JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A huge new project will soon begin to help homeless veterans across Region 8.
A news conference Monday announced plans to unveil Northeast Arkansas’s first Veterans Village to serve homeless veterans.
A $1 million grant from the Arkansas Development Financial Authority will fund the project.
Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin said it’s a tremendous operation.
“The fact that we’re providing the housing, Beck PRIDE is taking care of all the screening, Arkansas State University is there to help them with any needs they’re going to have,” Perrin said. “It was just a blessed day for our veterans today.”
There are currently 226,000 veterans that live in Arkansas and accordin to Mayor Perrin, there are over 5,000 in Craighead County alone.
William Wussick, Citizen Director of Arkansas Department of Veteran Affairs, said he hopes projects like this one spread across the state.
“A successful story you have going on here in Jonesboro with this awesome opportunity,” Wussick said. “Hopefully will just grow throughout the state and create other opportunities to help veterans in other parts of the state of Arkansas.”
Loyd Davis, a Vietnam veteran, said events like this one will help with veteran placement.
“This particular event today is so important,” Davis said. “It’s not going to solve all of our problems but it’s going to go a long way in helping the community.”
Wussick said housing veterans in Jonesboro will only benefit the community.
“When we provide assistance and create opportunities for veterans to go back into the community and be a part of that community,” Wussick said. “Then we’re bringing benefits and assets to the state and the community of Jonesboro by doing that.”
Having also served our country, Perrin said the Veterans Village is a victory for Jonesboro.
“Well it’s just a great day for the veterans, and being a veteran, God blessed us,” Perrin said.
The housing for the veterans is a temporary stay.
Residents are only predicted to stay for a few months until they are ready to sustain themselves.