English homeless vets home

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Organizers have scrapped a plan to turn a vacant school building into a home for veterans.

The Southern Indiana Veteran Living and Rehabilitation Facility Board of Directors hoped to turn the former English Elementary School in Crawford County into a place to live for veterans who are at risk of being homeless.

The plans were met with opposition from some neighbors in Crawford County, and organizers decided not to move forward with the project at the school.

This would have been southern Indiana’s only veteran’s rehabilitation shelter.

Organizers have decided to go back to their original plan to create a tiny homes community. They’re looking for a location to build the community, and have their eyes on a nearly 60-acre property in Leavenworth, Indiana.

“We met some resistance from the Town of English,” Indiana Department of Veteran Affairs service officer Desley Snyder said. “We just don't want to fight to try to get that building. It's too important of a project and if they didn't want it, then we will go elsewhere. I think a lot of people got hung up on the word shelter. There is a lot of stigma surround the word shelter.”

Snyder says the facility won’t be what many people imagine when they think of a shelter. The veterans will be interviewed and vetted before they move in to the facility. It will be a temporary or permanent place for them to live and receive holistic treatment.

“There would be a strict rehabilitation plan, and would have to adhere to that plan,” Snyder said.

They will have access to resources for job placement, with a goal of becoming self-sufficient.

“A lot of the holistic approach would be gardening, animals; we want to have a lot of hands on therapy,” Harrison County Veterans Service officer Tara Avis said.

Rent costs will vary based on a person's ability to pay.

There is no timeline for the project. Organizers are still looking for donations and partnerships. You can read more about the project on this GoFundMe page.

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