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This story begins in 2008 when Vietnam Veteran, Wayne Crowder, volunteered at his first Point In Time (PIT) homeless count in Falls City, Oregon. This was a small town event, out of the spotlight, away from the media, and nothing anyone would expect to remember. But during the count Wayne was headed out to the less traveled parts of Polk County where he interviewed 15 homeless men and women that were less important to the world, out of sight and out of mind. A huge surprise occured for Wayne when he discovered that 6 of these individuals were homeless veterans. The seed of an idea was started and he knew right then and there that something needed to be done. Within that year, Wayne started building his team, the idea had sprouted. He joined forces with a good friend, Bill Adams, and together they founded Serving Our Veterans At Home. The focus of this local nonprofit was to serve Homeless Veterans and those at risk of being homeless. Bill and Wayne would spend a lot of time going to various homeless camps from Falls City to Gates, across Polk and Marion Counties, providing food, water and other much needed items for the Veterans they found in these camps. But this was still not enough for Wayne. In 2009 while attending a Veterans Outreach event in Salem, Wayne met Rosy Macias, the Veterans Outreach Coordinator for the Salem Veterans Center. Rosy has always had a passion for helping Veterans and especially those at risk of being homeless. She was well connected in the community and Veterans Administration, which was something that SOVAH desperately needed to take their services to the next level. Rosy Macias joined the Board of Directors for SOVAH and this nonprofit quickly became known locally as the agency to go to when you were at the end of the resources and still couldn't find a way to close the gaps. SOVAH works across the various agencies within the VA and other Veterans groups in Marion County, while also assisting with funding directly from their accounts. In 2015, after 7 years of being the driving force behind the SOVAH organization, Wayne Crowder had to step down due to health’s issues . After Wayne’s departure, the cross organization connection of SOVAH slowed down a bit, but there was still a lot of work being done behind the scenes. As the continuity and champion of this group, Rosy sought out new board members, pursuing individuals with strong ties in the veteran community and others who had a passion to do more for Veterans than what was currently being done across this area. In 2017 Rosy brought on Colonel Retired Kevin Dial as the new Executive Director of SOVAH and together they have formed an amazing Leadership team. With the board consisting of military veterans from numerous service, this team has a diversity and strength found on few other boards. This strength has allowed them to partner with Vet Care, The Tanner Project, the UGM and now participating in the veteran housing project with the YMCA in Salem. SOVAH is a lead veteran group that has committed to raising and donating $100,000 to this project, which will offer direct off the street housing and wrap around services for veterans in the area. SOVAH has grown and flourish in its commitment to maximum the use of every penny, with an over 94% benefit to client rate for every dollar donated. This means that donations made by our contributors to help veterans actually HELP VETERANS! We appreciate your trust in our vision and look forward to partnering with you in the future as we serve the veterans of the Mid-Willamette Valley.

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