One of the most shameful blights on the American character is that we often don’t adequately care for the men and women who fight for our country. Among the most disgraceful is the prevalence of homelessness among veterans.
Hoboken is attempting to remedy the situation. American Legion Post 107 is set to build a new five-story apartment building that will be the new home for the 92-year-old post and will also house six homeless veterans.
The new construction will replace the single-story, garage-like post at 308 Second St., with a more modern five-story building that will have the new post on the second floor and will have six housing units with full bath and kitchens for homeless veterans above. It will be the only post in New Jersey that will have affordable housing for veterans within the same building.
The project is a collaborative effort among the American Legion, Hudson County, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Hoboken Rotary, Monarch Housing Associates, and The Hoboken Shelter, among many others.
The project is expected to cost Post 107 $1 million. Post Commander John Carey said it’s already raised more than $500,000. Many Post Commanders donated to the project.
On Oct. 10, Hoboken held a ceremonial groundbreaking. “Today we aren’t just saying thank you, we are taking real action to support our veterans,” said Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “The project we are breaking ground on today will provide a flood-resistant new meeting hall on the second floor as well as six units of housing for homeless veterans on three additional floors. And we have partnered with the Hoboken Shelter, which has committed to providing support service to the veterans living here.”
The ceremony opened with a moment of silence for MIAs, POWs, and those who bravely sacrificed their lives for our country, as well as those who were affected by the tragedy in Las Vegas. The Hoboken High School Choir then sang the National Anthem.
Several Post Commanders and state representatives expressed pride that Post 107 valiantly overcame being devastated by Superstorm Sandy, which closed the lodge for more than a year.
“The county a few years ago took a vow that we would end veterans’ homelessness in Hudson County,” said Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise. “Over 100 veterans have come and used our services to find housing during that period of time. There are 17 still remaining on our list. We won’t stop until all American service people can live a life of dignity in Hudson County and in Hoboken.”
“It is a very important day for me today,” Post Commander Carey said. “I’m very happy that this project is moving forward, and come a year from now, we’ll all be blessed to open six apartments for our American Legion.”—07030
For more information on the project, or if you would like to donate to the cause, visit HeavenHellOrHoboken.org.