Construction work has begun at the Clarksburg Mission to expand the ministry’s capacity to house homeless veterans in the community. The project will add an additional five beds specifically for homeless veterans. Currently, the Mission is able to house 11 veterans, three women and eight men. The new housing unit will also include two full bathrooms, a living room area, kitchen, and a washer and dryer.
Chris Mullett, Executive Director of the Clarksburg Mission said, “The federal government has a program called Zero: 2016 and its goal is to reach zero homelessness among American veterans by January 1, 2016. And it feels very good to be part of a much larger national effort to get men and women who have served our country off the streets.”
The project is being funded by a 10-year, $120,000, forgivable loan that the Clarksburg Mission received from the West Virginia Housing Development Fund.
“We had a man living here in our regular dorm who was a recovering alcoholic. When we started the veterans housing program five years ago, he was the first veteran to move in. He was here for six months and through that program he got into his own apartment. He has been clean and sober ever since,” said Mullet. “That’s what I am most excited about. Who are going to be those first five that have an opportunity to go from homelessness to a loving, supportive community where they have hope and opportunity?”
Homeless veterans in need of housing will be referred to the Clarksburg Mission through the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center homeless veterans program. The completion date for the project is October 1, 2015.
In addition to the new housing for homeless veterans, the forgivable loan will be used to install three new bathrooms in the Mission’s welcome room facility and rewiring the electrical system at the Mission’s main building located at 312 N. 4th Street.