GRISWOLD, Conn. (WTNH) -- It's a place for homeless veterans to call home; a ribbon cutting ceremony was held Monday at the American Legion Post in Jewett City where part of the building has been transformed into housing for homeless vets.
It was a moment 10 years in the making and News 8 has followed this story from the beginning.
The American Legion goes above and beyond for veterans. Jay Soulliere will be one of the first to move into an apartment at the Jewett City post.
"It's a real hard struggle for veterans coming back and trying to adjust being around people," said Soulliere.
"When everybody said they couldn't do it, it wasn't going to happen, my dad stuck to his guns and kept pushing forward," said Mark Czmyr, American Legion Post #15 Commander, "and today's opening day."
Czmyr started TALVHI and lead the $6.2 million project to give supportive housing to veterans who make up a third of all homeless. News 8 discovered this will provide a place to live along with counseling and other services all under one roof.
"Being a veteran we all have some special problems and needs," said Soulliere, "and to have all that where you're staying is just incredible."
"This facility will be a national model of providing not just a roof over heads, but also the counseling, healthcare, education, which are needed to put these veterans back on their feet," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal.
Grants, loans, and donations have made the project possible.
The hook ups are there, but they still need the coil-operated washers and dryers. TALVHI is hoping to raise another $500,000 to complete the project.
"Very very exciting," Soulliere said. "I can't put it into words."
It is a new beginning for Soulliere and what many folks hope is a movement to help so many others.
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