IMPACT

Veteran's Manor In Milwaukee Provides Homeless Vets Affordability, Community (VIDEO)

03/26/2012 02:34 pm 14:34:46 | Updated Mar 27, 2012

One veteran housing complex is changing the way veterans are getting -- and providing -- help.

The Veteran's Manor, an apartment complex in Milwaukee, Wisc., is tackling veteran homelessness by offering affordable housing, a sense of community and vocational training, wisn.com reports.

“This is a community building," Dawn Nuoffer of the Center for Veterans Issues LTD told the news source. "So not only will veterans who live here be able access the services, but community residents and veterans who don't live at Veterans Manor as well.”

The 52 one-bedroom units for veterans, with amenities like free Internet, a work out room and laundry. It opened its doors on Memorial Day of 2011, and so far, is getting good reviews from its tenants.

I've had a hard road, a lot of devastation, a lot of despair," Tony Dumas, a retired Navy chef living in the complex, said. "[Now] when I walk in the door, I have a sense of security."

That sense of security is provided by a collaboration between the Center for Veterans Issues and Cardinal Capital Management, nrdc.org reports.

The housing initiative also provides food industry job training for vets who provide about 2,500 meals to schools everyday, wisn.com reports. The Veteran's Manor community kitchen is the eighth opened by the Milwaukee Center for Independence.

The apartment complex will soon open Troop Cafe, a restaurant where the food will be prepared and served by the veterans and trainees. It will be housed on the first floor of the Veteran's Manor, with a retail storefront, and will be open to the community.

But starting over with an apartment and career takes more than an opportunity -- it will take a commitment from the former service members to change their lives, Dumas said.

"Everyones willing to help you," he stated, "but you have to show that you're willing to help yourself."

To get involved in ending veteran homelessness, check out the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated that the Troop Cafe would be down the street from the Veteran's Manor.

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