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Barrack project helps homeless veterans
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MODESTO – Life isn’t always easy for those who come back from war.

The issues that have plagued some Vietnam veterans for years are just now coming into focus – the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder diagnoses that are so commonplace among those coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan are now being assigned to those who served in Southeast Asia four decades ago.

But those that have served post 9/11 are becoming homeless at a faster rate than their Vietnam counterparts, and one million service members are set to return home from war within the next five years.

And one Modesto group is stepping up to do something about it.

Home of the Brave USA – a non-profit group of veterans dedicated to assisting homeless veterans and their families – is in the process of retrofitting and improving a 20-unit housing complex in South Modesto that they hope will give homeless, needy and disabled veterans a place to get back on their feet.

It’ll be veterans helping veterans. Work crews of former service members are tackling the renovation of the studio apartments. At least half of the units are expected to be occupied by disabled veterans.

And the work won’t end when the construction is completed.

Once Kerr Barracks are completed, a case management plan for each of the residents to help them progress on to advanced transitional or permanent housing options.

Relationships that the organization has formed with local, state and federal agencies that provide services to veterans will enhance the level of care provided and give options that were at one time non-existent to those who fell through the cracks.

“The goal is to develop a one-stop service delivery model at the housing units on a monthly basis for resident veterans and their families,” reads a brochure that outlines the services offered.

Last October Home of the Brave USA opened a resource center in Downtown Modesto. To date they have placed 10 adults and five children into transitional housing and put homeless veterans in touch with the Modesto Vet Center, VA Clinic and Veterans Service Office.

They’ve also worked with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) to provide entry-level jobs with various union projects.

But making the Kerr Barracks a possibility will take roughly $10,000 per unit. The group is reaching out to the community for assistance to make the dream a possibility.

Sponsorship levels range from $100 to $10,000, but any amount of money will be accepted. Home of the Brave USA is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.

For additional information on how to donate visit Home of the Brave USA at 1417 D Street in Downtown Modesto, or call (209) 579-9327.