At a time of war, it is natural for a nation to focus attention on the needs of its military service men and women. Yet what is probably least known is the number of veterans that find themselves homeless once their service time is complete.
An estimated one out of every three homeless men in the U.S. is a veteran. Seventy-six percent struggle with mental health problems or addictions from drug or alcohol.
One project in Yonkers, New York recently financed by the Leviticus Fund is poised to respond to both the need for quality housing and supportive services for homeless veterans. Westhab, Inc. is the largest non-profit provider of housing and supportive services for low-income households and the homeless in Westchester County. The agency recently completed 12 single-room units of housing for homeless veterans transitioning from the VA Hudson Valley Healthcare System in Montrose.
The building, near downtown Yonkers, provides 4 individual bedrooms, two full bathrooms, kitchen, dining room and living room on each of its 3 floors, with laundry facilities on the first and top floor, and wheelchair access on the first. As transitional housing, which bridges a person’s transition from homelessness to permanent housing, veterans can remain living at the Yonkers facility up to 24 months.
“The vets like the idea of living around other people with military service experience who are also in recovery. It’s a good supportive environment for them with easy access to public transportation,” said Ken Wray, Westhab’s Vice President of Housing and Services.
Leviticus provided $201,148 in construction and permanent financing for this project, with Westhab securing the balance through government and private grants.
“Leviticus provided the critical gap financing that we needed to move this project ahead for disabled veterans,” said Robert Sanborn, Vice President of Real Estate Development for Westhab.