New development to provide low-income housing for veterans

By Millaine Wells, Local 5 News

Published 08/25 2014 03:10PM

Updated 08/25 2014 05:50PM

BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) - A major step forward is being taken today to help Northeast Wisconsin veterans.

The latest numbers show that on any given night close to 58,000 veterans are homeless in the United States.

"I do not think it is any surprise that a lot of our military who are coming home are having a hard time transitioning" says Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach.

To help with that process, construction is underway on a 50 unit, low-income housing, complex for local veterans.

"Housing is incredibly important because without that foundation they cannot stabilize other areas of their life. To be employed, to have some place for employers to call to contact them for a job offer or interviews" explains Robyn Hallet, Brown County Housing Authority.  

Veterans Manor will be built on the site formally occupied by the Brown County Mental Health Center.

The county sold off an eight acre parcel to the developer.

"It is an $11 million project and here is land that has not been on the tax roll that will go onto the tax rolls and that is going to provide revenue for the city, the school districts and the county" Streckenbach explains.

The location is just around the corner from the brand new veterans clinic.

"You have a high number of veterans here and there is a high demand for veterans services in this area" says Gen. Robert Cocroft, Center for Veterans Issues.

Brown County leaders hope that the housing units will act as an anchor to spur more development on the site.

A few remaining buildings on the property will be torn down to make way for phase two of the housing development,  already in the planning stages.

Veterans Manor will also provide onsite social and mental health services.

"I have seen veterans who were separated from their families being able to reconnect. I have seen those with substance abuse being able to abstain" says Gen. Cocroft talking about a similar facility in Milwaukee.

Veterans Manor is scheduled to open in May of 2015.

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