2012 Prize Winner
Transition Projects Inc., at the corner of Northwest Broadway and Hoyt Street, seeks to be the final stop for the disenfranchised, attempting to aid Portlands vast homeless population, estimated at more than 2,500. In Multnomah County, its also estimated that 12 percent of that population are military veterans.
This is Chris Aiosas element.
As a veteran serving veterans, Chris ability to relate to his clients sets him apart from others, says Stacy Borke, Aiosas supervisor. He can speak the language.
In 1998, following a recommendation from his oldest brother, Aiosa enlisted in the Air Force.
Following his tour, Aiosa attended Temple University in Philadelphia, where he would discover Philabundance, a nonprofit food bank. Its Fresh for All program, which takes excess fresh produce from grocery stores and distributes it to low-income communities, introduced Aiosa to working with those experiencing poverty.
I was hooked, the 32-year-old says. I knew I wanted to work with the least-fortunate demographic in my community.