Vet House Opens Doors To Homeless Veterans
Veterans raised the American flag today over Vet House, signaling that its doors were now open to provide housing and support to homeless veterans. President Paul J. Valeri of the Non-Profit Development Corporation of Danbury presided over the dedication ceremony for the new facility that will provide supportive transitional housing for six homeless veterans as well as permanent housing for an additional four veterans. Dr. Laurie Harkness of the Connecticut VA Healthcare System hailed the project as a "national model for communities to address the needs of homeless veterans." A Vietnam veteran, Mr. Valeri noted that the project was a linchpin of the City's "Housing For Heroes" initiative to address the housing and supportive services needs of veterans in a comprehensive manner.
Mr. Valeri thanked the members of his board and the many individuals and organizations who worked together to turn the vision of a home to help homeless veterans into a reality. NPDCD played the leading role in acquiring, designing and rehabilitating the structure. Major partners and financial contributors to the project included the City of Danbury, the Housing Authority of the City of Danbury and the US Department of Veterans Affairs. NPDCD will manage the facility, with support from MCCA and the Dream Homes Community Center. Mayor Mark Boughton praised the "passionate advocacy" of Mr. Valeri, the contributions of Mark Nolan as chair of the Danbury Housing Partnership, the work of Danbury Housing Authority Executive Director Carolyn Sistrunk and the efforts of Veterans Housing Workgroup chair Michael McLachlan. Mr. Valeri also read a message of congratulations from Congressman Chris Murphy hailing the efforts of the Corporation and the community to address the needs of veterans.
Mr. Valeri noted that the opening of Vet House meant that the effort to help homeless veterans was just beginning and that Vet House would require continued community support. Anyone interested in donating to Vet House should call NPDCD Treasurer Mark Nolan at 203-797-8255. For information about admission of veterans to the Vet House program please call the Dream Homes Community Center at 203-792-9450.