Supportive housing for homeless veterans to openOn Friday, the first day of the 20th Annual Veterans Powwow, the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa celebrated another first: the grand opening of the FDL Reservation Veterans Supportive Housing.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
On Friday, the first day of the 20th Annual Veterans Powwow, the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa celebrated another first: the grand opening of the FDL Reservation Veterans Supportive Housing.
Fond du Lac Veterans Service Director Chuck Smith said the housing unit is the first supportive veterans’ housing project in all “Indian Country,” nationwide.
The housing complex contains 10 rental apartments of permanent supportive housing for Native American veterans who are single and homeless, for whatever reason. It might be bad luck, chemical dependency, mental illness or something else that left them without a place to call home.
Healthcare, mental health and chemical dependency services will all be readily available to the veterans who live there.
“No one wants to see a veteran sleeping on a bench or under a bridge,” Smith said, noting that the new housing units are being funding through a handful of different agencies and sources. “It’s a tragic issue and one I think everyone across the country is trying to alleviate.”
Money for the project was secured by the Band in 2011. Chairwoman Karen Diver has said that veterans are overrepresented in the homeless population, and it’s important to have a residence specifically for veterans on a reservation that faces a housing shortage.
Smith said he hopes the housing unit will serve as a model for other reservations.
Applications are available for eligible homeless veterans. Contact Smith at 218-878-2670 for more information.