Alameda resident Tyrone Harvey, who with his wife Brenda owns several multi-family apartments in Portland and Vancouver, has joined the staff of JOIN as a landlord recruiter. Harvey, whose focus is homeless veterans, learned his entrepreneurial skills from his parents who once owned and operated Harvey’s Cleaners on Northeast 42nd Avenue.
JOIN is a little known non-profit with offices at 1435 NE 81st Ave. just south of where Northeast Halsey Street and Interstate 84 intersect. It was founded by several University of Portland alumni in 1992. Employing 30 staff and receiving the majority of its $2-million-plus budget from federal, county and city grants, JOIN has found homes over the past year for 500 individuals by engaging landlords in opening over 250 units to the homeless.
Harvey told the Hollywood Star News, “I noticed agencies taking a big interest in our apartments, so I started having interest in these agencies and learning more about the homeless and our community regarding how we are affected by the changes in the area. After doing volunteer work for these agencies I took the position with JOIN.
“It isn’t very difficult to recruit landlords, once they know how JOIN will help them, paying first and last month’s rent and sometimes rent for up to two years in cases where there is a need.” Having JOIN do background checks on prospective tenants is also a big plus, Harvey added.
Harvey’s partner in landlord recruiting is Toeney Flower, who said, “…the homeless we help are backed by a team of social workers, retention specialists who make periodic visits to their clients.” JOIN also has facilities where the homeless can takes showers and get hot meals at the office location where the staff is augmented by dozens of volunteers.
Harvey smiled when asked what it took to give up entrepreneurial freedom for a full-time job, “I am creating opportunities for landlords like myself to offer apartments to homeless veterans and am very happy to have an opportunity to do something positive in my community and, even better, the ability to help the homeless.”