The Fox Valley Veterans Council Inc., launches a $3.7 million campaign to create a first-of-kind veterans village that provides housing for single veterans and veteran families, as well as assisted living and end-of-life care that is specific to veteran needs created by their unique experiences. The Village will provide honor, dignity and pride to veterans throughout their life, as they live preferably among fellow veterans in a veteran-centric culture.
Did you know that there are tens of thousands of veterans living in the Fox Valley region? An urgent need for affordable housing and community support will now be addressed by generous support from the community for the Wisconsin Veterans Village Association, Inc. Today an initial fundraising phase to convert and renovate 48 existing apartments and a community center owned by the Outagamie County Housing Authority will address the needs of the Fox Valley’s veterans population.
The Fox Cities Veterans Village project includes the renovation of existing apartments purposed for single veterans and veteran families, and construction of new facilities to provide transitional housing and permanent housing with assisted living and end-of-life care for veterans.
Veterans Village is at Glen Park Campus in Appleton, which is owned by Outagamie County Housing Authority. That location is near the John H. Bradley VA Outpatient Clinic, which provides primary care and mental health care, and Fox Valley Technical College, Valley Transit Bus Line and the Tri-County Dental Clinic.
In addition to the service amenities, Veterans Village will provide community and a sense of belonging.
Jim Strong, president of the Fox Valley Veterans Council, knows the value of that support. As a U.S. Army veteran, Jim served in in Panama, Egypt, Puerto Rico, and says the community within a community model at Veterans Village is vital for those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom.
“People in the civilian world don’t realize that a veteran’s active military service on a base or where they’ve serve provided them with everything from food, shelter and medical services to recreation and a real community. The Veteran’s Village recreates that sense of community,” Strong says.
“One thing we know is that vets like to talk to other vets. Often times we don’t share our personal stories with non-vets, but we’ll open up to other veterans we meet in a way we can’t otherwise.”
Veterans Village will provide:
- Stable housing for area single veterans and veteran families to promote self-sufficiency and prevent homelessness
- Improved quality of life with a continuum of care that is veteran-centric
- Support for physical and emotional needs
- Respectful end-of-life care for veteran population
The campaign launch announced today is off to a great start. Several grants from within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region will help fund the project, including a $50,000 grant from the Bright Idea Fund, and a $100,000 grant from a fund wishing to remain anonymous.
Additionally, the Fox Valley Veterans Council now has the means to hire an on-site staff position, a “navigator,” who will help connect veterans to internal and external services appropriate to their needs. That position is possible thanks to a $201,420 grant over three years from the Basic Needs Giving Partnership within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region supported by the U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs, the J.J. Keller Foundation, Inc. and other community partners.
The navigator will support residents and be the resource for programs that will meet their needs in the Fox Valley.
“We wanted to provide so much more than, ‘here’s a place to live.’ The navigator position is unique, and will provide our veterans with a comprehensive source for finding all of the benefits and services available to them around the Fox Valley,” says Keith Scott, Veterans Village board member and U.S. Army vet who served in Iraq. “So if a veteran says, ‘I need employment,’ or, ‘I need food,’ or even child care, the navigator is that go-to person who can help our residents get further ahead.”
Many individuals and organizations are collaborating with the partnership between Veterans Council, Outagamie County Housing Authority, NAHBRS, supported by Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, ThedaCare and Home Depot. Additional construction and project help is provided by Goodwill Industries, ThedaCare, Outagamie County Housing Authority and Fox Valley Technical College.
The Basic Needs Giving Partnership is supported by the U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs within the Community Foundation, the J.J. Keller Foundation, Inc., and other community partners. The Bright Idea Fund combines dollars from generous donors who believe in giving in ways that address ever-changing community needs together.