Last month, the Gainesville County Commission voted in favor of the proposed transitional housing for veterans being located at the Gainesville Hotel and Conference Center. The County’s Veterans Advisory Board (VAB), however, was never consulted on the facility prior to the zoning application being filed.
Moving beyond their anger and frustration for not being included, the VAB held a vote to support the facility. The Department of Veterans Affairs was approved a grant worth $1,900,000 to be used to buy the property for the facility. The VAB feared, by not approving the facility, that grant would be lost and the Alachua County Housing Authority (ACHA) would find themselves in a difficult position.
The ACHA will operate the transitional housing facility and veterans with mental conditions will be offered shelter for 2 years inside the facility. Those conditions will include multiple mental health disorders and substance abuse problems. During their tenure, veterans will be given counseling for their particular condition as they are transitioned into more permanent housing and permanent employment.
There has been community resistance to the location of the housing facility. Residents, while claiming to be supportive of helping veterans, don’t necessarily want such a facility in the area as it could be “detrimental to nearby businesses and neighborhoods.”
Despite the VAB feeling they should have been more involved in the process, it seems everyone is on board now; however, issues will continue between the local residents and those attempting to put in the housing facility. The important thing is supporting our veterans.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.