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NEW SUPPORTIVE VETERAN HOUSING OPENS IN BRIGHTON

Development will provide 25 new units of affordable housing and supportive services for veterans in need.

BOSTON – September 15, 2020 – Brighton Marine, a Veteran network community in Brighton, announced the official opening of a facility that provides 25 units of affordable housing to vulnerable Boston area Veterans.

“The City of Boston is incredibly lucky to have a network of providers that delivers among the most high-quality and comprehensive services for homeless individuals in the United States,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “We are proud of the fact that we have one of the highest sheltering rates in the nation. Brighton Marine is a great example of the work being done to help these individuals who have served our country. I thank all of our partners.”

The City of Boston is committed to connecting Boston’s military families with the resources and assistance they are entitled to. In 2015, Mayor Walsh released “An Action Plan to End Veteran and Chronic Homelessness In Boston: 2015 – 2018”,  which outlines the City’s strategies to transform Boston’s homeless response system in order to end veterans homelessness by 2015 and chronic homelessness by 2018. Since the start of the plan the City has housed more than 1,291 veterans experiencing homelessness.

Boston Housing Authority, in partnership with Brighton Marine, Boston Veterans’ Services, VA Boston Healthcare and Soldier On, will provide permanent, affordable housing and supportive services to eligible Veterans under the HUD-VASH program. The HUD-VA Supportive Housing program provides Veterans with comprehensive case management and wraparound services delivered on and off campus – including primary and mental health care, and if needed, substance abuse counseling – to help Veteran residents further their recovery while achieving housing security and independence.

“Housing veterans has been a major priority for BHA for decades,” said Kate Bennett, Boston Housing Authority Administrator. “We are thrilled to be able to provide critical support for this project.”

The complex is located near public transit and a local job center and will complement an existing initiative by the non-profit Brighton Marine that helps homeless veterans and their families with money for security deposits, rent, outstanding utility bills, and moving expenses.

The care for residents will be coordinated by the case management teams at Boston Veterans’ Services, VA Boston Healthcare and Soldier On, a private nonprofit organization committed to ending veteran homelessness. Soldier On has been serving homeless veterans since 1994 through both transitional and permanent housing with comprehensive services, including case management and wellness support, workforce assistance, benefits assessment and application assistance, legal services, transportation, telehealth, daily meals and many ancillary support programs. These two organizations, in conjunction with Brighton Marine will provide on-site assistance through many services, including providing a resident director who will be onsite to meet the unique needs of each resident.

“We could not be more thrilled to open additional housing options on the Brighton Marine campus for veterans who have served our country,” said Michael Dwyer, President of Brighton Marine. “This was truly a team effort and we are thankful for the support of our Board of Directors and community partners who have rolled up their sleeves to bring this vision to life.” 

“We at Soldier On are honored and excited to be included in the Brighton Marine veterans housing development. The men and women who served our country were there when we needed them, and we are here for them when they need a home and a community to be a part of,” said Bruce Buckley, CEO and President of Soldier On. “We are grateful for Brighton Marine, their Board of Directors, the City of Boston, and all the other community partners to allow us to serve the veterans in this joint effort.”

Each studio is fully furnished with private kitchenettes and full bathrooms. The facility will be fitted with state-of-the-art conferencing technology to support telehealth needs for Veteran residents. Veterans are expected to begin moving in by September 15.

About Boston Authority (BHA)
Boston Housing Authority (BHA) provides affordable housing to more than 58,000 residents in and around the City of Boston. Residents are assisted through a combination of public housing and federal and state voucher subsidy programs that provide a wide variety of housing opportunities. As the largest public housing authority in New England, the BHA houses close to 9 percent of the city’s residents. Our mission is to provide stable, quality affordable housing for low- and moderate-income persons; to deliver these services with integrity and mutual accountability; and to create living environments which serve as catalysts for the transformation from dependency to economic self-sufficiency.

About Brighton Marine
A vital social service presence since 1940, Brighton Marine is a charitable organization that supports uniformed services members, retirees, veterans and their families through a nationally-recognized health management program, developing and managing mixed income housing, and providing various veteran support services to the Greater Boston community. Serving as the network community for uniformed service member transitioning back into civilian life and a resource hub of military, veteran and family services in the Greater Boston area, Brighton Marine has earned a reputation as a strong community presence and trusted partner in social services. For more information, visit www.brightonmarine.org.

