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Fund-raising push begins for veterans housing facility


April 03, 2019
The Southern Indiana group with a goal of creating a living and rehabilitation center for homeless and in-need veterans continues to move forward after meeting Feb. 27.

The group has multiple properties it is considering to become home to the tiny home community for veterans.

The Southern Indiana Veteran Living and Rehabilitation Facility's president, Desley Snyder, said the end result will not be a shelter where people stay for just a couple of nights and leave.

"Think of a type of co-op with rehabilitation programs for veterans," Snyder said, describing the board's vision for the nonprofit, at a previous meeting. "Nobody will live there for free. They'll have to contribute to the facility somehow."

The group is accepting donations and fund-raising opportunities. Last month, Fairview Baptist Church in Eckerty hosted a silent auction and pork chop dinner for the group. In addition, a GoFundMe account also was created and can be found by searching "Southern Indiana Veteran Living and Rehabilitation" at go

fundme.com.

Jim Fraze, a SIVLRF board member and the Crawford County veterans service officer, encouraged everyone to speak with their American Legion, VFW or church to see if they would host a fundraiser for the project.

He said he recently received a check for $1,500 from an individual and had someone else come up to him at a ballgame to give him $100.

"We've still got some big pockets out there we, hopefully, can tap into," he said. "It's going to happen. It's just a matter of getting everything together."

Fraze said they'll have raffle items at both the Harrison and Crawford County fairs.

Donations may be sent to P.O. Box 52, Elizabeth, IN 47117.

"Overall, the response from the community has been very favorable," Fraze said.

The board said it'll likely accept veterans from Kentucky as well as its primary focus of Harrison, Crawford and surrounding counties.

"We're not inventing the wheel, but we're improving upon the wheel," Snyder said. "There are veterans across the nation that will reach out to us."

Fraze said he met a woman who is a veteran and just lost her husband, also a veteran, to cancer," he said. "But, she's too young to draw her own benefits and can only do so through her husband, and that could take some time. She's diabetic; she's living off eggs. That's the kind of people we're looking at."

Snyder said the facility could help a wide range of veterans but those in need may be older veterans in dilapidated housing, who can't afford assisted living and are stuck in a difficult situation.

"We get them in here, they don't have to worry about having a place to stay and they get the services they need," Snyder said.

She said single, younger veterans may use the facility to get back on their feet, as well.

"We'll see where it goes," she said.

The board discussed a former local veteran who committed suicide in St. Louis.

"I don't know that we could have saved him, but, if we had something in place, it might have made a difference," Fraze said.

The board will move to quarterly meetings instead of biweekly, with the next one scheduled for Wednesday, May 29, at 1 p.m. at the Harrison County Government Center in Corydon.

"Hopefully, we'll have huge progress to report," Snyder said.

Fraze said there's too much interest in the facility for it to fail.

"It's going to happen," he said.

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Barbara Shaw
Schuler Bauer
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