Welcome Home moves into new veterans shelter facility

2 years 4 weeks 21 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
MARSHALL - The suspect in a pair of shootings in early October has been caught out of state, police announced... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 9:10:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
CALIFORNIA - A man heard his sentence on Friday after killing a 20-year-old three years ago for drunk driving. ... More >>
8 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 6:31:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Below are scores from football games around mid-Missouri. Final scores are in bold. ... More >>
8 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 6:06:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in Friday Night Fever
COLUMBIA —The University of Missouri issued a statement Friday that the MU Department of Theatre was "in error" when it... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 5:52:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Friday Night Fever’s Week 8 Game of the Week features a dominant Helias (6-1) visited by a surging... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 5:44:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in Friday Night Fever
COLUMBIA — The True False Film Festival and Ragtag Cinema are dissolving their relationship with Columbia church The Crossing. Cinema... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 5:33:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Springfield Mayor Ken McClure hosted a group for a strategy session that included Governor Mike Parson in October.... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 4:18:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY - The extent of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes' leg injury sustained during the team's Thursday night... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 3:07:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in Sports
JEFFERSON CITY - A damaged downtown Jefferson City building is scheduled for demolition, but the owners have filed an appeal... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 2:26:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - A drug company's decision is causing new worries for the families of children with cancer. Vincristine, a... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 1:55:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Police investigated a threat at Thomas Jefferson Middle School on Friday. TJMS sent out... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 1:27:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A woman is dead after a car crash on Highway 63 in Columbia on Thursday afternoon. Columbia... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 11:57:00 AM CDT October 18, 2019 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Leaders from several organizations from around Boone County gathered Friday to talk about various county-wide goals. The... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 11:10:00 AM CDT October 18, 2019 in Top Stories
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities are investigating a triple homicide in a Kansas City neighborhood. Police spokesman... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 11:01:00 AM CDT October 18, 2019 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - A man was arrested Thursday evening after police found dangerous drugs during a routine traffic stop. The arrest... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 4:29:00 AM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The fifth annual Project Homeless Connect begins Friday. The event provides support for those experiencing homelessness,... More >>
23 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 3:23:00 AM CDT October 18, 2019 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Sixteen Columbians will travel to Columbia's Japanese sister city, Hakusan City, to reaffirm the relationship between the two... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 2:29:00 AM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — After a controversial sermon at The Crossing on Sunday, the LGBTQ community is calling for those involved to... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, October 17 2019 Oct 17, 2019 Thursday, October 17, 2019 7:41:00 PM CDT October 17, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 51°
3am 51°
4am 50°
5am 50°
6am 49°