Sen. Claire McCaskill visits Patriot Place apartments for veterans

1 year 7 months 2 weeks ago Monday, October 10 2016 Oct 10, 2016 Monday, October 10, 2016 11:28:00 AM CDT October 10, 2016 in News
By: Tyler Emery, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA — The Patriot Place apartments in Columbia have provided housing for homeless veterans for several months now. 

The apartment complex is home to 25 war veterans who were previously homeless and needed a place to live. The project began in 2014 and was completed in April 2016. It was a joint effort between The Columbia Housing Authority, Welcome Home Inc. and Harry S. Truman Memorial Veteran’s Hospital.

Herbert Hepler is a Vietnam War veteran who served for six years, stationed in Germany from 1973 to 1979. He moved in to Patriot Place when it opened. He said he had a hard time adjusting to being back in the United States after his time in the military.

To Hepler, it is the first place he's felt "finally at home."

"It makes me feel like I'm a part of something. It makes me feel like I'm a human being again, you know?"

Hepler also said Columbia is one of the first places he's felt welcomed as a veteran.

"I'm happy to be a part of the Columbia community," Hepler said.

According to the Columbia Housing Authority CEO Phil Steinhaus, Patriot Place is completely full with veterans and the waiting list has about 70 people on it. He said due to the funding they received, every apartment was able to be fully furnished for the veterans to move in to.

"I was joking with someone the other day, all they needed was a toothbrush, but we actually furnished the toothbrush too," said Steinhaus.

Steinhaus also said the apartments have helped the overall veteran homeless population in Boone County, but it is still an issue because there is a shortage of available single-apartment living spaces that are affordable.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, paid a visit to Patriot Place Monday to tour the homes. McCaskill is the daughter of a WWII veteran and has been involved in efforts to reduce veteran homelessness. She said the Patriot Place program exemplifies how government resources are supposed to work.

"This is a good example of doing things right. It's not just providing a home for these veterans, it's saying what we should be saying to everybody. That is, 'We're going to take care of you because you took care of us," McCaskill said.

McCaskill asked Francis "Sonny" Brown, another resident at Patriot Place, what the hardest part about living there is for him.

"Everything is hard," Brown said. "But I'm proud to be doing it and I'm happy to be doing it."

Sonny, Herbert and all of the other residents at Patriot Place will soon have more resources. Just across the parking lot, a new welcome center is being built. The Patriot Place apartments are the first phase of a larger, 4-acre campus that will include a 29-bed shelter for homeless veterans and a support center as well.

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - After a disappointing season capitalized by missing the postseason SEC Tournament it was hosting, Missouri softball will have... More >>
2 hours ago Saturday, May 26 2018 May 26, 2018 Saturday, May 26, 2018 8:03:00 PM CDT May 26, 2018 in Sports
COLUMBIA- The neighborhood of Ridgefield Road and Wood Hill Road are on high alert after a series of break in's... More >>
3 hours ago Saturday, May 26 2018 May 26, 2018 Saturday, May 26, 2018 7:18:00 PM CDT May 26, 2018 in News
BOONVILLE - Hundreds of cyclists were traveling from Columbia to Boonville for the 10th annual Pedaler's Jamboree. The event... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, May 26 2018 May 26, 2018 Saturday, May 26, 2018 4:59:00 PM CDT May 26, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - In August 2017, Michael Stephenson moved into his new town home at Aspen Heights for the new school... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, May 26 2018 May 26, 2018 Saturday, May 26, 2018 4:43:00 PM CDT May 26, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Open pools means play time for many people in Columbia but Parks and Recreation is still hard at... More >>
6 hours ago Saturday, May 26 2018 May 26, 2018 Saturday, May 26, 2018 4:42:00 PM CDT May 26, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Seven people die every day due to house fires. The American Red Cross is teaming up with... More >>
6 hours ago Saturday, May 26 2018 May 26, 2018 Saturday, May 26, 2018 4:30:00 PM CDT May 26, 2018 in News
INDEPENDENCE - The 87-year-old Independence man reported missing Friday has been reported safe. The Missouri State Highway Patrol cancelled... More >>
6 hours ago Saturday, May 26 2018 May 26, 2018 Saturday, May 26, 2018 4:29:00 PM CDT May 26, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Thousands of people withstood the heat Saturday to support the U.S. armed forces and honor veterans at the... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, May 26 2018 May 26, 2018 Saturday, May 26, 2018 3:02:00 PM CDT May 26, 2018 in News
LAKE OZARK - For those heading to the lake Memorial Day weekend, Saturday morning is the first day of a... More >>
13 hours ago Saturday, May 26 2018 May 26, 2018 Saturday, May 26, 2018 9:00:00 AM CDT May 26, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The counting of votes was underway Saturday following Ireland's referendum to lift the... More >>
15 hours ago Saturday, May 26 2018 May 26, 2018 Saturday, May 26, 2018 6:43:00 AM CDT May 26, 2018 in News
NEW BLOOMFIELD - New Bloomfield has a new mayor, but it's the way he was selected that has a group... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 9:26:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — The ACLU of Missouri is suing the Independence School District on behalf of a senior banned... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 6:35:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Thornbrook neighborhood was without water and electricity for almost two hours on Friday. Columbia Water and... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 5:36:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY – Four vehicle crashes have occurred this week along State Road F west of Fulton in Callaway County.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 4:12:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – After serving eight years in the United States Air Force, the passion of this veteran for sky travel... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 3:50:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - In another day of political theater, the special House committee investigating Governor Eric Greitens heard new testimony... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 3:15:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- Organizers are expecting a large turnout for the 30th annual "Salute to Veterans" airshow on Memorial Day weekend. ... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 2:53:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- When most people lose an animal, one of the first steps is to put a "missing" sign on a... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 2:46:00 PM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 76°
11pm 75°
12am 75°
1am 75°
2am 73°