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Meet U.S. Army Veteran, Nick Cote.

How has Soldier On helped you?

“I mean, where do I begin? Soldier On has helped me build my life from the ground up, and that is a literal statement. I walked in the door with the clothes I had on, a plastic bag with toiletries, seven years of my life spent behind bars, a 435-credit score, no family or friends at all, enrolled in Veterans Treatment Court, but worst of all, I had zero self-worth. Soldier On definitely had their hands full, and not just the case managers but all the way up to the administration and the CEO had their hands in the life I get to live today. That is what is so special about Soldier On. I left Soldier On with bags upon bags of nice clothes, a credit score of 670 (with the help of Courtney DiCicco and Freddie Mac’s Credit Smart® program), a bank account (with money in it), and solid network of friends. I graduated from Westfield State University (which Soldier On paid for), have a career in a field I have always wanted to be part of, bought my first home, but most importantly I have my family and kids back in my life again. Not only would none of this have been possible without Soldier On, but I would probably be dead or in prison, so not only has Soldier On helped me create the life I live now, but they also helped me stay alive long enough to realize I deserve to live an extraordinary life, be happy and help others.”

What is one word that comes to mind when you think of Soldier On?

“Opportunity. Soldier On offers veterans help in many ways and will do almost anything for their residents. Still, most importantly, they give residents the opportunity and tools to build a better life for themselves.”

Nick has utilized a variety of Soldier On’s services, transitional housing, legal services, Supportive Services for Veteran Families, telehealth, transportation, wellness, workforce development, financial education, and credit repair.

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Meet U.S. Navy Veteran, Ron Holmes.

How has Soldier On helped you?

They have been good to me. Soldier On has helped me solve many of my personal issues. My case manager is my go-to person. Soldier On has helped me get away from people who were taking advantage of me by moving me to a safer apartment. Everyone watches over me.”

What is one word that comes to mind when you think of Soldier On?

“Family”

Ron has utilized a variety of Soldier On services, transitional housing, transportation, wellness, legal services, home healthcare elder services, and permanent housing.

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Meet U.S. Army Veteran, Carol Jones.

How has Soldier On helped you?

“WOW!! Soldier on has blew my mind, I never thought I could have a bran new life, and now I do! It is a great feeling. I love the people I have met since being here. It has helped me socialize again, I have joined the gardening group, and I participate in many activities the building provides for us. Living in Tinton Falls is a daily learning experience, you are surrounded by all walks of life. Before moving to Tinton Falls, I worked with Soldier On because I was behind on my rent and literally drowning. They helped me get through that difficult time in my life and helped me start a new one at Gordon Mansfield. I truly appreciate everything Soldier On has done for me.”

What is one word that comes to mind when you think of Soldier On?

“Blessed.”

Carol has utilized a variety of Soldier On’s services, Supportive Services for Veteran Families, legal services, transportation, wellness, workforce development, financial education and credit repair, and permanent housing.

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Meet U.S. Army Veteran, Jeremy Gemmer.

How has Soldier On helped you?

“Soldier On has helped me find permanent housing and employment with in the company. The organization has helped me with years of mental health, with great supporting staff. It gave me a place to find and stabilize myself for years to come.”

What is one word that comes to mind when you think of Soldier On?

Nietzsche.

Jeremy has utilized Soldier On’s transitional housing, workforce development services, and permanent housing.

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Meet U.S. Army Veteran, Andrea Esposito.

How has Soldier On helped you?

“Soldier On has helped me through mental health issues, substance abuse dependency and legal matters with great staff support and programs. I now have a permanent safe home. Soldier On brought me back to life.”

What is one word that comes to mind when you think of Soldier On?

“Community.”

Andrea has utilized a variety of Soldier On services, transitional housing, legal services, telehealth, transportation, financial education and credit repair, wellness, and permanent housing.

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Meet U.S.M.C. Veteran, Patrick Clyburn

Soldier On assisted veteran, Patrick Clyburn, with housing assistance when he was being evicted from his apartment. Patrick was having ongoing issues with his landlord that made him and his family feel unsafe in their own home. Patrick was referred for housing search assistance and was able to find a new apartment for him and his family. Patrick, his girlfriend, and his teenage son were thrilled to find a new, safe living environment. Soldier On assisted the family with moving costs, security deposit and rental assistance. Once settled in their new home, Patrick was referred for the Shallow Subsidy program through Soldier On. He was approved and is now set up to pay 50% of his rent for the next two years. Patrick and his family are incredibly grateful for Soldier On’s assistance with their housing.

