Welcome Home moves into new veterans shelter facility

1 month 1 day 6 hours ago Tuesday, September 19 2017 Sep 19, 2017 Tuesday, September 19, 2017 6:18:00 PM CDT September 19, 2017 in News
By: Cameron La Fontaine, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - After a July grand opening, Welcome Home was able to move veterans into its new facility on Tuesday afternoon. The veterans shelter offers transitional and emergency housing and rapid re-housing for homeless veterans, as well as other services.

With volunteers from multiple organizations, Welcome Home made the full transition from its old facility, which held 10 to 12 vets at a time, to the new facility, which can hold up to 34 veterans and their families.

Welcome Home board member Joseph Blanton, and Army veteran, has been a part of the process since 2014, when plans were set in motion for a new facility. He said veterans and staff alike have been looking forward to this day.

“We’re finally transitioning, moving all of our programs and all of our veterans over here,” Blanton said. “The veterans are moving in today, we’ve got all of our clinical staff moving in as well, so this is our first big step in our new facility. I’ve had the opportunity to be here since the beginning stages, so it’s great to see that idea come to fruition.”

The new $3.2 million facility, located at 2120 Business Loop 70 E., will accommodate both male and female veterans, unlike Welcome Home’s last shelter, which only held males. The housing shelter can also now accommodate veterans in wheelchairs.

The new location is on the Columbia Veterans Campus adjacent to Patriot Place, a 24-bed apartment facility that provides free and permanent housing to veterans through the Columbia Housing Authority.

The Columbia Veterans Campus is a partnership between Welcome Home, Patriot Place (Columbia Housing Authority), and the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans' Hospital.  Phase I of the combined effort resulted in the building of Patriot Place. Phase II created a facility for Welcome Home to better provide its services.

One in five homeless people in Columbia are veterans and at least 85 percent of homeless veterans are diagnosed with a mental illness, according to Welcome Home.

Megan Sievers, Welcome Home’s development director, said veteran homelessness in Columbia needs to be addressed. While Welcome Home housed 124 individual veterans in 2016, Sievers said, it also had to find other ways to get veterans housed that it could not accommodate due to space limitations.

“We do find that veterans, they thrive in an environment that is very camaraderie-driven, where you’re with other veterans, you are among veterans who know where you’ve been, have a very similar story to you,” Sievers said. “It’s important for us to be able to provide not only the environment for them, but the tools and resources necessary in order to find a time and ability to find an independent living situation.”

The facility has a commercial kitchen, community space, computer lounge, laundry room and more to give veterans a better experience. Sievers said the larger living space will make a big difference.

“Right now, in our old facility, it is very tight quarters,” she said. “The kitchen is very small, there’s not a whole lot of personal space. So, for the veterans now, they’re coming into a home that is very open and airy, but they also have their own personal space to hang their clothes, lay their heads, have a nice warm shower, and they’re not necessarily tripping all over each other.”

Blanton said the privacy the new space allows will go a long way toward helping veterans find independent housing of their own.

“Having that privacy, allowing them what any other person would want in home, allowing them to have that, that’s a first step towards getting them back on the road and getting them housed,” he said. “It helps them build their own confidence, self efficacy, those types of things.”

A group of Vietnam veterans, disturbed by the number of vets living on the streets, formed Welcome Home in 1992 after pooling resources to purchase a shelter. Last year, Welcome Home had an 80 percent success rate of moving vets off the streets and into permanent housing within 90 days.












More News

Grid
List
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Kansas City's efforts to obtain $40 million in federal funding to replace an important bridge are... More >>
21 minutes ago Saturday, October 21 2017 Oct 21, 2017 Saturday, October 21, 2017 10:43:44 AM CDT October 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Center Project, mid-Missouri's LGBTQ community center, will provide free health care and behavioral health services Saturday to... More >>
3 hours ago Saturday, October 21 2017 Oct 21, 2017 Saturday, October 21, 2017 7:20:00 AM CDT October 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone and Callaway County has a new circuit judge. Judge J. Hasbrouck “Brouck” Jacobs will preside over... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 8:04:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Mid-Missouri high school football teams are kicking off the final week of Friday Night Fever. In our FNF... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 6:51:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Fight for the First documentary was shown at the Missouri theatre for donors and students Friday. The film... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 6:32:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Below are scores from the last week of the high school football season. Final scores will be in... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 6:27:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Nigerian citizen living in St. Louis has been sentenced to six and a half years... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 6:01:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - #MeToo started as a tweet and turned into an international discussion on sexual harassment. Columbia resident Macy... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 5:52:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia is attracting attention for its innovation in collegiate eSports. From having the first varsity collegiate all-woman eSports... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 3:45:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says the state no longer will make children in foster care pay... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 3:22:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
MEXICO – A former teacher pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of sexual contact with a student. Robert Cortez,... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 3:04:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
ASHLAND - Namaste Health Care alerted 1,600 patients to a security breach that happened the weekend of Aug. 12-13. A... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 2:44:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin announced that October 20 th would be recognized every year as Buckle... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 2:42:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The city of Columbia received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign's Municipal Equality Index, city officials... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 2:10:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Volunteers from the city and community spent the day picking up litter, clearing branches and cleaning sidewalks in... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 1:55:00 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
GREENSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania man has been jailed on charges he sold heroin in the hospital maternity ward... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 1:48:59 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A jazz museum that's plagued by operating losses and bounced checks to musicians could be headed... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 12:39:06 PM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Relatives of man who died at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility are alleging that a fungus infected... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 20 2017 Oct 20, 2017 Friday, October 20, 2017 10:55:00 AM CDT October 20, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 68°
11am 73°
12pm 77°
1pm 78°
2pm 78°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

10:30a
Wilderness Vet
11:00a
Journey with Dylan Dreyer
11:30a
English Premier League Soccer
10:30a
This Old House: Trade School
11:00a
Campmeeting: Inspiration Ministries
12:00p
Made in Hollywood

Tonight's Schedule

6:30p
College Football
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld