FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mariellen Burns
NEW ENGLAND CENTER FOR HOMELESS VETERANS
BREAKS GROUND ON MAJOR RENOVATION
BOSTON, May 27, 2015 – Joined by City, State and federal officials, the New England Center for Homeless Veterans (NECHV) today held a ceremonial groundbreaking on City Hall Plaza to mark the start of their $31 million Permanent Supportive Housing and Recapitalization Project, an extensive renovation and reconfiguration of the Center’s facility in downtown Boston.
Participants in the groundbreaking included a number of government officials and business and community leaders. Speaking at the event were U.S. Representative Stephen F. Lynch, Massachusetts Governor Charles D. Baker, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, State Representative Aaron Michlewitz, and NECHV President & CEO Andrew McCawley.
The 18-month Project at the NECHV’s 10-story building at 17 Court Street will create a new and reimagined facility for Veterans. It will be a sustainable and adaptable, state-of-the-art building, capable of serving Veterans of all eras that may experience challenges in their lives. Among its key features, the project will:
- Create 38 new, and specially designed supportive housing units for Veterans, including a dedicated floor to house female Veterans;
- Renovate 59 existing supportive housing units for Veterans;
- Build 200 units of brand new transitional housing for Veterans;
- Encompass three floors totaling over 50,000 sf of services, to include:
- A new state-of-the-art Veterans Training School that will deliver life and vocational education and employment services;
- Veteran Service spaces – clinical, social service, community support, housing and an array of critical support to Veterans;
- Renovate and restore one of Boston’s historic buildings, and return it to its original status as a complement to the City’s heritage;
- Use sustainable and green construction methods, including reuse of materials, and upgrade the building to a LEED Silver Certifiable level, resulting in an energy efficient and sustainable facility.
The results of the renovation will also reflect a shift in Veteran demographics: The center now supports a growing number of younger and female Veterans. Almost one-quarter of the center’s residents are Veterans who served after Sept. 11, 2001, and the number of women is projected to double in the next two decades.
As more women serve in the military to defend this nation and our freedoms, the number of female Veterans continues to grow. Female Veterans are the fastest growing group of Veterans. The population of female Veterans in the United States has more than doubled, from approximately four percent of all Veterans in 1990, to more than eight percent, or almost two million today. It is vitally important that their needs be met; especially the needs of female Veterans who encounter significant personal challenges following their service.
Project funding is from an array of public and private sources including: City of Boston, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, Mass Housing, U.S Department of Veterans Affairs, construction loans from Citi and The Life Initiative, as well as the generosity of many private donors and foundations.
“We are grateful to all our public and private partners who have made this project possible,” said Mr. McCawley. “When completed in 18 months, the Project will ensure that the NECHV can continue to serve Veterans in the most effective way, into the future.”
“The presence of the New England Center for Homeless Veterans in the heart of our city means so much,” said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “They ensure that we never forget the needs of our veterans, and that we never put our veterans’ sacrifices on the back burner. The Center understands that struggling veterans need more than a roof over their heads; they need supportive services as well. They have been a crucial partner in our citywide challenge to end veterans’ homelessness in the City of Boston, and we are grateful to them for their commitment.”
“Our veterans and their families have made incredible sacrifices to serve this country and protect our freedoms,” said Governor Baker. “It is up to us to ensure access to the proper care and support they deserve when returning home and long after. This public-private partnership is essential to our mission, giving homeless veterans safe shelter and supporting access to sustainable, affordable housing.”
“The renovation project at the New England Center for Homeless Veterans will enable those veterans, who are struggling, to receive the assistance that will put them on a path to success,” said Congressman Stephen F. Lynch. “We are fortunate to have this state-of-the-art resource in the City of Boston that is committed to ending veterans’ homelessness and to ensuring the region has the capacity and services to address the emerging needs of veterans who have fallen on hard times.”
The project builds on a 25-year legacy of service to Veterans at the NECHV, and continues a tradition of support to those who have served that began in 1947 when the former Old Colony Trust Building at 17 Court Street opened as a U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs medical center.
Consigli Construction Co., Inc. of Milford, MA, is the general contractor for the project, and Pinck & Co. Inc. of Boston is the project manager. A full union construction project, it will employ 80 to 100 tradesmen at the site for the entire 18-month duration.
About the New England Center for Homeless Veterans
Founded in 1989, the New England Center for Homeless Veterans is a nationally recognized leader in serving Veterans. NECHV is a multi-dimension service and care provider that assists Veterans who are facing or at-risk of homelessness with a broad array of programs and services that enable success, meaningful employment, and dignified independent living. The Permanent Supportive Housing and Recapitalization Project is a key part of the National, State and City campaign to end Veterans’ homelessness, and will create a resource for Veterans for generations to come.