Mishawaka organization breaks ground on project to house homeless veterans

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MISHAWAKA, Ind., ---A Mishawaka organization broke ground Tuesday on a project working to combat homelessness for local veterans. It's set to provide transitional housing to help them get back on their feet. 

After nearly two years phase II of Mishawaka Troop Town’s project got underway.

The organization purchased land to house a veteran village set to have tiny duplexes and a welcome center right next door to the VFW 360 post on East Jefferson Blvd in Mishawaka, aimed at keeping war heroes off the streets.

“We have community partners already anything from employment services to educational services to medical services,” said Jim Metherd, the President & Co-Founder of Mishawaka Troop Town

Metherd is a veteran himself and believes this is a step to helping local heroes countywide.

“Currently in St Joseph County we have over 50 veterans either living on the streets or in a facility. Maybe with this initiative we can tackle all homeless in our area.”

The community was excited about the major development on track to be one of the first in the Hoosier state set to house at least eight veterans at a time.

“We’ll still have four smaller buildings approximately 720 square feet but they will be duplexes which will be right down the middle will house two veterans each,” explained Metherd.

“We love to be first with creative projects in the Hoosier state and we’ve got a few to be proud of but there are no more important ones then this one,” added Mishawaka Mayor Dave Wood.

Local veterans also told ABC57 they believe this is something so many in the area will benefit from.

“Sometimes you don’t know where you’re going what you’re going to do when you get out. Fortunately, I didn’t need something like this but there's a lot of people that don’t know what they’re going to do next,” said local veteran Scott Leeper.

“We have lined up so much that these veterans will be set up for success,” added Metherd.

Phase III construction is expected to begin next spring.

The organization has received help from the community but estimates each of the five buildings could cost at least $100,000, plus labor.

To help support the organization's efforts you can click here.

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