An Atlanta-based development company is working with the Hinesville Housing Authority to build affordable one-bedroom units with a priority of being given to homeless veterans.
Nathan J. Green with L & J.G. Development LLC said his company has worked on previous affordable-housing projects in Atlanta and Macon, but this is the first time units they build will show a preference for homeless veterans.
“We have previously talked to your mayor and city manager,” Green said. “They’re very supportive of what we’re trying to do. I was (also) able to talk with (Sen. Johnny Isakson) before the Sept. 5 meeting at your city hall. What we’re asking for is their ability to help us raise awareness about homeless veterans.”
In addition to raising awareness, Green also wants to raise money to build housing that gives preference to homeless and disabled veterans. He talked about crowdtilt.com, which helps businesses set up sites to which people can donate $1 or more toward a specific goal during a specific time period. If the goal is not reached no one’s credit or debit card is charged, he said.
“Movies have been made using crowdsourcing,” he said. “Small businesses use it to raise funds. We’re a nonprofit organization, so we’re under different federal regulations … We’ll run a crowdsourcing campaign Oct. 13 through Nov. 11 to raise funds for the Hinesville projects.”
Green believes there are more homeless veterans in this area than the few who were identified during the last homeless count for Liberty County. He said having the new Veterans Affairs Primary Care Clinic in Hinesville will help because a veteran’s residence status will be recorded when he or she registers for treatment.
Homeless-prevention coordinator Daisy Jones agreed, saying there are obviously more homeless veterans than previously identified.
She said the Department of Veterans Affairs issued 25 (Department of) Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers for Liberty and Long counties. She said all the HUD-VAH vouchers were used by eligible homeless veterans to pay rent at public or Section 8 housing.
Hinesville Housing Authority Director Deborah Williams said she’s been told the new VA clinic’s housing section is issuing an additional 25 vouchers.
With 330 people on the Housing Authority’s waiting list, she said the demand for affordable housing clearly exceeds the supply. The new units being built by Green’s company will help, she said.
“He’s really helped us a lot,” Williams said. “I started working with Mr. Green back in the latter part of 2012. We’re working on four one-bedroom units to be built on Rebecca Street and a duplex to be built on Welborn Street. We first have to get a re-zoning approved for the Rebecca Street project. The Welborn Street project is already zoned for multi-family housing.”
Green said when the units are built, they will be owned by the Housing Authority. His company then will move on to other supportive housing projects in other communities. Homeless veterans in this community then will be able to rent units using HUD-VASH vouchers.
“We haven’t done (homeless) veterans-preference housing before, but we’ve done a number of projects for other supportive housing,” Green said. “This will be our first supportive housing project to give priority to homeless veterans, but not our last.”
He said it is sad to know there are those in this country who don’t have a home and even worse that some of those homeless are American veterans. Green is pleased that his company is able to help at least some of those homeless veterans.
For more information about the Hinesville Housing Authority, call 876-6561. For information about L & J.G. Development LLC’s homeless veterans’ housing projects in Hinesville, go to www.tilt.com/campaigns/hinesville-homeless-veterans-housing.