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Salvation Army’s Veterans Residence receives national attention

Phillip Mangano, the former National Homeless policy Czar under both Presidents George Bush and Barack Obama, discusses homelessness and how to address it.

Phillip Mangano, who led the nation’s homelessness policy for seven years, was extremely impressed with the Veterans Residence, saying, “This is the nicest facility with comprehensive services for residents that I’ve seen in the country.”

Major General Greg Couch, Chief of Staff for TRANS-COM; Divisional Commander Lonneal Richardson; and John Wuest, St. Louis Equity Fund, pose for a picture during the Veterans Residence Grand Opening held Nov. 8.

The $8 million, three-story building houses 48 single apartments for both male and female veterans. Unlike traditional low-income housing, the Veterans Residence apartments feature aesthetics of superior quality, marble countertops, new appliances, and other high-end amenities. The building also boasts a computer lab.

These amenities and homelike surroundings aim to give veterans something to work toward as they strive to rejoin the society they risked their lives to protect.

Veterans are offered permanent residency or a 24-month stay at the facility. Since many of the veterans come to The Salvation Army after facing homelessness, an ideal living environment like that offered at the Veterans Residence can be just the motivation residents need to prosper after their two-year stay.

Upon entrance to the facility, veterans are offered personalized, intensive case management. During this process, their strengths and weaknesses are recognized and then utilized to set manageable goals. For example, veterans who entered the military straight out of high school may return without ever having shopped at a grocery store or learning how to prepare a nutritious meal. Walking veterans through this fundamental process is just one way intensive case management can help provide them with a valuable, self-sustaining foundation for their new lives.

Service member prepare to raise The Salvation Army flag during the Veterans Residence Grand Opening.

Additionally, case managers will work diligently to reconnect veterans with their estranged families, as well as connect disabled veterans to valuable resources for disability benefits. Employable veterans will be given skills to procure a job, such as assistance with resumes and preparation for interviews.

The Veterans Residence, which opened in Nov. 2012, is the first of several projects included in the Army’s Midtown Development Project.

For more photos of Mangano’s visit and the Veterans Residence, visit our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/salarmystl, or to see a video about the Veterans Residence, visit http://youtu.be/7xZBmfy8Wog. 

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