Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson’s invitation to the U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary to participate in the Northwest Indiana (NWI) Veterans Village Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, is also a homecoming for VA Secretary, Robert A. McDonald.
Secretary McDonald, a Gary native and Army veteran joined the Mayor, HUD Midwest Regional Administrator, Antonio Riley, Indiana Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb and others in the 10:00 a.m. ceremony, Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at NWI Veterans Village, 839 Massachusetts Street, Gary, Indiana.
Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said, “It is an honor to have Secretary McDonald, Director Riley, as well as Lt. Governor Holcomb to share with us in this exciting opportunity for Gary. We are particularly honored and gratified by the visit from the Secretary as he returns home to Gary for an occasion that demonstrates our support of President Obama’s mandate to end homelessness for our veterans.”
NWI Veterans Village is a permanent housing facility developed to assist U.S. Veterans in need of housing after retirement from active duty. Veterans Village is a 67,000 square foot, three-story, full-service facility that not only provides housing opportunities, but offers supportive services for veterans and job training. Additionally, personalized case management services and culinary art training is provided on site by Jesse Brown Veterans Administration.
“It’s unacceptable that anyone who served our great nation should call the streets their home,” said HUD Midwest Regional Administrator Antonio R. Riley. “NWI Veterans Village represents another important step in fulfilling our sacred commitment to ensure that all veterans have a home in the very nation they served to protect.”
NWI Veterans Village, the supportive housing development, was constructed by The Broadway Area Community Development Corporation (BACDC) and various partners. The project is a partnership with the City of Gary, NWI Continuum of Care, Jessie Brown VA and the Corporation For Supportive Housing initiative. The facility is complete with 44 one-bedroom units, a computer room, exercise room, community room, commercial kitchen, a rooftop patio, a walking trail, picnic area and nine (9) administrative offices.
The project cost is $10.1 million funded by tax credits issued by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA), the City of Gary and IHCDA HOME and CDBG funds. Great Lakes Capital Fund is the project syndicator.
Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb said, “The State of Indiana is proud to be a partner in this important development that will assist Hoosier veterans now facing the challenges of homelessness. The Veterans Village will provide shelter and, as importantly, other critical services they need in the years to come.”
The Veterans Village project is based on the successful strategy of “Housing First,” where an individual’s needs for housing and supportive services are met first. Veterans Village is the 1st “Housing First” development for homeless veterans in Northwest Indiana and in the City of Gary. Construction of Veterans Village started in January 2014 and was completed in December 2015.