Welcome Home receives a major donation for new veterans housing

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COLUMBIA - Welcome Home received a $1 million donation Thursday at the site of the former Deluxe Inn, which willl be the future site of a new community for veterans.

"Our employees are committed to helping veterans and their families find a home nationwide, and we know some our nation's bravest need the services that will be provided by this community for veterans," said Greg Steinhoff, president of strategic operations for Veterans United. 

The community for veterans, which will be called Patriot Place, is a collaborative effort with the Columbia Housing Authority, the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans' Hospital and Welcome Home Inc. The groups plan to build affordable housing options for veterans.

The site on Business Loop 70 was purchased by the Columbia Housing Authority.

The affordable housing project has already received numerous grants and tax credits from different local and state entities, but still needs about $400,000 for completion. The groups plan to turn the hotel into 25 apartments, including connected apartments for families.

"The next step will be to finalize all the financing of the project. We hope to do that by February, and we hope to do that and break ground and finish in about 9 to 12 months," said Phil Steinhouse, Columbia Housing Authority CEO.

Welcome Home has also started its capital campaign to raise the money for the other side of Patriot Place, which would be an emergency shelter for homeless veterans. It will take at least $2.8 million in order to renovate the emergency shelter portion. It would house 29 additional shelter beds for veterans, with "in house" services including job placement and medical aid through the VA.

"There's nothing that's going to stop us now, this is going to happen," Steinhoff said.

KOMU 8 News will be airing a documentary to highlight to the problem of veteran homelessness and the effects of PTSD on veterans. The documentary will air without commercials in mid-January.