City looking to build "Veterans Village"

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The city of Jonesboro is on a mission to create a Veterans Village in town.

Tiffny Calloway, the city's director of community development, said Wednesday a new program called National Housing Trust Fund is coming to Arkansas.

The city learned this after visiting the Arkansas Development Finance Authority in Little Rock.

With that program comes $9-million in potential funding.

"The kicker for this program, Arkansas has allocated 100% of their funding to veterans," Calloway said. "In Craighead County alone, there are over 6,000 veterans. So, ADFA is looking for innovated ways to help solve homeless veterans and near-homeless veterans and also be able to provide case management services to these vets."

Calloway got to digging. After researching nationwide programs, she found one in Kansas City, Missouri that stuck out.

"It was started by three veterans and it's called Veterans Community Project," she said. "It's 100% privately funded, but they do work with the mayor and city council to find land for funding for this project."

Recently, Calloway with other city officials and local veteran's organizations in Jonesboro visited Kansas City where they toured the Veterans Community Project's Veterans Village.

"They provide temporary housing, 6 months up to a year," she said. "It's not a preset amount of time they are allowed to serve there, but it's one-on-one. They have a case manager who helps them with financial literacy and any kind of case management services."

Calloway told Region 8 News this project is on the city's radar, which means they are working to get their own Veterans Village in Jonesboro.

"We are looking to build anywhere from 10 to 15 temporary housing homes for veterans for veterans who need assistance," she said. "Also, have a central community center that's going to have the facilities that's going to be able to house our veterans' organizations."

The project could come sooner than later, but it all comes down to available funding.

"We are currently pursuing the grant application," Calloway said. "We have met a couple of times with ADFA to see what the requirements are with the grant. So, we will be submitting a resolution to the city council to make application for this grant."

ADFA will let communities know this year which ones they select for funding.

"It could be a year project," she said. "So, 2019, we could be breaking ground on a veterans village right here in Jonesboro."

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