June 30, 2016, Columbia, MO
Welcome Home, Inc., breaks ground on new 32 room Veterans Emergency homeless shelter
Veterans United Home Loans donates $1.5 million to jumpstart construction.
Welcome Home, Inc., mid-Missouri’s only emergency homeless shelter for Veterans, broke ground on its new site today. The groundbreaking was made possible by private fundraising from multiple individuals, companies and foundations, including a $1.5 million donation from the employees of Veterans United Home Loans. The new shelter is part of Welcome Home, Inc., a Community for Veterans, and sits on the same site as the Patriot Place apartments, which opened in April.
“I’ve been looking forward to today for a long time,” said Terry Roberts, board president for Welcome Home, Inc. “We have to turn away more than 155 Veterans in need every year and now we’ll more than triple our space to meet their needs. We still have a little way to go to complete our fundraising, but thanks to the employees at Veterans United and all of our donors, we can break ground today and get the construction underway to build a shelter that will house three times as many Veterans in ‘need and provide them the benefits and service they deserve.”
The emergency shelter is expected to cost $3. 1 million and has about $300,000 yet to raise. Once completed, it will have space for at least 32 Veterans. Fundraising will continue during construction. Construction is expected to be completed by summer 2017.
“This project is very personal for our employees at Veterans United” said Greg Steinhoff, president of strategic operations for Veterans United. “When we began the process of working with this community for Veterans two years ago, we knew we wanted to help as much as possible. After seeing how impactful our $1 million donation was to the Veterans who needed it, we knew we wanted to do more. We are excited to make this donation to Welcome Home, Inc. This is our largest donation in company history and we can’t wait to see this final phase of such a unique project completed.”
The 20,000 square-foot facility, situated on two acres, will consist of 32 apartment style units that include restrooms and kitchenettes. The shelter will also include a women and family corridor capable of flexing in size based upon the gender need at any given time. The second part of the shelter will include a computer lounge, community room, commercial kitchen and laundry facilities. It will also house administrative and supportive services staffed by Welcome Home and the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital.