The transitional housing organization Veterans Village is more than doubling its number of units available to keep troubled veterans off the streets of Las Vegas.
The founder of the organization Arnold Stalk told KNPR's State of Nevada he started it to honor his father, who was a World War II veteran.
“It makes me feel great,” he said, “It’s the conclusion and the beginning of a year long journey to put together this type of project”
The group, which also assists those who did not serve in the military, plans to close Monday on the nearly $8 million purchase of an old apartment complex on north 21st Street. Its 204 units will bring to 376 available for use by those at risk of homelessness.
Stalk said the new units are at the very center of the group's mission.
“It is also the essence to what we do and the heart of what we do 24-7-365 crisis intervention services,” he said. Stalk said they never closed for anyone who needs help.
Funds raised privately and from a city of Las Vegas grant will go toward the purchase. Veterans Village is counting on in-kind contributions and volunteer labor to get the apartments ready for occupancy.
Stalk said that kind of private-public partnership is vital to addressing the homeless situation in Southern Nevada.
“This is not a downtown problem. This is a Southern Nevada problem that needs to be solved not by the government by the citizens - all of us - joining together to build housing so that people aren’t on the streets.”
The group plans to publicly accept this week a $1 million donation from NFL running back Steven Jackson, an Eldorado High School graduate.
Veterans Village also has a campus in a renovated motel near Las Vegas and Charleston boulevards. The new building will offer the same services as the first one with one goal in mind, ending veterans' homeless.
“I don’t believe we should ever have a U.S. veteran that even served one minute in the military be homeless and out on the street and humiliated." he said.
Arnold Stalk, founder, Veterans Village
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