Hope Center breaks ground on new project to help homeless veterans
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The Hope Center in Lexington broke ground Wednesday on a new project geared toward providing better living conditions for homeless veterans.
The 18,000-square-foot transitional and veterans’ housing addition will have 72 beds, 24 of which will be specifically for veterans.
“There are not enough transitional housing opportunities in the community to meet the need,” said Rufus Friday, executive director of The Hope Center. “Our Hope Center team intends to be a part of that solution.”
For 30 years, The Hope Center has provided services and shelter to people experiencing or who are at risk of homelessness. However, up until this point, leaders with the center say they haven’t had any single living units for veterans.
“It’s pretty hard to work on getting yourself together and getting housing when you’re in such tight quarters, so this will give them room and give them the support services to work on getting what they need to get out of here,” said David Shadd, senior director of programs at The Hope Center.
Shadd says people will be able to stay in the transitional housing unit for up to two years. They’ll have access to case management support, mental health counseling, and more to help them get into permanent housing.
“Our goal is not just to get you housing, but make sure you’re successful in there, and you stay there long term,” Shadd said.
The $6.2 million housing project is being funded by The Hope Center, the City of Lexington, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
“Everybody needs a roof over their head, but then you think especially veterans who’ve served the country. So, we’re very excited about this effort,” said Mayor Linda Gorton.
Hope Center leaders say the new two-story building will also be for some of their current clients who are seeking transitional housing.
“We’ll be able to support clients who primarily need a stepping stone to restabilize in order to return to our community,” Friday said.
Folks with The Hope Center say work will get underway in the next few weeks, and the building itself is expected to be done in about a year.
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