Sen. Claire McCaskill visits Patriot Place apartments for veterans

1 month 4 weeks 1 day ago October 10, 2016 Oct 10, 2016 Monday, October 10 2016 Monday, October 10, 2016 11:28:00 AM CDT in News
By: Tyler Emery, KOMU 8 Reporter

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
MOBERLY - A Moberly Police Officer attempted to stop a vehicle near Logan Street and Morley Street after learning it... More >>
5 hours ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 8:22:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Fire Department responded to a person on fire at 3201 Creasy Springs Road, Bear Creek Trail... More >>
6 hours ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 7:40:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – Several residents living on Ridgefield Road attended the Planning and Zoning Commission Thursday night to express their concerns... More >>
6 hours ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 7:37:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Local groups decorated duffel bags and filled them with presents to donate to children with chronic illnesses this... More >>
6 hours ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 7:27:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - With temperatures falling into single digits, winter weather has arrived in Columbia. But not everybody has a place... More >>
7 hours ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 6:49:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – Drivers should think about checking their headlights because the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) announced headlights were... More >>
7 hours ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 6:46:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's Republican Gov.-elect Eric Greitens spent more on his campaign than what's been spent total on... More >>
7 hours ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 6:06:55 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Two men have pleaded guilty to the $2 million robbery of an armored car, an inside... More >>
8 hours ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 5:17:47 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — T he Missouri Supreme Court has struck down a law that denies bail to criminal defendants... More >>
8 hours ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 5:12:55 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Colleges that expel students whom they suspect of sexual assault are being asked to specify the... More >>
8 hours ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 5:08:29 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A suburban St. Louis man has been sentenced to more than eight years in prison for... More >>
8 hours ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 5:05:21 PM CST in News
ROLLA (AP) — A building at Missouri S&T was evacuated after a fire broke out on the building's roof. ... More >>
8 hours ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 5:03:30 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Healthcare has not changed since the election and experts say there is no need for people to think... More >>
10 hours ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 3:22:48 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department is investigating a string of five vehicle break-ins at three different fitness centers around... More >>
11 hours ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 2:45:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Tobacco Free Missouri Youth (TFMY) gathered in the capitol Thursday to raise awareness for its campaign to... More >>
11 hours ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 2:16:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but for families living below the poverty line, the holiday... More >>
11 hours ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 1:56:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA- As of Thursday morning, MU is advising all students who have not contracted the mumps to receive a third... More >>
12 hours ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 1:39:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — An appeals court says a man serving a 260-year sentence in a Kansas child pornography case... More >>
13 hours ago December 08, 2016 Dec 8, 2016 Thursday, December 08 2016 Thursday, December 08, 2016 11:54:49 AM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 18°
2am 15°
3am 14°
4am 13°
5am 13°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

1:37a
The Insider
2:07a
Wheel of Fortune
2:37a
Today
1:30a
Seinfeld
2:00a
Paid Program
2:30a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Caught on Camera with Nick Cannon
8:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
The Vampire Diaries
8:00p
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld