Council approves funding for homeless veterans

February 09, 2011

City Council passed two ordinances at the Feb. 7council meeting that will give 1.6 acres of city-owned land plus $10,000 to Valor Home, a volunteer organization that is building Summit County's first transitional home for veterans and their dependents.

The donated land on Waterloo Road in south Akron is where Valor Home will build a 15,600 square-foot facility with 30 single-occupancy dorm-style rooms. About 65 percent of the $1.2 million construction cost will come from a grant provided by the Veterans Administration. Valor Home is challenged to raise the other 35 percent through donations. The land is valued at $43,000.

"This is long overdue," said Ward 6 Councilman Bob Otterman, himself an honored veteran. "We need housing for veterans, and it's a perfect location near other veteran services organizations. Welcome to Summit County."

Valor Home will be directly across the street from Summit County Veterans Services Commission, which provides financial assistance, medical assistance and other services to veterans in need. Habitat for Humanity of Summit County is supporting the project by providing volunteer workers for interior drywall and finishing work.

Other counties in Ohio have similar facilities for veterans. Portage County's Freedom House, a shelter for homeless veterans that opened in 2008, is one example.