LOUISVILLE, Ky. — According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, in 2022, there were more than 33,000 veterans experiencing homelessness in the United States.
St. Vincent de Paul wants to help and unveiled permanent affordable housing for veterans in need on Friday, Nov. 10.
32-year-old Sam Schreier loves his job at St. Vincent De Paul. He served four years in the U.S. Army. He was a deep-sea diver and said it was a great experience. Schreier says he has seen other veterans transition out of military service and fall on hard times.
Schreier is a senior program manager at St. Vincent De Paul Louisville. He said, “Seeing folks who absolutely fell on hard times that I’ve found when I transitioned out that didn’t have that support system and they didn’t have anywhere else to go and this was a place for them. That was one of the things that drew me to stay here and always come back and want to work here.”
Leadership announced the expansion of the veterans program by adding 24 single-room apartments for veterans who have experienced homelessness, already are homeless, or are at risk of becoming homeless.
“We all know that generally in our community, the need for permanent affordable housing is great and we are really excited to offer this opportunity, ” said Jennifer Clark, St. Vincent de Paul’s Chief Operating Officer.
“This new facility will be permanent housing. The veterans will have a lease. They’ll be able to stay there as long as they need to stay there to be able to do what they need to do to get their feet on the ground,” added Dave Calzi, St. Vincent de Paul’s Executive Director.
Renovations are happening right now. Inside there are common spaces to socialize, laundry facilities and two self-serve kitchens. The apartments come fully furnished.y furnished. The apartment building is on the Shelby Park campus on South Preston Street.
“There’s a lot of opportunity here to build community and to really start from scratch in terms of providing yourself with good connections and support and creating positive relationships to move forward.” Schreier explained.
There is a host of resources too, including mental health and counseling. Clothes are available for men and women. Schreier says internet service is provided and all utilities are covered.
Veterans will get a hot lunch and a hot dinner every day of the week. It will be provided by the Open Hand Kitchen on campus. Veterans can get groceries from an on-campus food pantry.
Schreier said they serve about 11,000 meals a month to the community here.
“We want to make sure we gave them the support needed to get back on their feet and make it as easy as possible for them to move forward with their lives,” Schreier explained Friday.
All of it to help Kentucky’s homeless veterans.
St. Vincent de Paul is accepting applications and will also accept housing vouchers or other rental assistance. They will also accept low-income veterans who can pay their own rent. For more information, call (502) 301-8670 or visit their website.