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Honoring vets with some home improvement

The Chesapeake Veterans House in Southeast Washington, D.C. puts a roof over the heads of some 60 formerly homeless vets. But the facility, which opened in 1999, needs some TLC of its own. Thanks to grants from Citi Community Development (through LISC/NEF's Bring Them HOMES veterans housing initiative) and Home Depot, the ex-servicemen who live there will soon have a new roof—as well as renovated bathrooms and improved security.

The below excerpt is sourced from:
"Southeast D.C. facility for homeless veterans gets a boost"
by Hamil R. Harris, Washington Post

As Leo North, a 70-year-old Army veteran, stood outside a transitional housing facility for homeless veterans in Southeast Washington and talked about how a fire destroyed his apartment, his eyes filled with tears.

“All my life I have been on my own but now I am legally blind and got burned out,” said North, a veteran of the 82nd Airborne. He is one of 60 residents of the Chesapeake Veterans House, which received $125,00 in grants Tuesday to make much needed renovations.

Gregory H. Crawford, Executive Director of Access Housing Inc., which operates Chesapeake House and the Southeast Veterans Service Center, said money will be used to replace the roof and flooring, fix bathrooms and improve the security at the facility that opened in 1999.

“Our mission is to provide safe and affordable housing for the male and females who sacrifice so much,” said Crawford, whose father, former D.C. Council member H.R. Crawford, was inspired to open the center after he saw veterans living under interstate bridges only blocks from Congress and cooking food on hot plates. His son said, “Nobody should live like that.”

As he dined with the other people, Randy Snodgrass, a Navy veteran, expressed his gratitude for having a place to stay. “This is a godsend and it keeps me off the street.”

Chesapeake Veterans House - Washington, DC
Chesapeake Veterans House - Washington, DC

The Home Depot Foundation donated $100,000 and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation donated $25,000 for the renovation that will be completed by Ridge Roofing, Arthur’s Flooring and Mtech Securities. Following the award announcement, the business owners dined with the veterans.

“Sometimes corporations get a bad rap but this shows that they really care,” said John N. Miller, 92, a World War II veteran who participated in the D-Day invasion. He is the most well- known resident of a gated two-building campus that feels a bit like a military base as many veterans move around in a casual military cadence. Continued[+]...