Volunteers of America Massachusetts (VOAMA) is currently in the final stages of completing construction on the Massachusetts Bay Veterans Center (MBVC) located at 2 North Street in Somerville, MA. The MBVC will provide housing to formally homeless veterans and will welcome residents in August.
After years of planning, the 15,000 square foot, three-story brick building, formerly a nursing facility and a group home, will provide 22 transitional and 7 permanent units of housing that will serve as an anchor for social services and support for homeless veterans. More than 1,180 homeless veterans are in need of housing in Massachusetts, with the vast majority of them around the Greater Boston area. Housing is a key determinant to a persons overall health, well being, and stability, and Volunteers of America is committed to ensuring that the MBVC provides quality and affordable housing which include a full array of wrap around services for residents.
“Massachusetts is the national leader in providing comprehensive veterans’ services for many reasons, but none more so than the strong collaborations we have made to maximize our resources and provide world-class, comprehensive benefits to our veterans and their families,” said Department of Veterans’ Services Secretary Coleman Nee. “No one who has ever worn the uniform of this great nation should struggle to find a roof over their head. The MBVC is a great example of the combined efforts of federal, state, municipal, and private sector resources and I applaud VOA for their stewardship of this project. The MBCV, and projects like it, will enable Massachusetts to become the first state in the country to end veterans’ homelessness.”
Thomas Bierbaum President and CEO of Volunteers of America Massachusetts stated that, “the goal of the center is to give homeless veterans an opportunity to get back on their feet and thrive in an environment where they feel supported.” Along with housing, the veterans will have access to mental health counseling, employment and healthcare referrals, life skills training, homeless services, and recovery services to help them as they transition back into the community. Services and on-site support will provide an ideal sober living environment for residents to achieve their goals.
The support from the City of Somerville and the following funders have made this project possible. Funds for the project have come from the Eastern Bank, Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, MA Housing Stabilization Fund, MA Affordable Housing Trust Fund, MA HOME Funds, MA/CEDAC Housing Innovations Fund, CEDAC Predevelopment Funding, Somerville HOME Funds, Somerville Affordable Housing Trust, The Home Depot Foundation, EcoMedia, and the Center for Community Recovery Innovation-MassHousing.
For more information about Volunteers of America Massachusetts, visit us at http://www.voamass.org