Northwest Indiana Veterans Village breaks ground
By Carole Carlson firstname.lastname@example.org/302-0949 November 11, 2013 5:32PM
Supporters held a ceremonial groundbreaking Monday for the Northwest Indiana Veterans Village, a 44-unit housing complex for homeless veterans at 839 Massachusetts St. in Gary. The project is being developed by Broadway Area Community Development Corp. Its executive director Vernita Leslie, left, and Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, hoist their shovels. | Carole Carlson/Post-Tribune
Updated: December 13, 2013 6:21AM
GARY — Pelting rain didn’t dampen the enthusiasm Monday at a groundbreaking ceremony for the Northwest Indiana Veterans Village, a $9.6 million, 44-unit housing complex for homeless veterans.
The not-for-profit Broadway Area Community Development Corp. is heading the project that’s expected to be completed in about one year on land donated from the city at 839 Massachusetts St.
“It represents a milestone of development,” said Vernita Leslie, executive director of the Broadway Area CDC. “It will be permanent supportive housing. Our goal is to end homelessness for veterans.”
Last year’s homeless count completed by the Continuum of Care Network of Northwest Indiana identified 66 homeless veterans in Gary, Hammond and East Chicago.
The units will be furnished and include one bedroom and a kitchen. The center will have an exercise room, computer room, walking trails on the east side and a rooftop garden.
Leslie said the planning began in 2010 and is being completed with tax credits, $500,000 from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, and $200,000 from the city’s Community Development Department. BMO Harris is providing the $5 million construction loan, Leslie said. The Broadway Area CDC also received a $414,000 predevelopment loan from the Supportive Housing Solutions Fund through CSH.
The construction will be a joint venture between Terrell Taylor Construction, of Gary, and The Whitsett Group LLC, of Indianapolis.
“I can’t think of any better group we can serve,” said Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, who attended the groundbreaking as colder temperatures moved into the region.
“This weather pales in comparison to what many of them went through.”