If the national effort to render veteran homelessness extinct is going to continue to see success, homeless veterans need a place to call their own in the long term. A nonprofit group has its sights set on a vacant nursing home in Wilmington, Delaware for just that purpose.
According to The Wilmington News Journal, the Delaware Center for Homeless Veterans has already set plans in motion to purchase the former Layton Home, a 48,000-square-foot facility that will be the first in Delaware to provide permanent, subsidized housing exclusively to veterans.
"We think it is going to be something great for Wilmington," David Mosley, founder of the center and a veteran himself, told The Journal. "We are not worried about filling it. We already have a waiting list of veterans that are precariously housed."
Delmarva Public Radio reported that when the center began in November 2011, it had only nine beds in a small building in the city. Today, it has a five-year contract with the Department of Veterans Affairs to offer 10 homeless veterans emergency transition housing for up to 90 days. An additional eight veterans are supported through other means, The Journal noted.
DCHV's scale will obviously expand with the purchase of the new building. Once it's been renovated, the facility will feature 51 apartments, 10 offices spaces available to community organizations and a number of conference rooms. Mosley told The Journal that he would likely name the home the Pearl, after his mother.
Veterans living in the facility will have constant access to the VA for veterans benefits and case management.
"When you are going through boot camp and being in the military, you develop a camaraderie," said Mosley. "That is lost when you leave, but when you come to a housing facility like ours with other veterans, you develop that camaraderie again…We believe that is the missing piece for veterans that have gone through the experience of homelessness staying housed."