Shelter and a fresh start, work forges ahead on new homes for veterans on Cape Cod

Shelter and a fresh start, work forges ahead on new home for homes veterans on Cape Cod

It will offer shelter and a fresh start. But, the pandemic has delayed a project that was supposed to give some homeless veterans on Cape Cod a home in time for the holidays.

The group behind the construction a new 5-bedroom home is the Cape and Islands Veterans Outreach Center and they are forging ahead hoping to open the unique shelter in mid-January.

“We’re looking to bring them in here give them a place to get their feet back on the ground, assist them whether in employment and counseling with the intention hopefully that they can get be back out in society in a matter of a year,” said Joseph Taylor, a Marine Corps veteran and executive director the outreach center.

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The project will start to put a dent in the critical needs facing some 200 homeless veterans, whom Taylor estimates live on Cape Cod.

Construction on the new home in Dennis began in the spring. The pandemic led to numerous pauses and some donors backed out.

“Our goal was to have our veterans in here for Christmas. Unfortunately, some people had to withdraw their donations. So, then it was kind of a scramble,” said Matt Young, an Air Force veteran, and project manager of the Dennis veterans home.

In fact, many of the people who have stepped up to help build the home are veterans.

Town Selectman Chris Flanagan says it continues to be a community effort.

“We have had a number of businesses who have donated countless hours of material supplies to help build the product, the house and to help us get it over the finish line,” he said.

The town of Dennis donated the land for house and is partially funding the project.

While home for the holidays may be out of reach, the project is moving forward. And, hopefully, in a matter of weeks, five veterans who have lost their way, will find a new path forward and access to resources and counseling, they’ll soon be heading in the right direction.

“Sadly, as one veteran moves out, we’ve got numerous veterans waiting in the wings to take the slot,” Taylor said.

How you can help

The Cape and Islands Veterans Outreach Center still needs help with donations and materials to complete the build. They need things like stone countertops and people to help paint.

If you can help in any way, find out how here.

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