(BINGHAMTON, N.Y.) — Mayor Richard C. David today announced the completion of a 10-unit homeless veterans housing project at 27 Pine St. in Binghamton, the latest effort of Mayor David’s Blue Ribbon Commission to End Veteran Homelessness.
“As the first U.S. city to end veteran homelessness, this project represents Binghamton’s continuing and long-term commitment to support veterans in need,” said Mayor David. “It is our moral and patriotic obligation to care for those who protect our freedom. We’ve created a safe home that takes homeless veterans off the streets and connects them with the support services they need. I couldn’t be prouder of this project and what it says about the City of Binghamton and its partners being on the front lines of this national priority.”
The $443,000 rehabilitation project at 27 Pine St. includes 10 one-bedroom apartments and resident meeting space for support services. All 10 rooms will be have veteran tenants starting Monday.
The project is a partnership between the City of Binghamton and local non-profit Opportunities for Broome, which owns the building. The City allocated $240,000 of its federal affordable housing entitlement for the rehabilitation project. Opportunities for Broome will manage the site and coordinate support services such as job placement and substance abuse counseling for the veteran tenants.
There are many reasons veterans can become homeless, including poverty, substance use, or mental health challenges that develop or worsen as a result of trauma they experience while serving.
In Nov. 2014, federal officials from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced Binghamton as the first U.S. city to successfully answer a White House Challenge To End Veteran Homelessness. Through the formation of a Blue Ribbon Commission with local experts in veteran support services and homelessness, the City had identified 21 homeless veterans and created an individualized housing plan for each. The Commission committed to continuously monitor the number of homeless veterans in Binghamton and focus resources on connecting these individuals with housing.
The 27 Pine St. project is a substantial investment to support that effort, establishing a homeless veteran housing option for decades to come.
Located one block from the state-of-the-art U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs health clinic at 203 Court St., the housing project builds on critical partnerships with the VA that will benefit tenants and help ensure the initiative’s long-term success.
“We are very pleased that Opportunities for Broome could be part of the Mayor’s Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness,” said Mark Silvanic, Opportunities for Broome Executive Director. “We are happy with this project’s completion and are thankful to Mayor David and the City of Binghamton, the United Way, VOA, the Homeless Coalition of the Southern Tier, and many others, for their tireless efforts on moving this project forward.”
In addition to City resources, the project was funded through a coalition of government and nonprofit partners.
The Broome County Veterans Services Agency provided $89,500. “Our Veterans were prepared to give us everything, and that is exactly what we owe them,” said County Executive Jason T. Garnar. “Broome County is happy to provide funding to give our veterans a home that is truly their own.”
The United Way of Broome County provided $62,500. “United Way of Broome County is committed to serving all members of our community,” said Robin Alpaugh, Executive Director, United Way of Broome County. “Our veterans have done so much for not only our community, but also state and country, it is our turn to help them overcome life’s challenges, provide a home and help them meet their basic needs so they are prepared to take advantage of all the resources that set them on a permanent path to a better life.”
The Ahern Foundation provided $35,000 and the Southern Tier Veterans Support Group provided $16,000. Security Mutual will provide ongoing rent assistance for the veteran tenants.
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