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A community to call their own: Help Veterans Village opens in Perry Point

VA provides homes for homeless vets
Posted: 8:21 AM, Aug 23, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-23 16:12:02Z

The men and women who join the military will risk putting their lives on the line without expecting anything in return.

But the Veterans Administration in Maryland found a way to give back and help those who've served our country when they need it the most. They're providing a community for vets on the grounds of the VA Medical Center.

It's called Help Veterans Village and it's providing veterans with more than just healthcare.

"I am a recovering addict, and that led to me being homeless," explained Ron Tate, a Senior Army veteran.

"When my partner got ovarian cancer, she wasn’t yet 65, and we picked up a lot of medical expenses, she lost the home, and we lost her a year ago May," said Rudy Dahl, a Navy veteran.

The military trains people to adapt to any situation, but these vets found themselves in an unexpected position.

"Being homeless should teach you a lot of humility, when you don’t have, and I learned a lot of that when I became homeless," said Tate. 

Except these vets are homeless no more. In a partnership that pools state and federal dollars, along with the developer Help USA, the VA Maryland healthcare system were able to take dozens of old houses on its property and convert them into homes for homeless vets.

"A lot of people don’t know how close someone might be to falling into homelessness, so the ability to take what had used to be kind of abandoned housing and repurpose it, and bring these veterans back into the fold of the community, to work with them, I think is really special," explained Chris Buser, the Chief of Social Work at the VA Maryland Health Care System.

But these houses aren't the only things that this VA community provides for vets.

"It’s really the connection with our case managers, and the service providers that are going to make this a success, you could put a roof over anyone’s head, but that doesn’t mean that you’ve solved any of the problems that led them into homelessness," said Buser.

"I know I'll be meeting other folks, just down at the medical facilities here, I've talked with folks, and everything, and we've had camaraderie from that," said Tate. 

Governor Hogan and many other dignitaries, along with many people who made that program possible will be at Perry Point Thursday afternoon for a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the arrival of those vets in their new homes.

Anyone interested in helping a veteran in need may call 877-4AID-VET.