Veterans housing complex welcomes its first residents

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COLUMBIA – The first set of veterans moved into the Patriot Place apartment complex Tuesday.

Three veterans settled into their individual one-bedroom apartments.

They expect four more veterans to join them within the next two weeks.

The Columbia Housing Authority, Harry S. Truman Memorial Veteran’s Hospital and Welcome Home Inc. teamed up for the project about a year ago to provide a campus for veterans in need.

Veteran Tom Denton said, “It’s a great opportunity for people like myself that didn’t have nowhere else to stay. Basically homeless.”

Superintendent Dan Gibson expects the project to be finished in two weeks after the addition of offices and a weight room.

“It’s a really good project for the homeless, “ Gibson said. “You know, they’re bringing them in from the shelters and moving them in here and then they get acclimated, get a job, and then move on.”

The community will also expand when Welcome Home Inc. moves from Rangeline Street to the building next to Patriot Place on Business Loop 70.

“It’s just a blessing, and I never expected a year ago I would be here,” Denton said.

Patriot Place is expected to hold a total of 25 veterans.