Housing for Yakima homeless vets may be in the future if $2.5M secured
YAKIMA, Wash. -- Kerry Daniel says after spending four years with the United States Army, and 11 years with the National Guard, he somehow wound up with no roof over his head, over and over again.
"There’s been other times I wound up homeless for one reason or another, and there was nothing available. No help, no housing," said Daniel.
Cue State Reps Jeremie Dufault and Chris Corry, who are trying to secure the last $2.5 million dollars needed from the state to move forward with the $17 million housing project for Yakima’s homeless vets.
Already, more than $14 million has been secured through the City of Yakima, Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, and others.
"As a veteran and service member myself, I recognize the challenges that many of our veterans face, coming home from service, with PTSD issues and family separation issues, and wanna make sure that no person who has served our country goes without shelter," said Dufault.
With the help of the Yakima Housing Authority, this plan which has been two years in the making, is to turn the former US Marine Corps Armory building on Tahoma Avenue into 41 housing units, as big as two bedrooms, for homeless vets and their families.
The idea is to also be able to provide some onsite medical services and counseling - things that Dufault says vets often go without.
"We don’t always have the resources available, and this is one more arrow in the quiver to help homeless veterans get back on their feet again, and overcome some of the challenges that may have been a result of serving our country," said Dufault.
Daniel, who says he’s no longer homeless, says he wishes something like this would’ve come along years ago, when he needed it most, but he’s happy for the other vets who will be able to make use of the housing and resources, if the project is given the green light.
He said, "There are a lot of homeless vets out there. Some of us have been injured while on duty and what they pay you for your disability helps, but it's not always enough."