An American Legion post in Jewett City has dedicated the last decade to raising money so it could help homeless veterans. On Monday, hundreds of Griswold residents turned out to celebrate the project's completion. Post 15 renovated its building so to provide 18 apartments to veterans who need housing.
Bill Czymr, Jr. is President of the American Legion Veterans Housing Inc. He says a private public partnership made the $6.2 million dollar project possible. Czymr says it's the least the post can do to thank those who've served their country. “There’s some veterans out there, men and women, that need some help to get back on track. It’s our responsibility and as I mentioned this is also our job.”
Fifty-four-year-old Robert Larson of New London will be getting one of the apartments. He's a Navy veteran who became homeless in 2010 while battling addiction. Larson is looking forward to moving in in early July. "Some place to call my own. Not being in transition anymore. It will be nice to have something permanent."
The veterans aren't just getting their own apartment. They'll also have access to support services including counseling to help them get back on track. The project was paid for through a combination of Congressional funds, state housing dollars, federal housing vouchers for veterans, as well as private donors.