About Soldier On 
Soldier On is a nationally recognized non-profit organization governed by a full-time President, CEO and a volunteer Board of Directors. We work in partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs and other agencies to provide veterans with shelter and support in an environment that offers dignity, integrity, and, most importantly, hope. Soldier On’s mission is to offer a continuum of care that includes immediate and long-term housing with services delivered where they live. Soldier On’s ultimate goal is to provide formerly homeless veterans with permanent, supportive, sustainable housing – assisting them in their transition from homelessness to homeownership. For more information, visit www.wesoldieron.org.

About Boston’s Way Home
Boston’s Way Home is the City of Boston’s plan to end chronic and veteran homelessness. Launched in 2015, the plan focused on addressing the housing and support needs of veterans and chronically homeless individuals.  Since Mayor Walsh launched Boston’s Way Home, the City’s plan to reach this goal, Boston has ended chronic veteran homelessness. To date, the City has housed more than 850 homeless veterans.  Now, the City is expanding its efforts to include ending all chronic homelessness in Boston.

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WinnDevelopment and Soldier On, Inc., Begin Construction of $23 Million Veterans Housing Development in Tinton Falls, NJ

TINTON FALLS, NJ (September 12, 2020) – Federal, state, county and local officials today joined executives from WinnDevelopment and Soldier On, Inc., to celebrate the start of construction on a $23 million, 70-unit apartment community in Tinton, Falls, NJ, for veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, including veterans transitioning from homelessness.

Soldier On, a non-profit organization serving homeless veterans since 1994, will provide residents at The Gordon H. Mansfield Veterans Village with comprehensive services, including case management and wellness support, workforce assistance, benefits assessment and application assistance, legal services, transportation, telehealth, daily meals and many ancillary support programs.

“There are more than 400,000 veterans in New Jersey and thousands of them are disabled, homeless or in need of the support that will improve their quality of life. We’re pleased to partner with Soldier On, with the support of state and local officials, to deliver this much deserved assistance and bring this important project to life,” said WinnCompanies CEO Gilbert Winn. “Communities that combine high quality apartments with on-site expert services are a focus for our company and something that we expect to develop more of in the years ahead.”

The development will produce a four-story building with 70 one-bedroom apartments that will be available at a range of income levels –18 units will be available to individuals earning up to 30 percent of Area Median Income (AMI); 24 will be designated at 50 percent of AMI; 10 at 60 percent of AMI, and 18 at 80 percent AMI.

“We want to thank all of the many elected officials, and the many other supporting contributors in New Jersey who have made this possible. Soldier On will offer extensive services to the veterans living at the Tinton Falls property. A caring community will be created to offer not only the high-quality housing, but most importantly a supported environment of men and women who can offer support to one another,” said Soldier On CEO Bruce Buckley.

With preparations underway at the wooded 12-acre site donated by The Borough of Tinton Falls, federal, state, county and local officials gathered at Liberty Park in Tinton Falls to hear more about the project on Saturday.

“This development will give many veterans their first decent place to live and prosper in years with vital services that can have a life-changing impact,” said U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, a Republican who serves New Jersey’s 4th Congressional District. “Because of federal, state and local public and private partnership, we are making progress – but there are 37,000 homeless vets on the street on any given night. That number remains unconscionable high. We have more to work to do.”

The $23 million project is supported by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA), which will provide construction and permanent financing from the Agency Revenue Bond Financing Program and a subsidy mortgage loan commitment from the NJHMFA’s Multifamily Rental Housing Production Fund; low-income housing tax credit equity provided by Bank of America; a subordinate mortgage from Federal Home Loan Bank New York Affordable Housing Program; HOME funds from Monmouth County, NJ; project-based rental assistance from the New Jersey Department of Housing Assistance; and, a deferred developer fee.

The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) has awarded 18 Housing Choice Project-Based Vouchers to the project to assist homeless veterans.

“We have a moral obligation to take care of our soldiers when they complete their service to our country, some of whom will have lifelong mental and physical health challenges as a result. Providing them accessible, decent, safe and clean housing with the supportive services they require is one of the ways we can help ensure they live the quality of life they deserve,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of DCA. “This new apartment complex will provide New Jersey veterans and their families with a home in a community that understands and meets their unique needs. Governor Murphy and I are grateful to the public and private partners who have come together to move this project forward and we look forward to its completion.”

