BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — An East Side development project is the new home for sixteen veterans and their families.
“It will be a major benefit to veterans in our community,” said Mayor Byron Brown.
More than 20,000 Western New York men and women have taken vows to serve and defend the United States.
“They’re returning home to our great nation,” said Sen. Tim Kennedy. “The city of Buffalo serves as a beacon of hope.”
Hope in the form of a home. That place — Patriot Heights.
“It doesn’t necessarily solve the problem completely but it certainly makes a dent in the right way,” said Rich Jureller, the President of the Sabres Foundation.
The number of homeless vets around the region is continuing to decrease. According to the Annual Homeless Assessment Report, fewer than 200 local vets are without homes.
“You’ve taken people who have been cast aside and you say to them, ‘You need to be treated with dignity’,” said Congressman Brian Higgins.
The city along with the Sabres foundation and Saving Grace Ministries have partnered together for this $2.8 million project. The city gave $1.5 million; the Sabres foundation, $600,000 – in their largest single time gift.
The community and housing complex is a conversion project — taking the former YMCA on East Ferry and making it 16 one and two bedroom units for low-income and homeless veterans and their families, making a community space and incorporating different sports facilities like a pool, gym, hockey rink and football field.
“If we can help in addition to providing the housing and the services here, we can provide athletics, opportunities for kids, especially they may never have otherwise, that makes it even more reason to do it,” said Jureller.