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Veterans facility board organizes

The upstart group with a goal of a homeless veterans facility in English met last week to name officers for its board of directors.
The officers of the organization ‘ Southern Indiana Veteran Living and Rehabilitation Center ‘ are: president, Desley Snyder; vice president, Jim Fraze; secretary, Steve Bartels; and treasurer, Charlie Crawford.
Snyder said the board’s next meeting, on Wednesday, Jan. 16, will include the addition of board members. They also hope to know the decision of the Crawford County Community School Corp. Board of Trustees as it relates to the former English Elementary School facility.
The goal of the board is to rehab the facility without using any taxpayer dollars. Instead, the board will look to private donations, fundraisers and possibly grants to fund the project.
The plan for the facility will include permanent housing, family units, transitional housing with basic job-training skills, mentoring and possibly some type of manufacturing.
Snyder said she thought homeless and veterans in need would ‘come out of the woodwork’ to be a part of the facility.
The veterans housing program would serve Harrison, Crawford, Washington, Orange, Dubois and Perry counties.
While the building is in good form, significant remodeling would have to take place to make it into living quarters. Snyder said some of the large rooms could be divided into two and possibly three units.
A couple of attendees said the board needs to be aware of the potential costs to renovate the building and be prepared for opposition related to the ‘not in my backyard’ mindset.
Wayne Hubert, the veterans service officer for Perry County, said he’s heard from Perry Countians who are worried the facility will only become a drug house and problems will spill over into their county.
Snyder assured Hubert each veteran will be vetted before being allowed into the program.