Homes for veterans nearly done, nonprofit says

Homes for veterans nearly done, nonprofit says
January 29
00:00 2015

In photo: A view of the kitchen in one of the units. Photo by Chanel Davis 

A local nonprofit is putting the finishing touches on a project it’s been working on for quite some time.

Homes 4 Our Heroes, a permanent housing project for homeless veterans, is a grassroots community project of Whole Man Ministries. Whole Man Ministries is a local nonprofit faith-based organization.

The first of five duplex apartment homes constructed by Homes 4 Our Heroes will soon be occupied by a veteran in need. The organization expected the home to be open by Veteran’s Day, however the agency said that opening was delayed because of some property inspections. The five homes were deemed uninhabitable and slated to be demolished by the city before the nonprofit pitched the project, expected to cost $631,000.

“We had to have some final inspections done on the property. We have turned the lights on and we are looking at two or three veterans that are being vetted for the home,” said Whole Man Pastor Barry Washington. “We had to jump through a few hoops, and that is probably what held us up a little bit.”

The duplex housing will provide 10 apartments.

The duplexes, located on Cameron Avenue, had to be completely gutted and rebuilt. Three of the homes, which are two-bedroom duplexes, are designated for homeless veterans. The homes will have appliances in each apartment, including a stove, refrigerator and a washer and dryer. Those living there will have to pay a rent based on a sliding scale and would be offered a chance to buy the housing.

Kenneth Holly, director of operations for Homes 4 Our Heroes, said that the renovation has been amazing. The crew insulated the walls and ceilings, laid down tile, replaced floor joists and even installed new water heaters.

“We wanted to be sure that the place was energy-efficient and it won’t be taxing for the person who moves in,” he said. “We want them to get accustomed to the community and environment.”

Holly said he is expecting a second home to be finished by the second week of March.

Homes 4 Our Heroes is working with Veterans Helping Veterans Heal (VHVH), an agency that focuses on housing homeless veterans and providing a community for the men to live in for two years.

When veterans arrive, the agency is hoping to help and support them by providing a case manager that can help with budgeting, job training, etc.

“We are all on the same team. We want to see them succeed in their effort,” said Brian Hahne, operations director with Veterans Helping Veterans Heal. “The way I look at it is that they’re the third stop. The first stop is the shelter or hospital, and then we (VHVH) get them for two years and shift them from being a consumer to a contributor. The third phase is being able to live in a place that Whole Man (Homes 4 Our Heroes) may have as we work to get the homeless off the street. We want to figure out how we can best work together.”

The other two homes are expected to be three-bedroom, two-bath homes available for low-income families. The City of Winston-Salem is helping to fund the development of those homes with more than $200,000 in loans and grants.

Washington said that providing homes for veterans is the least that he and those helping with the project could do.

“When you think about why we enjoy our freedom, it’s because of people like the veterans. They have really served their country and then they come and are displaced or because of various things they find themselves homeless,” Washington said. “Our servicemen and women are treated like second-class citizens. In a way, it’s sad when you look at what they’ve done for us.”

Other agencies like Wells Fargo, Home Depot and BB&T have pitched in money and manpower to help the nonprofit achieve its goal.

To donate or learn more about the project, which has been underway since 2013, visit

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Chanel Davis

Chanel Davis

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