Mass. Community Debuts New Strategy For Helping Homeless Veterans

11/08/2010 01:36 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, 107,000 American veterans find themselves homeless on any given night.

The organization estimates an even larger number -- 1.5 million veterans -- are at risk of homelessness because of poverty, insufficient social services and other factors.

While temporary homeless shelters can provide veterans with an escape from a cold night on the streets, they aren't a long-term solution for the population.

Just in time for the holidays, Massachusetts-based organization Soldier On is debuting the Gordon H. Mansfield Veterans Community, a one of a kind housing facility that gives veterans the ability to become homeowners.

It is the nation's first community of its kind for homeless veterans and part of a new approach to fighting homelessness: Instead of moving those without homes into overcrowded emergency shelters or transitional places far from services, the $6.1 million project that looks like a high-end condo complex provides them with attractive one-bedroom and studio apartments for as long as they want to stay.

Veterans can buy into the community with a $2,500 deposit, in some cases loaned by a local bank, and make regular payments to a self-run association. As long as they keep up with their payments, the veterans have a permanent home.

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