“I am very excited to see the start of construction on the Gordon H. Mansfield Veterans Village in Tinton Falls,” said New Jersey State Sen. Vin Gopal (D-Monmouth). “As Chair of the Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I’m grateful for this apartment complex setting aside one-bedroom apartments for homeless veterans in our community. The transition from military service to civilian life can be very difficult, but the economic downturn caused by the public health crisis has made it even harder for our veterans to find jobs and put a roof over their family’s head. This apartment complex encompasses a token of our gratitude towards those who have served our great nation.”

Expected to be ready for occupancy by October 2021, the community is named for the late Gordon H. Mansfield, a highly decorated Vietnam War veteran who served as Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs, as well as Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equality Opportunity at the Department of Housing & Urban Development.

“When the prior Soldier On CEO Jack Downing and I started this effort a decade ago, there were people who doubted that we would ever get it done, but I never questioned it. There are just too many good people who will listen when a need like this is presented to them and do what they can to help,” said Monmouth County Freeholder Lillian Burry. “We reached across party lines and jurisdictional boundaries and found people happy to do their patriotic duty. I am proud to say that Soldier On is making a new home in Monmouth County.”

Amenities planned for the development include a community room, offices, mail area, common laundry, and an exterior courtyard with benches and grills.

“This project is a wonderful opportunity to thank our veterans, and it could not have come at a better time to help those during the global pandemic and an economic crisis,” said State Assemblywoman Joanne Downey (D-Monmouth). “The Gordon H. Mansfield Veterans Village in Tinton Falls will provide safety and reassurance to veterans who find themselves struggling when they return home from their service. The comprehensive services provided will benefit our veterans’ overall wellbeing and allow us to give back to those who have sacrificed so much for the good of our country.”

“Congratulations on the groundbreaking of the Gordon H. Mansfield Veterans Village,” said State Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling (D-Monmouth). “I’m proud to see that this apartment community will address the unique needs of homeless veterans and their children. These individuals have sacrificed so much, many serving on the front lines, and this complex makes sure they’re not at the end of the line when they seek housing and other supportive services.”

The development site is within walking distance of the Jersey Shore Premium Outlets, Walmart Supercenter, Twin Brook Golf Center and several restaurant chains. Public transportation in the immediate area is provided by New Jersey Transit, which offers both train and bus services.

“Affordable housing is essential in New Jersey. It is particularly critical for the military veterans in our community who have served our country,” said NJHMFA Executive Director Charles Richman. “In this current economic climate, the HMFA is happy to be able to provide the capital financing that will enable the development of this project, which will help some of our veterans move into safe, affordable housing befitting their service.”

“It is a privilege and honor to dedicate this project for our veterans. As a proud World War II veteran, I am gratified that Tinton Falls and its residents are helping to provide housing for my fellow veterans in need. Our town’s donation of this 12-acre property honors their service to our country,” said Tinton Falls Mayor Vito Perillo.

The project will be the Soldier On’s seventh housing facility for veterans and its first-ever supportive services housing development In New Jersey, where it already manages several programs for veterans. The non-profit also works with veteran communities in Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania.

“This project reflects the commitment of the Soldier On staff, on the ground in New Jersey and throughout the organization to serve veterans who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. Soldier On has been addressing the needs of the at-risk veterans in New Jersey through its VA-sponsored programming by providing a vast array of services. These services include providing access to quality housing via rental and security deposit assistance, negotiating with landlords, transportation, accessing benefits and services and many other supporting programs,” Buckley said.

V.J. Scozzari & Sons, Inc., of Pennington, NJ, will serve as the general contractor; PS&S Architecture & Engineering, of Cherry Hill, NJ, will serve as the architect and civil engineer; Gibbons P.C. will serve as local counsel.

“WinnDevelopment, with our partners at Soldier On, are proud to break ground on these critically needed affordable housing units in the Gordon H. Mansfield Veterans Village model,” said WinnDevelopment Vice President David Ginsberg. “This project represents WinnDevelopment’s first new construction effort in New Jersey, adding to its growing portfolio of multifamily housing developments in the state. The fantastic Tinton Falls site will be highlighted by a high-efficiency building, with many common amenity spaces and outdoor gathering areas. These design features, coupled with access to on-site case management, transportation to public services, and proximity to abundant retail opportunity, will foster a high quality of life for the veteran men and women who will call this Tinton Falls Veterans Village home.”

Earlier this year, WinnDevelopment completed The Residences at Brighton Marine, a mixed-income community in Boston that provides 102 units housing and supportive services for veterans. Soldier On delivers supportive services and case management at a 25-unit permanent housing facility on the Brighton Marine campus.

