Thirty or more members of the Montville Lions Club heard a presentation Wednesday night by Michael Belmont and Avery Tillinghast, who spoke at the Lions' regular monthly meeting at about “Home at Last,” an American Legion project that will give permanent housing to homeless veterans.
In eastern Connecticut alone, Belmont said, there are 200 homeless veterans.
“Soldiers, sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and airmen all live by the creed that no comrade is left behind, whether injured, captured or dead,” says a pamphlet outlining the project.
But when many of these veterans return home, especially in this economic environment, Belmont said, they find that the jobs they once held simply aren’t there any more.
Twenty-five percent of homeless Americans are veterans, he said.
The Home at Last project aims to help.
Built on the shell of what was the American Polish Citizens Club in Jewett City, the veterans home will have 18 one-bedroom apartments. The American Legion, which occupies the ground floor of the building, is giving part of its space for offices for support for the veterans, including people who will help with life skills, money management, crisis intervention and job training.
Belmont said that building is in an ideal spot – it is in a rural area, and yet, is close to major roads; hospitals and other institutions are easily reached from Jewett City.
In addition, according to the brochure, the building is listed on the state register of historic places.
Work on the project began this week, Tillinghast said. They hope that veterans will begin moving in in March of next year.
The project’s total cost is $6.2 million; much of that money has come in the form of grants and forgiveable loans.
The American Legion is looking for $760,000 to complete the work. It offers a variety of giving opportunities, including $1,000 gifts for the memorial retaining wall, and $250 to honor a specific veteran.
For more information, or to make a donation, contact the TALVHI Project, c/a American Legion Post No. 15, 7 South Main St., Jewett City, CT 06351.
You can reach the American Legion website by clicking here.
The Montville Lions Club is involved in a plethora of activities to raise funds to help people in Montville. The money the Lions raise stays within the community. The group always welcomes new members!
To read about the upcoming Puzzlethon, in which the Lions are participating, click .
Also the group is sponsoring a corned beef and cabbage dinner in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, on Sunday, March 13, at the lower level.
Adult tickets are $13; it’s $11 for seniors and $9 for children. You can get tickets at , or by calling 860-848-9893 or 860-848-3344.