What is one word that comes to mind when you think of Soldier On?

“Awesome.”

Patrick has utilized Soldier On’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) services.

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Meet U.S. Air Force Veteran, David Sandelin.

How has Soldier On helped you?

“Having a roof over my head initially. The support from Case Managers have been wonderful, all the staff for that matter have been very supportive to myself. Having meals provided has also been a huge pain point relieved from me. Being so close to the city and all of my exterior supports, has been extremely important for me.”

What is one word that comes to mind when you think of Soldier On?

“Supportive.”

David has utilized Soldier On’s legal services, transportation, wellness program, and permanent housing facilities.

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Soldier On receives $3.9M in funding from Massachusetts DHCD

Tuesday, the Baker-Polito Administration awarded more than $31 million in direct subsidies, tax credits, and housing vouchers to support the development and preservation of 11 housing facilities in Massachusetts, including 237 permanent housing units and 200 shelter beds for families and individuals. Since 2015, the Permanent Supportive Housing Program has produced or preserved more than 3,500 permanent supportive housing units for families, individuals, veterans, seniors, and individuals with disabilities. 

Each year, the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) works with the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC) to distribute capital funds as well as project-based housing vouchers to pay for supportive services through a competitive process administered by the agency’s Supportive Housing for Vulnerable Populations program. These supportive services support veterans, older adults, persons with disabilities, individuals and families who have experienced homelessness, as well as unaccompanied youth. Specialized services may include childcare, mental health services, job training, case management, and other services for vulnerable populations.  

Soldier On has been award $3.9 million in DHCD funding to build 21 units of affordable permanent supportive housing in Tewksbury, MA. The development has over $5.3 million in commitments from the state, Town of Tewksbury Affordable Housing Trust, Berkshire Bank, Federal Home Loan Bank (FLHB), and Soldier On equity.  

Soldier On, based in Pittsfield, MA, is dedicated to providing and coordinating an extensive continuum of housing and support services for veterans who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. The project, the Gordon H. Mansfield Veterans Community will be the organization’s eighth permanent housing facility for veterans since it was founded in 1994.

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. During his military service, Mansfield earned the Distinguished Service Cross, the Bronze Star, three Purple Hearts, the Combat Infantryman Badge, and the Presidential Unit Citation.

“Soldier On is able to continue to build on our promise of ending veteran homelessness,” said Soldier On CEO Bruce Buckley. “The support from DHCD, the town, Tewksbury Home Build, Senator Barry Finegold, Rep. David Robertson, Rep. Vanna Howard, U.S. Congressman Seth Moulton, and Steve Bohn (Office of U.S. Congressman Moulton) has allowed for veterans in Middlesex County to succeed in securing safe, affordable, permanent housing. Soldier On is grateful to all who helped make this a reality.”

Soldier On became the development lead for this project at the invitation of Tewksbury Home Build, a local housing nonprofit that gained control of the site through a town-supported process of creating affordable housing. The development is located at 1660 Main Street, adjacent to Heatherwood Gracious Retirement Living. The new four-story,18,565 sq. ft. building will provide 21 units of affordable permanent supportive housing for veterans who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. All units will be fully furnished and include internet, cable, utilities and one meal per day. The facility will have a “Let’s Talk Interactive” telehealth kiosk and transportation provided to bring residents to appointments.

“So thrilled the state has awarded Soldier On the funding to move forward and provide supportive affordable housing to the veterans of Tewksbury and the Merrimack Valley. It will be a great addition to the town.” Vincent Fratalia, Tewksbury Home Build Board Member.

Construction will begin late Fall 2022, with a planned opening in Fall 2023.

Development Team

  • Sponsor / Developer: Soldier On, Inc.
  • Property Management: Soldier On Development & Management, Inc.
  • Pre-Development and Acquisition Lender: CEDAC
  • Architect: Gavin & Sullivan Architects, Inc.
  • General Contractor: Groom Construction
  • Civil Engineer: Civil Design Consultants, Inc.

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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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