WinnResidential, the property management arm of WinnCompanies, will manage The Gordon H. Mansfield Veterans Village in collaboration with Soldier On. WinnResidential currently manages 16 multifamily properties totaling 2,297 apartments in 11 New Jersey cities and towns. Its sister company, WinnResidential Military Housing Services, manages 41,000 homes for members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families at military installations in 12 states.

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WinnDevelopment and Soldier On, Inc., Close Financing for $23 Million Veterans Housing Development in Tinton Falls, NJ

Photo courtesy of PS&S Architecture & Engineering.

BOSTON (August 4, 2020) – WinnDevelopment, an award-winning multifamily housing developer, and Soldier On, Inc., a non-profit organization serving homeless veterans, today announced they have closed on the financing needed to develop a $23 million, 70-unit apartment community in Tinton, Falls, NJ, for veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, including veterans transitioning from homelessness.

“This is an important milestone in the long-held goal to build a veterans village at this site,” said Larry Curtis, president and managing partner of WinnDevelopment. “We appreciate the deep support this project has earned from so many public and private officials, including the New Jersey Housing Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA), Bank of America, Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, Monmouth County and the leaders of the Borough of Tinton Falls. We are excited to get construction underway.”

The Gordon H. Mansfield Veterans Village will feature a four-story building with 70 one-bedroom apartments that will be available at a range of income levels, some of which will be set aside for homeless veterans. The community will be built on a wooded 12-acre site on Essex Road in Tinton Falls and will include a community room, offices, mail area, common laundry, and an exterior courtyard with benches and grills.

“We at Soldier On are thrilled to have closed on the funding needed to provide affordable permanent housing for homeless and at-risk veterans in Monmouth County,” said Bruce Buckley, the group’s CEO. “The construction of this property for the veterans most at-risk is only possible with the support of many individuals, organizations, and government agencies. Monmouth County Freeholder Lillian Burry and former Tinton Falls City Council President Gary Baldwin have passionately and persistently worked with Soldier On since 2014 to make this project a reality. Congressman Smith, Lt. Governor Oliver, NJHFMA, Senator Gopal, and many other agencies joined this effort along the way, and all have contributed the same passion and commitment to effectively serve the veteran community. As we have been for the past decade, Soldier On looks forward to working with the New Jersey service providers and veterans’ service organizations to assist with finding eligible veterans who will benefit from this project.”

In addition to its role as a co-owner, Soldier On, based in Pittsfield, MA, will provide supportive services and case management for homeless veterans at the community. The project will be the organization’s first supportive services housing development outside Massachusetts and its seventh housing facility for veterans since it was founded in 1994.

“WinnCompanies, with our partners at Soldier On, are proud to begin construction on these critically needed housing units for veterans, including units set aside for homeless veterans and female veterans,” said WinnDevelopment Vice President David Ginsberg. “It is a testament to the leadership of the State of New Jersey, Monmouth County and Borough of Tinton Falls, including Mayor Vito Perillo, who were the first to identify the importance and urgency of housing for veterans, and then commit the necessary resources to get shovels in the ground. This closing would not have been possible without the dedicated team at the NJHFMA led by Charles (Chuck) Richman. The NJHMFA executive team and staff’s responsiveness, flexibility, and support were essential to make the veterans village model of housing a reality.”

Financing for the $23 million project is being provided by the NJHMFA, which will provide construction and permanent financing from the Agency Revenue Bond Financing Program and a subsidy mortgage loan commitment from the NJHMFA’s Multifamily Rental Housing Production Fund; low-income housing tax credit equity provided by Bank of America; a subordinate mortgage from Federal Home Loan Bank New York Affordable Housing Program; HOME funds from Monmouth County, NJ; project-based rental assistance from the New Jersey Department of Housing Assistance; and, a deferred developer fee.

The community will be named for the late Gordon H. Mansfield, a highly decorated Vietnam War veteran and Pittsfield native who served as Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs, as well as Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equality Opportunity at the Department of Housing & Urban Development.

The Borough of Tinton Falls donated the property for the project. Construction is expected to begin this summer. V.J. Scozzari & Sons, Inc., of Pennington, NJ, will serve as the general contractor; PS&S Architecture & Engineering, of Cherry Hill, NJ, will serve as the architect and civil engineer; Gibbons P.C. will serve as local counsel and, Berman Indictor of Philadelphia, PA, will serve as counsel for the transaction. WinnResidential, the property management arm of WinnCompanies, will manage the community when it is for completed.

