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In Detroit, a new community for homeless vets

A housing complex for homeless veterans officially opened its doors in Detroit on Veterans Day.

It will serve as a transitional housing program where veterans can stay for up to two years. It can house as many as 60 people at a time.

Sharon Dade is the director of social services for Volunteers of America, the non-profit group that owns and operates the Detroit shelter.

She says they’ll work with the Veteran’s Administration to serve every qualified person—whether they’ve just returned from conflict, or have struggled for years.

“We expect there to be a wide variety of folks that we will serve here,” Dade says.

“All of them who have unfortunately have come into a place of homelessness. And our goal is to get them back into society and get them healthy, and living the quality of life that they desire.”

Dade says the complex will also offer a variety of services, including job training, and health and psychological support.

Program director Katherine Klampett says the facility will be more than just a temporary home—it will be a community.

“We’ll have a lot of activities for the gentlemen, a lot of recovery-oriented activities to help them re-integrate into society and to become full partners into the community in this area,” Klampett says.

Dade and Klampett say the facility should start welcoming its first residents next month.

Volunteers of America estimates there are 3,000-5,000 homeless veterans in Detroit.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Radio in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.