KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The St. Michael's Veterans Center opened its doors Monday and will provide 58 affordable and permanent one-bedroom apartments for homeless veterans in Kansas City.
Despite the hot and sticky conditions, the opening ceremony was standing room only. More than 200 people were present to show their support.
Catholic Charities, Yarco, US Bank and several other agencies have worked together for the last four years to make this building a reality.
"What a great place it is to come where people know your name, where you are excepted, not only where you have a place to stay but a place to keep your things, where you aren’t going to be rousted in the middle night," Catholic Charities CEO Deacon Dan Powers said. "That's what it means to (veterans,) and it's is a new start on life for these heroes of ours who have fought so hard for our liberty."
The facility also includes office space for a team of 12 community service providers.
Together, the combination of stable housing and support services will provide veterans with the means to achieve long-term health, employment and financial success, Powers said.
Already half of the rooms have been leased and the rest are expected to be leased by the end of the summer.
Powers said there are still 1,800 veterans living on the streets of Kansas City, so the need is still there.
St. Michaels is already working on two more phases of construction, and when everything is complete it will have 180 apartments.
Construction on the next phase is expected to start this spring.