Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson applauded the North West Indiana Veteran Village development team for acting to end Veteran homelessness at a ground breaking held in Gary on Veterans Day. The development will include 44 units of supportive housing for Veterans, along with a computer room, exercise room, roof garden, and a restaurant that will be open to the public and serve as a training ground for Veterans interested in pursuing a career in culinary arts.
Broadway Area CDC is the developer of this blockbuster project, and their development team includes The Whitsett Group, LLC, Terrell Taylor Construction, Veterans Life Changing Services, the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, and the NWI Regional Planning Council. Funds were provided by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority and the City of Gary; Great Lakes Capitol is the development syndicator; the construction loan was provided by BMO Harris Bank; and CSH provided a pre-development loan from the CSH Supportive Housing Solutions Fund.
Sharron Liggins, Broadway Area CDC Board President and Representative for the Continuum of Care/Regional Planning Council, addressed the group with words inspired by an act of kindness on a New York subway. “One young stranger fell asleep on the other more mature stranger’s shoulder. The sleeping young man was allowed to remain asleep and undisturbed for over 20 minutes. When asked why he let the young man sleep on his shoulder, the gentleman said we have all been there in having a hard day, and he understood. Thus, I share NWI Veterans Village is that shoulder of comfort and that softened heart.” Ms. Liggins went on to thank all who have shared in the purposeful movement for Veterans by providing a home that will act as a shoulder of empathy for undisturbed rest and rejuvenation.
The outdoor event was held under a tent to shelter the group from a windy, cold, rainy day. It was mentioned on several occasions that if it is somewhat painful to be outside during such weather for a short period of time, no Veteran should have to endure this pain for even one night.
This team completed the Indiana Supportive Housing Institute in 2011 and has made great strides to develop a much needed apartment complex for those who have served our country and live in shelters or on the streets. Click here to read more about this development and ground breaking ceremony.
Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson poses with members of the development team on the grounds that will host the NWI Veteran Village.