Ron praises new Lines for Life contract to help veterans

Ron met last week in Portland with Lines for Life officials to kick off the nonprofit’s new $3.4 million contract to be the sole backup center for the national Veterans Crisis Line.

The senator has been a long-time supporter of the Oregon-based organization dedicated to preventing substance abuse and suicide, and in the spring met with VA Secretary David Shulkin to advocate on Lines for Life’s behalf.

“This is a lifeline in every sense of the word,” Ron said. “When crisis sounds an alarm for veterans, you’ve got to have a go-to place where veterans can know they will get a swift response.”

“This is going to pay enormous dividends for veterans who so often are walking on that emotional tightrope trying to figure out where to turn when a crisis hits,” he said.

Lines for Life’s selection as the backup national crisis line center for veterans means it is expecting about 1,200 additional calls each month from the Veterans Crisis Line.

Lines for Life’s expanded services under the new contract beginning in September also will create 26 new call counselor and supervisor jobs in Portland, said Lines for Life CEO Dwight Holton.

He thanked Ron for his support of the non-profit and its expanded ability now to provide round-the-clock support for veterans and their family members who are experiencing a crisis.

Last week, the senator also held his 63rd and 64th town halls of 2017.

Those town halls in Clatsop and Tillamook counties cemented Ron’s first-place standing among senators for most town halls this year.