for more information about the program.