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Renovations to Veteran Facility to Help Meet Needs of Homeless Vets

Veterans twice as likely to be homeless according to recent Federal report

Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio will begin a $1.3 million renovation of its Veterans Transitional Housing Program facility on Harmon Avenue next month. The renovation of the 50-bed residential program includes an addition, facility upgrades and increased living space to enhance services for our community’s homeless veterans.

The need for homeless veterans services was reinforced last week in a Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Veterans Affairs report*. Lowincome veterans were found to be twice as likely to be homeless when compared to all lowincome adults. According to the federal report, one in 68 or 76,000 veterans spent at least one night homeless, with a total of 136,000 veterans experiencing homelessness throughout the year. Representing nearly 25-percent of the homeless population, but only 11-percent of the civilian population, veterans make up a disproportionate amount of the homeless population overall, according to the National Coalition for the Homeless.

“Volunteers of America has been serving our nation’s homeless heroes for more than a decade and believes we have an obligation and duty to continue to find new and innovative services that maximize the potential for our veterans to become self-sufficient,” said Dennis Kresak, President and Chief Executive Officer of Volunteers of America Greater Ohio. “We provide veterans with a safe, temporary place to live and the tools to help them remain productive citizens.”

The 1,352 square-foot expansion of the Volunteers of America Veterans Transitional Housing Program facility will help accommodate the recent addition of ten veteran beds funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Along with the expansion, renovations of the kitchen and common areas as well as the relocation of an employment resource center to the facility will improve services for the veterans in the Transitional Housing Program. The project is financed by Huntington Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati.

Volunteers of America provides transitional housing, substance abuse treatment and employment services to nearly 300 Columbus veterans each year. The Volunteers of America program at Harmon Avenue also provides 40 emergency shelter beds to homeless men. The expansion and renovations will benefit all those served at the facility.