The project comes just months after WinnDevelopment completed The Residences at Brighton Marine, a mixed-income community in Boston that provides 102 units housing and supportive services for veterans and their families. Soldier On provides supportive services and case management at a 25-unit permanent housing facility on the Brighton Marine campus. WinnDevelopment’s other affordable housing developments in New Jersey include City Crossing, a 131-unit property in Jersey City; Ivy Square, a 156-unit community in Bridgeton; and, Sencit Liberty, a 153-unit property in Atlantic City. 

Soldier On operates a 71-bed transitional housing facility, a 39-unit housing cooperative, and a 14-unit housing cooperative specifically for female veterans in Pittsfield, MA. On the campus of the Veterans Administration Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System in Leeds, MA, Soldier On operates a 165-bed transitional housing facility for both men and women veterans, as well as a 44-unit housing cooperative. Other permanent housing cooperatives include 43 units in Chicopee and 51 units in Agawam, MA.

About WinnCompanies

WinnCompanies is an award-winning national owner, developer and manager of high-impact affordable, middle income and market rate housing communities. Founded in 1971 and operating in 23 states and the District of Columbia, WinnCompanies is one of the nation’s leading multi-family housing operators with more than 105,000 units under management. It is the largest manager of affordable housing in the United States and a leading manager of privatized U.S. military housing. The company’s 3,670 team members are the source of its success.

About Soldier On, Inc.

Soldier On is a nationally recognized non-profit organization that worked in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and other agencies to provide veterans with shelter and support in an environment that offers dignity integrity and, most importantly, hope. Our mission is to offer a continuum of care that includes immediate and long-term housing with services delivered where they live. Soldier On’s ultimate goal is to provide formerly homeless veterans with permanent, supportive, sustainable housing – assisting them in their transition from homelessness to homeownership.

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“I like being all things to all mankind”

Soldier On’s new chaplain: ‘I like being all things to all mankind’

BEN GARVER — THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE
Father Peter Gregory is the new chaplain for Soldier On, Thursday, February 28, 2019. Gregory is very active in the community eve though he retired from St. Charles Church two years ago.

 

PITTSFIELD — The Rev. Peter Gregory’s four decades-plus of priesthood is one of destiny.

For 28 years, the city native was pastor of St. Charles Church in Pittsfield, where he was baptized as a child and his parents exchanged vows. Now, two years after leaving his pastoral duties behind, the Air Force veteran has been called to help homeless veterans get back on their feet.

Soldier On has named Gregory its new chaplain, succeeding the Rev. Quentin Chin, who left the position in December.

Before entering the priesthood, Gregory served full time in the Air Force from 1962 to 1966, continuing as a reservist until 1995. He credits the military training with giving him structure, discipline and the experience of the outside world that have served him well as pastor.

Gregory sees his latest calling as divine destiny.

“I’ve come full circle. I believe this came from the Lord — Holy Spirit-sent,” he told The Eagle on Thursday, his first day on the job.

Soldier On Executive Vice President John “Jack” Downing finds Gregory a perfect fit as the agency’s chaplain.

“It’s just a great marriage for both of us,” he said. “The veterans community we serve all want a chaplain.”

Gregory, who will be based in Pittsfield, will lead nondenominational spiritual and religious groups and conduct monthly masses in Pittsfield, Leeds, Agawam and Chicopee. The four Soldier On locations serve up to 450 homeless veterans. There are 250 in transitional programs, with an additional 200 living in permanent housing, according to Soldier On officials.

Gregory also is a part of the nonprofit’s Higher Level of Care Team, an outreach service to former Soldier On residents in assisted living and nursing homes.

“There’s a wonderful spirit here of helping veterans, some broken, but we’re trying to rebuild them,” he said.

Soldier On works in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and other agencies to provide veterans with shelter and support toward independence that includes homeownership.

“We serve everyone who comes through our doors,” Downing said. “If people relapse here, we don’t throw them out.”

Gregory already had informal ties to Soldier On, being a longtime friend of Downing and CEO Bruce Buckley’s children raised Catholic at St. Charles.

“He has real passion and compassion that he has brought to my family,” Buckley said.

