YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A newly announced project in Youngstown could be life-changing for veterans facing a different type of battle here at home.
Veteran’s Haven, a program of Family and Community Services, is set to begin construction on a container home project at the intersection of W. Warren Avenue and Hillman Street before the end of the year. The 14-bed, short-term transitional housing facility will be for homeless veterans.
The facility has been working out of a temporary shelter on Chalmers Avenue since 2021 and has served 75 homeless veterans this year. Once phase one is completed, the facility will be able to serve 14 homeless veterans with their own private bedrooms and bathrooms and will be open to veterans of all genders and sexual orientations.
“Mahoning County has the largest population of veterans and, unfortunately, the largest population of homeless veterans,” said Brandi Parker, assistant director for Veteran Services.
Veteran’s Haven’s mission is to support homeless veterans in Trumbull and Mahoning counties. The $1.2 million facility built from shipping containers will help accomplish just that.
“We’re really looking forward to the future of Veteran’s Haven continuing to serve each veteran that walks through our door in their own unique way,” said Nathan Chambers, director of Veteran Services.
The project was made possible thanks to $600,000 in capital funding from Veterans Affairs. Plus a combined $250,000 in ARPA money from Mahoning County commissioners and the City of Youngstown’s First Ward, which is represented by an Army veteran.
“When a veteran becomes homeless, places like Veteran’s Haven are a godsend for us because where else can you go to get that specific type of treatment? That specific type of care that you need as a veteran who’s gonna really understand you,” said Julius Oliver, First Ward councilman.
The goal is to break ground on November 13 to have it finished in October 2024.
Veteran’s Haven also expects to expand to the three other empty lots on the intersection to provide other programs to homeless veterans.
“This is gonna be perfect for our veterans. This is only the start of something that we will be having down the road in years to come for all of our homeless veterans,” said Carol Rimedio-Righetti, Mahoning County commissioner.
The project made its way to Mahoning County after an invitation by Rimedio-Righetti in 2019.