CHICAGO – A unique housing complex geared toward helping veterans at risk of becoming homeless will be built on Chicago's South Side, state officials announced Thursday.
The Hope Manor II Apartments will have 73 units, ranging from studio to four-bedroom apartments. Residents will have access to services including job training, family counseling, computer training and mental health screening.
State officials, including Gov. Pat Quinn, were set to break ground on the complex Thursday, according to statement from the Chicago Democrat's office.
The facility is expected to be completed in 2014 and is paid for by a $1.9 million federal loan, $3 million tax-increment financing grant from Chicago and $190,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
"We have a duty to provide Illinois veterans with the support they deserve after serving our country," Quinn said in a statement. "Veterans often return to a unique set of challenges during the transition to civilian life, and this new community will address their family needs during this time. We must always take care of our Veterans on the home front, just as they have taken care of us."
Rates of homelessness are higher among veterans than many other groups. More than 1,100 veterans were homeless on a given day in 2012 in Illinois, or roughly 15 percent of all veterans, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness.
Officials with Volunteers of America, which developed the campus, said that they want the complex to also focus on veterans who are younger, female or have families.
"These brave young men and women have sacrificed a great deal to serve our country and they deserve a safe and affordable place to call home when they return. Hope Manor II will provide our Veterans with the stability and support they need to successfully reintegrate back into civilian life," Nancy Hughes Moyer, the president and CEO of Volunteers of America of Illinois, said in a statement.
The complex will also halve a business resource center.
To qualify for residence, residents must be at or below 60 percent of the area median income, or about $35,340 for a two-person household.