PRESTONSBURG – The Veterans of Foreign Wars, VFW Post 5839, will hold a groundbreaking Saturday, April 2 on a 6,000 square feet emergency housing center to service homeless veterans and families of veterans whom may have lost their home due to fire, flood, or other disaster. The center will also house a VFW community center where vets can come to socialize, obtain clothing, a hot meal and also a computer lab where individuals can apply for disability benefits and job search.
The center is the first of its kind in the nation. It will be designed, built and governed solely by the VFW. Currently, government housing restraints often makes individuals in need ineligible for services. Veterans will be screened on an individual basis. The VFW estimate the project will cost approximately $375,000 to $400,000 to complete. They have currently spent an estimate of $200,000. The building for the center is on order.
“This is needed in our community. We are proud to offer this center and services to our local veterans whom have served our country in its time of need and now we are serving them. This is our opportunity to show our respect for veterans, ” said Calvin Howell, VFW member.
Named VFW Post 5839 Walter Karr Bowling Veterans Emergency Housing Center, the building’s name was chosen by former Governor Bert T. Combs in honor of West Prestonsburg native who was killed in action aboard the USS Arizona December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor.
The anticipated opening date is spring of 2017. The commander of the VFW Post 5839 is Paul Edwards. Anyone wanting more information about this much needed project can call Calvin Howell at 606-358-9372 or email [email protected]
Andrea Saddler is a reporter for the Floyd County Times. She can be reached at 606-794-0290.