After the ordination July 7, 1973, Gregory was named associate pastor at St. Joseph Church in Pittsfield. The clergyman would later hold several other ministerial positions in the Springfield and Albany, N.Y., area before heading overseas to Belgium in 1983. Gregory spent five years as pastor of Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Brussels and taught in Belgium, before returning to the states as chaplain of Mercy Hospital of Springfield.

Gregory was named pastor of St. Charles in 1989. From there, he also has served as chaplain to several groups, including the Pittsfield Fire Department. He remains the spiritual voice of the city firefighters.

Being Soldier On’s first Catholic chaplain isn’t an issue for Gregory or the veterans he has met so far.

“They look at me as a chaplain, and that’s what I want.” he said. “I like being all things to all mankind.”

Dick Lindsay can be reached at rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com and 413-496-6233.

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HLP & Soldier On Team Up to Help Military Veterans Achieve, Sustain Homeownership

December 5, 2018 – Hope LoanPort (HLP) and Soldier On announced today that the two organizations have implemented a new, comprehensive program to help military veterans achieve and sustain homeownership.  This multi-faceted initiative is designed to ensure our nation’s heroes have access to safe, secure and sustainable housing and it expands Soldier On’s service reach to a national level.

“There is a compelling need for this collaboration because a sizeable number of veterans face daunting challenges related to homeownership due to financial, physical and emotional issues,” said Bruce Buckley, Soldier On’s chief executive officer. “We are proud to partner with HLP in this important work that is changing the end of the story for our veterans.”

“Our partnership with Solider On will provide military veterans with a variety of services to help them purchase a home or get the right coaching needed to keep their existing home,” said Mark Cole, HLP’s chief executive officer.  “By combining Soldier On’s resources with our services, we can provide veterans with a holistic approach that will help them achieve their financial and housing goals.”

Key initiatives in the program include:

  • Veterans Homeownership Center. A national call center (888-288-3184) and program website soldieronsuccess.org will connect veterans on a path to homeownership and assistance in maintaining affordable housing and homeownership. The dedicated team versed in home retention strategies and resources unique to active military and veterans will work with homeowners.  Housing counselors from HUD-approved counseling agencies will provide a range of services including pre-purchase coaching, post-purchase support, foreclosure prevention counseling, loan modifications and workouts, refinancing analysis and reverse mortgage counseling.
  • Homes for Veterans. This program creates affordable, sustainable homes for veterans by accepting Real-Estate owned properties from mortgage servicers and investors and renovating them to match homes in the neighborhood and specific veteran needs.  Veterans accepted into the program receive 36 months of assistance via an individualized plan that ensures they are financially prepared and confident. Veterans who reach readiness goals can purchase the home at a 50-70% of appraised value. Post-purchase support assists in making lifestyle adjustments, setting goals and prioritizing choices, plus add Soldier On’s best-in-class expertise to ensure access to all needed resources.
  • Credit Education through HLPGuru and Credit Smart. This program will offer veterans access to CreditSmart®, Freddie Mac’s multilingual financial education curriculum designed to help consumers build and maintain better credit, make sound financial decisions, and understand the steps to sustainable homeownership.  In addition, veterans will also have access to HLP.guru, a new app that connects a tech-savvy generation of consumers with advanced analytics about a person’s credit score, borrowing capacity and other critical information to help them become homeowners.
  • Fair Housing Education. HLP and Soldier On are part of a collaboration of five nonprofit organizations joined to identify, educate, and advocate for potential victims of fair housing discrimination in communities across the nation. This collaborative will provide 3,167 hours of fair housing education to 14,000 potential discrimination victims and to the non-profit housing counseling and advocacy groups that serve them.  Veterans who have experienced discrimination will also be able to submit a complaint through the HLP system.

While both organizations have long histories of working with veterans, HLP and Soldier On believe that bringing two best-in-class providers together will dramatically improve the customer experience and success rate.

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About HLP

HLP is a unique collaborative created in 2009 that engages the key stakeholders who work with families on homeownership – nonprofit counselors, advocates, mortgage lenders, servicers and investors, attorneys and government agencies. Being a national, neutral, nonprofit organization allows us to listen to all the parties and build solutions that support homeowners and incorporate the unique needs of all stakeholders.  As a result, HLP unifies the housing industry by helping individuals and families achieve and sustain homeownership. Stakeholders share information with each other via our technology platform and collaborate to find solutions to help homeowners. To date, we have helped more than 700,000 homeowners during their time of need.

