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With the assistance of a $925,000 federal grant, 30 units of transitional housing for homeless veterans will be created under the "Veterans Helping Veterans Heal" project being coordinated by the United Way/Ten-Year Plan Commission to End Chronic Homelessness.

The grant was awarded to the North Carolina Housing Foundation by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The North Carolina Housing Foundation will serve as the lead entity in development of the project.

The total project cost is $1.5 million. Additional funding is being provided by local corporations including BB&T, the Winston-Salem Foundation, the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, the United Way and the VFW Post 1134.

Funding will be used to acquire and renovate an existing structure. VFW Post 1134 helped conceive the project, which will include services to help homeless veterans become self-sufficient.

Case management for veterans in the program will be coordinated through CenterPoint Human Services. Additional behavioral health services will be provided by Insight Human Services. Health services will be provided through the local VA health clinic.

The commission hopes to have the housing ready for occupancy within a year, said Andrea Kurtz, the director of the Ten-Year Plan Commission.

Chris Henson, the chair of the Ten-Year Plan Commission, said, "This project is a key component of our community’s plan to end chronic homelessness. It will serve as a path for forgotten heroes to move off of the streets and back into permanent housing."

Mayor Allen Joines said, "I am particularly pleased that this project will support homeless veterans. These individuals have served our country and now it is appropriate that we provide them an opportunity to have a safe, decent place to live."

Garry Merritt, the president of the board of the North Carolina Housing Foundation, said, "We are grateful to the VA and all of our partners for this opportunity to expand our mission by providing shelter linked with services, especially to the veterans of our community.

"The city of Winston-Salem and the office of Mayor Allen Joines have been invaluable partners in their support of the project and their assistance in acquiring the financing," Merritt added.

The North Carolina Housing Foundation was established in 1967 with an initial goal to eliminate substandard housing in Winston-Salem. It has since grown to have a statewide presence and has developed 35 projects with more than 1,800 units of housing for disabled, family and elderly populations.


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