Soldier On’s Agawam Housing Project Featured In Western MA News

Former police academy to become housing for veterans


Western Mass News – WGGB/WSHM

A former police training academy in Feeding Hills will be the future site of 51-units of housing for veterans.

The project just got a big lift with the announcement that Springfield Citizens Bank is providing 10-million dollars in construction financing.

Veterans like Pepito Caballero, the general manager of Soldier On says the need is great,” There’s a lot of homeless veterans out there looking for help,” said Caballero.

He credits Soldier On with helping him turn his life around, ” They helped me a lot, they gave me the opportunity to stay out of trouble, not being homeless,” said Caballero.

More veterans will have the same opportunity as Caballero thanks to the conversion of the former police training academy in Feeding Hills into housing for veterans.

Gary Shepard is the president and chief operating officer of Soldier On, “Veterans are two to three times more likely to be homeless than any other segment of our population so providing homes for veterans who are homeless are critical to their advancement and development in re-adapting them to the community,” said Shepard.

The key to the Soldier On Project is not only to get veterans a place to live but provide them with services they need as well to move forward with their lives.

Besides the 10-million dollars in construction financing from Springfield Citizens Bank, other sources of funding have come from historic tax credits, low income housing credits, and state funding.

Total price tag nearly 24-million dollars.

And veterans will enjoy pride of ownership,” It is limited equity type of housing where the veterans actually own their units, and the nice thing about this they will be paying taxes to the community of Agawam on these units, so they take pride in home ownership,” said Gary Shepard.

The units should be ready for occupancy in about a year and a half.

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