Mizzou women's soccer team helps prepare new veterans housing complex

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COLUMBIA- The Mizzou’s women’s soccer team helped move new mattresses and bed frames into Welcome Home’s new facility on Monday.

Welcome Home is a Columbia-based organization which helps homeless veterans by putting a roof over their head and food in their bellies.

“We serve homeless veterans, exclusively homeless veterans, so we’ve been operating out of a little facility at 1206 Range Line that has 11 beds, we’ve been sleeping 13 in that,” said Timothy Rich, executive director for Welcome Home.

On Monday, the Mizzou women’s soccer team volunteered for their first time at Welcome Home.

“We do like to push community service on our team a lot, we do lots of hours every single semester,” said Kristen Rivers, a member of the Mizzou women’s soccer team.

The team hopes to continue their relationship with Welcome Home in the future.

“A lot of girls get excited about, 'Hey I really liked working with these people or for this certain cause,' so I think it’s just easy and natural just to move on from their you know and keep the train rolling and see what else we can do for these awesome people,” said Rivers.

The new facility will help triple the number of veterans staying there, and will be able to accommodate those in wheelchairs, females and veterans with families.

“We’ve got 32 rooms, we’ve got 34 beds, we will have a dining facility, a commercial kitchen, community room, we’ve got a computer lounge so that folks can get their benefits, but we’ll also be doing some computer classes, and then all of our administrative and service offices are here, 6 or 7 veteran service staff who do nothing but work with veterans to get them back on their feet,” said Rich.

The expansion of the new facility follows a need for a bigger space to help with the increasing number of veterans, with more to come.

“We expect more and more veterans to be coming back over the next 10 years, and the issues that affect homeless veterans have to do with brain injury, with traumatic stress, with post traumatic stress disorder, all of those things complicate the veterans lives even though they are wounds that are not seen," Rich said.