About Soldier On

Soldier On is a nationally recognized non-profit organization governed by a full-time President, CEO and a volunteer Board of Directors. We work in partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs and other agencies to provide veterans with shelter and support in an environment that offers dignity, integrity, and, most importantly, hope. Our mission is to offer a continuum of care that includes immediate and long-term housing with services delivered where they live. Soldier On’s ultimate goal is to provide formerly homeless veterans with permanent, supportive, sustainable housing – assisting them in their transition from homelessness to homeownership.

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Homes for Veterans Program

Three national organizations have come together to help turn Real Estate Owned (REO) properties into affordable, sustainable homes for Veterans. There is a compelling need for this collaboration, as a sizeable number of Veterans face daunting challenges to becoming homeowners due to financial, physical and emotional issues. Soldier On, HLP and Citibank are working together to provide eligible Veterans and their families with a rehabilitated, single family residences along with the support and guidance necessary to maintain successful, independent permanent housing.

The “Homes for Veterans” program is committed to changing the end of the story for military Veterans, and the program addresses the two key components of success – offering the right property and providing ongoing education and support.

Citi is donating these properties for the program. The properties selected are then rehabilitated to a standard comparable to other properties in the neighborhood, and to include any modifications or accommodations needed by the Veteran.

Soldier On and HLP will work with the Veteran for 36 months to help ensure their success.  By providing an individualized service plan with a timetable for achievement of pre-established goals, we’ll be certain the Veteran is prepared financially and is confident about their ability to tackle homeownership.  We’ll also assist them make a successful transition, by supporting lifestyle adjustments, setting goals and prioritizing choices. All this work is coordinated with Soldier On’s best-in-class expertise to ensure Veterans get access to all the programs and resources they need and deserve.

Many other organizations are joining in to help our military Veteran families with this opportunity to achieve the American Dream. Current partners include Kathy Ireland and Tommy Mehary of Kathy Ireland Worldwide; SG Blocks; Star Flooring; YourHome1Source; and Lennox Heating and Cooling; and others are being added monthly.

We are excited to announce the completion of the first of hopefully hundreds of Homes for Veterans all across the country. We are thrilled to announce that our first Veteran selected in the great state of Texas is Homer Reyna, an Honorably Discharged US Marine. We are presenting Homer, his wife Paulene, and their daughter, Ella, with keys to their new Brownsville home on Friday October 12th.

Soldier On, HLP and Citi are grateful for the opportunity to participate in this year’s Tribute to Valor gathering, and humbled to join America’s most distinguished Veteran’s advocacies in honoring our country’s heroes. We share a common goal of addressing the needs of our heroes by providing a stable support system for our active and retired service members, their families, and those who will be serving in the future. We are proud to join Cendera Funding in welcoming our Nation’s Medal of Honor Recipients, America’s service members, Veterans, and families, in support of this wonderful cause to benefit the children and spouses of our Nation’s military service members who have paid the ultimate sacrifice serving our Country since 9-11.

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SG Blocks Partners with Soldier On to Combat Veteran Homelessness

Grimshaw Architects Modular Single & Multi-Family Home Rendering (Source – Grimshaw Architects)

BROOKLYN, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–SG Blocks, Inc. (NASDAQ: SGBX), a leading designer, fabricator and innovator of container-based structures, has partnered with SOLDIER ON, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to end veteran homelessness and provide veteran supportive services, using donated lands, for veterans in need across the United States. Subsequent to the closing of the partnership Soldier On has identified five sites for potential development in selected markets.

SG Blocks’ newly-formed subsidiary SG Residential will be the exclusive provider of modular single-family and multi-family homes for Soldier On. The firm will deliver design and engineering renderings for all manufactured homes and partner with local contractors, preferably veteran-owned, for site work and install. Grimshaw Architects will be bringing its design expertise to SG Residential and is well-versed in affordable housing design and universal design. SG Blocks will also introduce financing partners to assist the veterans with financing. According to a 2017 report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, there are over 40,000 homeless veterans.

“SG Blocks admires our military personnel and we are honored to be working with Soldier On to help provide housing to veterans in need,” stated Paul Galvin, Chairman and CEO of SG Blocks. “Our housing solution is extremely efficient, safe and sustainable. With our quick turnaround time, veterans serviced will be able to drastically reduce their costs and move in to their new homes much more quickly than if traditional construction methods had been used.”

“We are thrilled to partner with SG Blocks and enhance our housing capabilities for the veterans we serve,” stated Bruce Buckley, CEO of Soldier On. “Its unique container-based modular solution will speed up our processes and reduce our costs, allowing us to help more veterans in need.”

