Historic Groundbreaking Set in Massachusetts

PITTSFIELD, Mass., Sept. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Soldier On, a Northampton, Massachusetts-based non-profit organization devoted to ending veteran homelessness, will make history on October 29 when it breaks ground here on a first-of-its-kind limited equity cooperative housing project for formerly homeless veterans. Speakers at the historic groundbreaking event will include Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Admiral Mullen, the highest ranking officer in the United States Armed Services, is committed to helping bring about a permanent solution to veteran homelessness. He is scheduled to receive the Soldier On Award in recognition of his efforts at a separate event later on the day of the groundbreaking.

Admiral Mullen will be joined on the dais by Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray, and Stephen Coyle, CEO of the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust, and Gordon Mansfield, former Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The event will be attended by Bob Woodruff, war correspondent for ABC TV and founder of reMIND, a non profit created to assist veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Soldier On’s 39-unit limited equity housing project will give formerly homeless veterans the opportunity to become homeowners, in many cases for the first time in their lives. Veterans will have the opportunity to purchase an equity share; the value of their share will be held in trust and will be available to them should they choose to move out, or will become part of their estate. The housing units will be managed by the veterans who purchase equity in apartments. Those veterans will have completed a progression from Soldier On’s shelter in Leeds, Massachusetts to its transitional housing facility in Pittsfield. In the limited-equity housing project, they will continue to be surrounded by the services they need and the community of support Soldier On provides.

The Pittsfield limited equity housing project is intended to serve a new national model for transitioning veterans from homelessness to homeownership. Soldier On, which has been helping get veterans off the street since 1994, created the limited-equity housing concept as the ultimate step in its drive to “change the end of the story” for formerly homeless veterans. A second limited-equity housing project is planned for Leeds. Soldier On expects to build other such projects in the future, with the goal of taking the model to the national level.

For more information on Soldier On visit wesoldieron.org.

SOURCE Soldier On

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