VANCOUVER, Wash. — A 50-unit apartment complex that will offer homes to homeless veterans had its grand opening Wednesday in Vancouver, complete with a celebratory ribbon cutting.
Freedom's Path at Vancouver Apartments, which is located on VA property at 1601 East Fourth Plain Boulevard, has already filled 40 units and the rest are spoken for.
Veterans applied through the Department of Veteran Affairs and HUD-VASH, which provides permanent housing for eligible homeless veterans.
Karl Colbert is one of those veterans. He said he used to couch surf, but today he has a brand-new apartment.
“Having a place of my own has been more of a blessing than anything that I could have imagined,” he said.
The goal of the program is to give homeless veterans, veterans at risk of being homeless and low-income veterans a fresh start. Rent is typically a third of a veteran’s income. All utilities are included.
New residents will find a fitness room, laundry room, cyber café and plenty of space.
“When I walked in and the door closed behind me, I realized I have a life to build again,” Colbert said.
“When we send our vets into harm’s way, and they come back and they need some help, I think most of us want to do something about it," said Craig Taylor of Solutions for Veterans, a nonprofit that helps veterans find homes.
"It tugs at our hearts and our souls that we have certain vets that are homeless."
Residents started moving in to the complex about a month ago. It should be full in a couple of weeks.