“We are so proud of our team member, Marine Tommy Meharey, who served our country, and his dedication and active engagement with Soldier On,” stated Kathy Ireland, Level Brands (NYSE AMERICAN: LEVB) Chairman Emeritus and Chief Brand Strategist. “We are excited about Soldier On’s partnership with SG Blocks, an innovative leader in the construction sector.”

SG Blocks utilizes code-engineered cargo shipping containers to construct and provide safe, durable and environmentally-friendly structures. It has an exclusive ESR number, which was granted by the International Code Council and ensures its ability to meet and exceed all international building codes. Clients have included Starbucks, Marriott, Taco Bell, Aman, Equinox and several branches of the U.S. military.

About SG Blocks, Inc.

SG Blocks, Inc. is a premier innovator in advancing and promoting the use of code-engineered cargo shipping containers for safe and sustainable construction. The firm offers a product that exceeds many standard building code requirements, and also supports developers, architects, builders and owners in achieving greener construction, faster execution, and stronger buildings of higher value. Each project starts with GreenSteel™, the structural core and shell of an SG Blocks building, and then customized to client specifications. For more information, visit www.sgblocks.com.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:
https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180913005326/en/

Contacts

Media
Rubenstein Public Relations
Kati Bergou
Vice President
212-805-3014
kbergou@rubensteinpr.com
or
Investor Relations
MZ North America
Chris Tyson
Managing Director
949-491-8235
chris.tyson@mzgroup.us

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Soldier On receives funding for housing project

PITTSFIELD — Soldier On has received $125,000 in predevelopment financing from the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation to develop affordable housing in Pittsfield. The organization is proposing to develop 14 units of permanent supportive housing serving veterans as part of its Gordon H. Mansfield Veterans Village — Phase II project. CEDAC previously committed $125,000 in predevelopment loans to Soldier On, which provides both affordable housing and supportive services to help end veteran homelessness. CEDAC has also approved a $65,000 commitment for technical services to help Worcester Common Gound Inc. developed 31 units of affordable housing in that city. CEDAC is a public-private community development finance institution that provides financial resources and technical expertise for community-based and other non-profit organizations engaged in effective community development in Massachusetts.

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Pittsfield Mayor, Linda Tyer, tours Soldier On

On Friday, August 17th Pittsfield Mayor, Linda Tyer toured Soldier On’s Pittsfield campus to see the site where the women’e permanent housing facility will be. Soldier On plans to break ground this fall.

 

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Soldier On, HLP Kick Off “Homes for Veterans” Homeownership Program in Texas

In an effort to provide affordable housing for Military Veterans, Soldier On and HLP kicked off their new “Homes for Veterans” program this past weekend at the National Fantasy Football Convention in Fort Worth, Texas. The two nonprofit organizations have joined forces with mortgage companies to receive donations of foreclosed homes. Once the homes have been renovated, they will be offered for sale at deeply discounted prices to Military Veterans and their families.

Citi Mortgage has provided the first two homes, one each in Beaumont, Texas and Brownsville, Texas.  Working with a variety of suppliers in the housing industry, Soldier On will renovate the homes and make them “move-in ready” for Veterans.  Soldier On will also lead the evaluation and selection process of potential Veterans for the program.

Beaumont, Texas

Brownsville, Texas

Once a Veteran is selected for the home, HLP will provide financial coaching to prepare the families for homeownership. The coaching involves developing a monthly budget, paying down debt and building their credit score and savings. HLP will continue work with the new homeowner to keep their financial plan on-track, ensure mortgage payments are made on-time and offer ongoing support. Soldier On will provide transitional services and connections to other Veterans’ programs to the new homeowners.

“Since our founding almost 25 years ago, we’ve helped about 25,000 Military Veterans get their life back on track by moving them into permanent housing,” said Bruce Buckley, Soldier On’s Chief Executive Officer. “This program fits perfectly with our mission to end homelessness for Veterans.”

“Like all homeowners, Veterans need to have the financial skills to buy and sustain homeownership,” said Mark Cole, HLP’s Chief Executive Officer. “By providing them with financial education and coaching both before and after homeownership, we can help them change the end of their story.”

Col. David Sutherland of Dixon Center for Military & Veterans Services, Mark Cole President & CEO of HLP, Bruce Buckley CEO of Soldier On, and Lee Shaw.

 

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