Soldier On in Northampton gets $280,000 to help house veterans

BOSTON — The Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation has approved a total of $280,000 in financing to the non-profit Soldier On, Inc. for veteran housing in Northampton.

With this funding, the organization will develop two supportive housing projects on the campus of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in the Leeds section of Northampton to aid formerly homeless veterans, according to a press release from the corporation.

The $140,000 Front Money Loan will go to developing the Gordon H. Mansfield Veterans Cooperative Housing project. The four-building permanent housing project will consisting of 44 one-bedroom units and provide supportive services to formerly homeless veterans in the area.

Several local organizations will partner with Soldier On to provide many of these services, which will include case management, education and vocational training, substance abuse treatment, and life skills development.

“For years, Soldier On has been a leader in providing permanent supportive housing and services to veterans in need,” said Roger Herzog, the corporation’s executive director.

“This project’s design – which has been pioneered by Soldier On – will serve as a model for the Department of Veterans Affairs so that it can be replicated on similar sites across the country. This is just one of the many examples of how this effective organization is going above and beyond for servicemen and women in need.”

Also located on the VA Medical Center Campus, the Leeds Transitional Veterans Housing project received $140,000 in funding from the corporation.

The facility will provide transitional housing to 16 formerly homeless individuals, many of which are expected to be single women or mothers with children. The project will include 16 bedrooms, four communal kitchens, and eight shared bathrooms. Of the 16 bedrooms, 12 will be handicap accessible and 3 will have sleeping lofts to accommodate mothers with children. Additional supportive services will be offered using an integrative treatment program for those battling post traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, and trauma.

“Over the past several years, organizations like Soldier On have learned a great deal about providing effective housing and services to homeless women,” said Herzog. “The organization has identified a need to develop a program specifically targeted to the growing number of homeless female veterans and we are pleased to be partnering with them on this important and innovative project.”