'Home for our nation’s heroes': Milwaukee Soldiers Home celebrates reopening

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – The reopening of the Milwaukee Soldiers Home was celebrated on Thursday, May 27.

The mission is to provide housing for veterans and their families wo are homeless or at risk of being homeless. Six buildings were rehabbed over 10 years and now 101 units are available.

“You can feel the building just smile again because it’s doing what it was intended to do, which is being a home for our nation’s heroes,” Milwaukee VA Medical Center Deputy Director James McLain said.

The Milwaukee Soldiers Home was one of three original homes in the country built to help Civil War soldiers rehabilitate.

“It is so fitting that not only do we have a historic preservation project, but we have a living tribute to veterans and providing decent housing and wraparound care for veterans is something that all of us are committed to,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said.

Residents will get access to several services including educational training and employment assistance.

“For some individuals life is a challenge and this gives them a chance to really have all of those resources, to bring everything back together again,” McLain said. “Having a secure, safe place to live just can’t be understated.”

The units vary in size based on the veteran’s family. They will pay about 30 percent of their annual income for rent and can live there permanently.

“This is a place for them to call home and we are very, very excited,” Centers for Veterans Issues President Lt. Eduardo Garza Jr. said.

Right now, around 90 percent of the units are leased and 50 percent of people are already moved in.

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